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Essentialism and Design

As an interior designer, I work with objects, with stuff. I use furniture, accessories, wall decor and textiles to create space; to create function and beauty. I love objects in a room and how they can affect the environment and the way life is lived in that environment. It is through the manipulation of these objects and materials that I create.

There is a movement out there that I'm sure you've all heard of, called minimalism. It embodies the mindset of living simply, minimally. Not living with an excess of stuff. Having only what you need and a little of what you believe to be beautiful. Perhaps slightly lesser known is the idea of essentialism. There is a book by Greg McKeown called "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less." I truly believe that our stuff can enslave us. We get stuck with too many things, and not enough space for it all. So often that leads people to find a bigger space to put more stuff. McKeown says, "It's not about what we have, but why we have it."

My husband and I have embarked on an adventure of simplifying our home. This causes me to ask myself why I have the things I have and are they adding value to my life or simply more surfaces to collect dust? So often interior design is synonymous with having more stuff just for the sake of being pretty. I disagree with this misnomer. Designer, Nate Berkus has one of the best quotes regarding design, he said, "Be a ruthless editor of what you allow into your home. Ask yourselves. 'What does this object mean to me?'"

We have had boxes and clutter in our basement and our garage that has sat for those years doing nothing but collecting dust. Over the last several months we have been emptying those boxes and being ruthless editors. There are many items that have pleasant memories attached to them and those memories make me want to keep it all, but for what? Those items aren't on display, I never see them and they just cause clutter to build up in my house. I am intentionally forcing myself to find a meaningful purpose for things or get rid of them. It is a freeing process. I only want items in my home that are essential for the function of my life, or things that I truly love and believe to be beautiful.

I challenge you to also be ruthless. Get rid of the unessential and start finding out what you really love in your home.


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