Is it really possible to live with less?

May 4, 2017


What’s the fuss with ‘less is more’? Is it about bidding adieu to all the things you own (you probably slogged your guts out to purchase them) and turn your home into a blank box? That would be a radical and an unmeaning approach to living we say. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the German architect who popularized the dictum ‘less is more’, certainly wasn’t talking about emptying out spaces in the name of minimalism. Because he knew doing so would devitalize spaces and make them nondescript and lifeless.

What he certainly meant was that spaces, when executed judiciously with sparse decoration and articles, yield maximum impact. More than subtracting, the approach gravitates towards adding and retaining things that enhance our living. Instead of going on a space-purging rampage, you focus on holding onto things that hold some meaning in your home and life.

As far as adding new things goes – let’s be honest here, it is inevitable. We need things and we got to buy them. But how about finding a middle ground then? Somewhere between being a strict ascetic to being a scattergood, you become a mindful moderate who has an appreciation and value for articles that are aesthetically and functionally sound. So you buy things but only those that would make you happy - not for a few days but a sizeable amount of time.

Is this blog-post a primer on minimalism/less is more philosophy? Well, not really. Let’s look at this as a nutritious food for thought that we’d like you all to ruminate on and hopefully embrace. So let’s first start with subtracting decor pieces, tchotchkes and other articles that aren’t doing anything great other than hosting a perennial dust and allergens festival.  Please do away with them.

Make sure you have ample storage space that will house the objects and items that you don’t use frequently.  As for your souvenirs, art objects, and books, display them on a shelving unit. One quick tip – you can throw in some planters to bring a soupcon of botanical beauty to the mix. That’s that about subtraction.

Minimalism is closely associated with Nordic interiors – clean lines, organic materials, uncluttered spaces, and pale walls are the typical features that spring to mind when we think of Scandinavian design. Whites, pastels, and neutrals dominate interiors, quite understandably, to maximize sunlight. But many exhilaratingly errant Danes and Swedes are going for bold colors – if not brash, throwing senses into overdrive through bright, patterned soft furnishings (you can channel boho chic here), lively paintings, or vibrant upholstered armchairs.

Urbanization and digitization make us dream about escapism – our interpretations of it might differ, but the hankering to break-free from the shackles of the complex modern life stems from the same place. Minimalism perfectly echoes our desire to move towards a life that is bereft of chaos and rebuild our bond with nature.

So before we say ba-bye to you, there are a few simple things you can do with minimalism – you can focus your attention to art/décor pieces you bought after months of deliberation and hashing over, change their position, rearrange your furniture, get rid of stuff that’s not serving any purpose, bring in pretty planters and succulents, and most importantly – take stock and think carefully before you spend those hard-earned rupees.

You’d be astounded to know what little rejigs and small changes can do! We’d love to know what your definition of minimalism is. Write in the comment section below.




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