Minimalism ...

Today I’d like to chat about a frequently heard word in this era’s design world: Minimalism.

 Ok we all probably don't have arched doorways heading out to the ocean, but if you take all that away and just look at the stuff you can see that it isn't minimal but its curated and what is there has purpose. Image via Pinterest

Ok we all probably don't have arched doorways heading out to the ocean, but if you take all that away and just look at the stuff you can see that it isn't minimal but its curated and what is there has purpose. Image via Pinterest

 

Now, if you watched the Netflix doc, you might be worried I’m about to tell you to throw out 95% of your closet, invest in nothing but open shelving, and own exactly three pieces of furniture. While that may work for some, I’m a mom. Not gonna happen in this house.

In today’s every-person terms, minimalism doesn’t necessarily refer to using only the bare necessities in your home décor, but rather how you can use minimal amounts of color and knick-knacks to pull together a space. Today’s minimalism is all about helping your space feel open and fresh, even if the room may not be massive. The goal is to place items in the room with intention in order to make the biggest impact with the smallest amount of clutter. Below are some easy-to-adapt tips to help you scale down and brighten up!

 This is in no way minimalist, but what I will say that there is a color story, it has a neutral backdrop, and there is a rhyme and reason to the way in which this is organized. Image via Pinterest.

This is in no way minimalist, but what I will say that there is a color story, it has a neutral backdrop, and there is a rhyme and reason to the way in which this is organized. Image via Pinterest.

 

  1. Time to Tidy

This will be the biggest first step in any move towards a minimalist space. As someone who has moved homes going on 4 times now, I can personally attest to the incredible amount of stuff my family can accumulate in a shockingly small amount of time. Now, I will not tell you to throw away anything based on amount of clutter alone, but I have a few small questions you may need to ask yourself before declaring toss or keep.

 

Does this bring me joy? If the answer is yes, keep it! If it’s a candle in a scent you don’t love that was given to you secondhand anyways, you might consider donating. Does it have a home? If this thing doesn’t have a designated space, it will need to find one! A huge part of keeping your space open is making sure all the odds and ends have designated space in a drawer or cabinet.

 Image via Pinterest.

Image via Pinterest.


 

  1. Reconsider Color

Color is a pretty polarizing idea in a home. On one hand, yes, paint color can influence mood and add tone to a room. On the other hand…it can be really distracting. Some people do not at all like the idea of all neutral or white walls. A lot of folks get the idea that all white is too boring or ‘clinical’ and to each their own! But to me, an all-neutral room is a blank canvas. You have some beautiful plants that deserve a spotlight? Pop them against a white wall and see how vivid that green becomes. Do you own a lovely pink throw or pillow? Throw that bad boy on a neutrally-colored couch and it is suddenly a huge focal point.

 I love how this subtle pop of pink adds a focal point to this space. New pillows/throws could be added or changed out seasonally to freshen up the space and your backdrop can stay neutral and calming. Image via Consort Design

I love how this subtle pop of pink adds a focal point to this space. New pillows/throws could be added or changed out seasonally to freshen up the space and your backdrop can stay neutral and calming. Image via Consort Design

The best part of keeping your major colors neutral is that it allows you to have less objects adding to the color story of your room. Your minimal objects and colors are free to make huge statements without overloading the senses with too many visual distractions. It keeps your room calm while still allowing you to completely change up your home with minimal effort when you’re ready for some new colors.

 

  1. Do not Discount Textures

This idea is definitely a playoff of the above point, and something we’ve discussed here on the blog before! But it’s a very important idea so it bears repeating: textures are your best friend. If you want to have a grown-up space, don’t stress so much about colors, and instead consider the textures you are introducing. These small touches will have huge impacts.

 Multiple wood tones, brick, concrete, linen, and brass all can act as color and add interest to a space without making it feel to active.

Multiple wood tones, brick, concrete, linen, and brass all can act as color and add interest to a space without making it feel to active.

 

A jute rug brings earthy warmth to an otherwise entirely modern room. Concrete planters can add a more architectural style while the softness of a leafy green up top balances out the strong lines. Brass hardware in a kitchen or bathroom brings just enough contrast to a traditionally clean and crisp space, and again, adds just enough warmth to keep a room from feeling cold or unwelcoming. These are all fairly small adds that can make or break a room.

 Neutral window treatments are also a way to let your furniture, art and accessories tell your story rather than clutter it. Think soft shades of white, sand, and grey or natural shades rather than bold colors or patterns.

Neutral window treatments are also a way to let your furniture, art and accessories tell your story rather than clutter it. Think soft shades of white, sand, and grey or natural shades rather than bold colors or patterns.

 

If you find yourself backed into a design corner, I would encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself what mixed textures you could add via pillows, side tables, lamps, etc., instead of how to push even more colors into your mix. While color is absolutely important, I would argue that the constructed elements of your pieces are equally, if not more, important to a room.

 

I hope this list was helpful, and if you have any more minimalism tips to add, feel free to leave them below!

A little before and after ...

As we prepare to say goodbye to our Overland Park house and hello to a new adventure, I wanted to take some time to reflect on how far this humble ranch has come. We knew with our little ones getting bigger, school districts were about to become a very important part of our lives. As anyone in this area will tell you, the Kansas City school district is...interesting, and we knew that our Hyde Park home was not going to be the place we were able to stay forever. We looked to Overland Park to make sure we got a jump on a great kindergarten for bud, and to find a house that we could really inject with our style.

Our main goal in looking for a new home was to find the most boring house in a good neighborhood. We wanted something that was not so nice that we would be in a bidding war with other families, but not so trashed that investors would have jumped on it. With the rise in popularity of house-flip shows, properties in desirable neighborhoods are getting snatched up left and right and getting ‘flipped’. Word to the wise, be very careful looking at ‘flipped’ homes, as the goal is to make as much money as possible and sometimes that can mean cutting major corners to get a home aesthetically ready to get on the market! So, with that in mind, we wanted something that wasn’t ‘done’, as we have all the capacity to do that work ourselves, and make sure it’s done 110% right. 

 Its not SO bad, but of course nothing we wanted.

Its not SO bad, but of course nothing we wanted.

 After some landscaping, windows, new roof and gutters, new deck and some paint!

After some landscaping, windows, new roof and gutters, new deck and some paint!

 Kevin,  very  worn out from doing all the work. Isn't the decorating amazing?!

Kevin, very worn out from doing all the work. Isn't the decorating amazing?!

The Walmer house had sat on the market for 65 days and hit all our criteria. Sturdy, clean, ugly, and did I mention ugly? Guys, it was so bad. The only things we liked about it were the price, lot size, and school district. That was IT. Floral wallpaper, closed off kitchen, a fireplace that hadn’t been touched since 1986. I can honestly say there was not one thing about this house I was hesitant to change. We were able to get it for a steal, and then the fun part started. Well, fun for me in that I watched all these amazing changes happen, may have been a bit more stressful for Kevin.

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 Yes, that is the same fireplace!

Yes, that is the same fireplace!

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Our first move was to take out the two walls that closed off the kitchen from the rest of the living space, lace in and refinish the hardwood floors, and vault the ceilings. Opening up the ceilings was an incredible breath of fresh air, and really took the space from just another ranch in the ‘burbs to a different level of style. Over the next while, we were able to save up what we needed to update all the subsystems, which I think would probably count as some of Kevin’s favorite features of this house, while mine would be the blue steel fireplace and the custom concrete waterfall table/island. Actually, when that piece was being installed, it was dropped on the steps leading up to the house, which is funny now but was decidedly not funny when it happened.

 I really hated this bathroom, the wood wall all warped, the faucet didn't work and it just looked dirty.

I really hated this bathroom, the wood wall all warped, the faucet didn't work and it just looked dirty.

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 I don't have a before of this bathroom, but it wasn't good. We laid out the bathroom different, moving the shower the make it larger.

I don't have a before of this bathroom, but it wasn't good. We laid out the bathroom different, moving the shower the make it larger.

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There are so many things I’m going to miss about this house, but looking ahead to the next is always fun to imagine. Our wishlist for the next house would include a mudroom, and an office for all of our Brasstacks business. Running your business on the same space that you prepare your meals isn’t what we’d call ideal, and we are very much so looking forward to having designated workspace in our next home. But, we will always carry such fond memories of this house, and are so thankful it is going to be enjoyed as the gem it is for decades to come.