I am constantly fighting two extreme decorating styles.
Sometimes I’ll go to Edie’s blog and see all of her beautiful patterns and layers and colors and she puts everything together so well and I tell myself that her house is the very definition of what I want my home to be and that it must be her ability to use her things in harmony that makes a home. And so I start filling up all my surfaces and pulling things out of the basement so I can make this unfinished fixer-upper feel like home.
Two days later I’m on a minimalist blog and I see cleared off surfaces, I see a wall intentionally left blank–for beauty and sanity’s sake. I see the art of doing more with less and having a few statement pieces that let the house breathe and I suddenly hate all of my junk and want to give it all away. I crave empty space.
I have a feeling I’ll always love both styles.
And I’ve finally figured out a way to enjoy them both in my small house.
I designate some spaces for layers and color and pattern and groupings, and I reserve some spaces for simply nothing.
My Edie-fied, cozy spaces are filled with meaningful beauty, quirky tchotchkies, DIY art and photos those are:
- The fireplace mantle
- The gallery wall
- The niche in the kitchen
- My bedside table
- My office
The official, intentionally left cleared off spaces are:
- The kitchen counters
- My dresser
- Our only eating table
My cleared off spaces aren’t always empty–they just don’t have any decor assigned to them. They are the hardest working spaces in our house and half the time are filled with whatever we happen to be working on–from dinner to books to a project. But when they are clear they are ready to serve us.
And the layered, cozy spaces are places in our home that don’t get movable traffic, they aren’t high demand surfaces that have lots of purposes. None of us need to pile our coffee or books or watches on the mantle, so I can get it all layered and pretty without wondering if in two days it will be piled with 100 extra things.
Update: Since I wrote this post in February, I had such a HUGE response from other Cozy Minimalists–I can’t believe there are so many of us! Cozy Minimalism isn’t about counting your possessions or a particular style, but a mindset that says–whatever style you LOVE, you desire to acheive it with the fewest possible items: simply being intentional and knowing what to use in each space–for some of us, that might mean a few extra pillows, for others that might mean a cleared off coffee table.
I’m thrilled to offer a course (2000 people have already taken it!) where we discuss HOW to decorate a room from the very start to the very finish without making it overly complicated, but still being true to your style. Find out more here about the Cozy Minimalist Course.