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The Art of Less is More

Creating Time and Space to Slow Down

8 March 2024

“Over our busy lifetimes, we have accumulated a lot of stuff – stuff that might not add to our lives any longer, but that we just haven’t taken the time to let go of. The very act of letting go and living with less can free us to move forward with our lives more lightly, particularly at those points where we are moving through one of life’s many transitions.” — Kriste

As we age, we tend to crave serenity and calmness, both in our lives and in our homes. We value having the time and space to slow down and appreciate what we have, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.

It’s important to remember to have spaces for our eyes to rest. A calmer palette is soothing, and has a very real effect on our mood. Scientists who study the psychology of color tell us that blues and greens invoke serenity. Neutral tones of white and gray tend to do the same.
Rather than thinking about minimalism for minimalism’s sake, it helps to approach simplicity as a mindset, or a way of living. In design, that translates to a practice of making sure each piece in the home has a place, and a purpose. (Purpose can be practical, but also emotional – artwork that connects us to nature or simply brings us joy, for example.) In thinking about what we need we can open up to alternate possibilities, such as using pieces that can perform multiple functions or thinking about storage in a way we hadn’t before.

Living simply starts with our purchase decision. By being intentional about what we purchase, and what we keep close to us, we make sure that everything we surround ourselves with not only functions, but has meaning. Then we can focus on those things that elevate our lives and bring us joy.

Here are a few tips from our Hillside Retreat in Orinda, where we embraced a less-is-more mindset for clients who were moving through a transitional time and had embraced the power of simplicity.

If you want to read more about how to incorporate minimalism ideas into each area of your home, check out Organized Living by Shira Gill.

A Few of My Favorite Things for Minimalist Interiors

There are so many things you can do to start to simplify your home. Unify your gallery wall, which will make it feel like a cohesive whole. Bring in texture in place of pattern or color. Bring the outdoors in through cuttings with simple, organic shapes. Clear your countertops, and build charging stations into drawers. Embrace a neutral color palette, accented with blues and greens. Think about building in storage – in a closet, for example, instead of a dresser. Take a good look around you, and let go of the things that no longer speak to you or bring you joy.

Here are a few of my favorite accents for minimalist interiors.

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