Minimalist Living – Where Design and Utility Coincide

In living a minimalist lifestyle, it simply means we are doing away with all that is cluttering our space. That space doesn’t need to refer to actual ‘dimensional’ space such as the area in which we live but rather the lifestyle we choose to live as well. What is your life like? Are you continually on the go because you have yet to learn the meaning of “No!” and are you constantly juggling chores at home with duties at work?

If so, you are ready for minimalist living, but don’t get it wrong! Minimalist living doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice design in your home for utility or vice versa. You can have both and they can coexist peacefully if you understand what minimalist living truly is.

What Exactly Is Minimalist Living?

Many people have the misconception that minimalist is a term used in architectural design, be it interior or exterior. Yes, minimalist is an architectural buzzword at the moment but minimalist living is so much more. It means cutting back on all the clutter, all the ‘stuff’ in life that is unimportant to who you are and what you need. Once you get the concept of what minimalism really is, you’ll realize that a lifestyle free from all that baggage that has been keeping you down is so much fuller than one cluttered with all the debris we’ve collected over the years.

Can We Do Without?

When it comes to everything we’ve collected over the years, the first thought that will undoubtedly pop into your mind is in terms of whether or not you can do without this tool or that gadget. Actually, you can but do you really need to? Maybe not! It’s all in how you design your new space. For example, you have decided to downsize and are about to move to a post stamp lot. It’s not really much bigger than your minimalist tiny house you are building but there may be ample grounds for a garden if you plan well. In this case, the utility of your downsized, minimal living space can afford all the same utilities you had going for you on much larger grounds.

So, You Want Your Garden?

If you are really intent on downsizing to do away with all that extra space and unnecessary clutter you’ve collected over the years, don’t think you need to do away with your garden. No, you will not have the same size lot you once had but you can easily build a DIY greenhouse that will hold as many plants as you once grew on a half-acre lot! Choose a green house frame sized to scale and then work it into the landscaping design of your little postage stamp lot. If the lines of your new small home are fresh, sharp and clean, there is no reason why a greenhouse wouldn’t fit into your exterior/landscaping scheme! You really don’t have to sacrifice utility for design, it’s only a matter of resizing and locating to ‘fit’ your new minimalist mindset.

Interior Design for the Minimalist

One of the amazing benefits of modern design is that it fits the minimalist lifestyle to a T. If you browse through any architectural digest or journal you will likely see that ultra-modern interior design is sharp, clean and very, very precise. There are few distractions from the central focal point and very little in the way of what is considered to be the traditional concept of décor. Sound systems are literally built into the structure so there are no speakers littering your space and flat screen TVs are mounted to walls.

What many interior decorators have done is to give almost everything in the room a dual purpose where a sofa opens to a bed and wall-mounted large photos open to storage areas built into those walls. Speaking of walls, even ironing boards are built into walls so that what appears to be a cupboard door is actually a pull down ironing board with a shelf that holds the iron.

What Minimalist Living Isn’t

So you see, minimalist living isn’t sacrificing that which you need for your everyday comfort but rather doing away with all the unnecessary trappings holding you back from enjoying that which is important to you. Design doesn’t need to be mutually exclusive to utility because they can coexist nicely!

Minimalist living isn’t about doing with less, it’s about doing more with what you have. You can still have all those little extras that make life so enjoyable but with a bit of thought and planning, those things don’t need to be out in the open to clutter your space. Perhaps the best way to describe minimalism is to say that it is a way of life where everything is compartmentalized. Everything has a place and that place doesn’t invade your space. That’s minimalism and why so many have adapted well to a minimalist lifestyle.

James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.