How to Incorporate Minimalism into a  Home Renovation 

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Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

As we grow, our homes grow with us, and it can be challenging to keep up with home improvements due to the natural hustle and bustle of life. Over time, rooms can become cluttered, outdated, and dingy due to daily wear and tear. So, if you’ve found yourself in need of an overhaul in your home, look no further. Utilizing minimalism as a design style can provide you with added benefits of peace of mind, as well as a clutter-free, and inviting space. Here are some simple ways to incorporate minimalism into your next renovation that will leave your home feeling more relaxed and cozy. 

Clean Up the Kitchen

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Photo by Rustic Vegan on Unsplash

Seeing as the kitchen is the most utilized room in a home, it becomes easily susceptible to clutter and disorganization. It’s common to find a junk drawer, duplicate cookware items, and an overloaded pantry in many kitchens. If any of those sound familiar to you, it probably means that your kitchen isn’t as functional as it could be for you and your family. Thankfully, a minor and minimalistic kitchen remodel can do the trick. 

$$$: Reorganize Your Storage

If you find that your storage space just isn’t cutting it, you can incorporate new cabinetry in your kitchen to not only give it a face lift but make it functional to fulfill your minimalist design. Installing new cabinets in a kitchen can cost about $2,000 to $8,000 on average, but can vary based on the size of your space and the material you choose. Plus, you can customize cabinets to maximize storage by including a lazy-susan or double pull-out shelving. New cabinets will provide you with the opportunity to have clutter-free counter tops and more room to organize your belongings.

$$: Paint the Walls

When completing a remodel, color can make a significant difference in a living space. Neutrals—such as taupe, beige, and camel—can be used as accent colors to minimize any bulky furniture pieces like large tables or islands. You can also mix in black, white, or wood finishes to tie the space together and complete the simple and spacious design. Don’t underestimate the power a fresh coat of paint can have on the illusion of space—especially if you’re trying to keep it simple.

$: Declutter Excess Items

Once you’ve installed your new storage space and/or redecorated in your kitchen, take the time to purge any additional kitchen tools, expired items, or basic items you may have forgotten about. Be sure to give each piece you keep a designated area to prevent future disorganization. If you find yourself with duplicate items that are unused and in good condition, consider donating them to prevent waste. 

Keep in mind, though, that if you aren’t able to easily replace duplicate items, it’s okay to hold onto them in storage. If they’re contributing to a clutter problem in the kitchen, set them aside in a designated storage area in the event something breaks and needs a replacement.

Revamp the Living Room

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Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

Your living room should be a cozy space where you can kick back and relax. But when items start to accumulate on the tables and entertainment center, it can be easy to feel uneasy since clutter can leave us feeling stressed and anxious. So once you’ve taken the time to purge the room and reorganize the essentials, simple renovations can refresh your living room into a minimalist hideaway.

$$$: Build New Storage

Consider installing built-ins to give your decor pieces a place to shine. This can be a fun DIY project for you and your favorite handyman to tackle together and will be a great way to utilize all the square footage your room has to offer. Built-ins will help with limiting the amount of space for knick-knacks and will prevent you from over decorating or creating chaos in your area.

$$-$$$: Swap Furniture

Furniture can also make or break the look and feel of your living room. Keep in mind that minimalism focuses on quality over quantity; you don’t have to add more items to create depth in a room. Instead, try incorporating functional pieces such as a sectional couch matched with smaller accent tables, and accent with natural textiles. 

For cost savings and reduced environmental footprint, shop local resale shops like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore to find furniture at a much more affordable price. My living room is furnished with secondhand items and it’s just as comfy and cozy as something bought new.

$$: Revamp Floors

Another great way to add to your open-feel is to install new flooring. Light-colored wood or large tiles are perfect options to add to your minimalist style. These options will create the look and feel of a bigger room and can be accented with a colorful area rug. Be sure when choosing a rug, to assess the size options, as you want to be sure to show off as much of your flooring as possible. The larger the rug, the smaller the room will feel. 

Spruce Up the Bathroom

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Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

The bathroom is another room in the home that can quickly become cluttered and disorganized, seeing as it’s usually our go-to room while getting ready each day. If you have the means to do so, replacing your bathroom vanity can provide you with more storage, as well as free-up any counter space that’s been taken over by brushes, cosmetics, etc. 

$$-$$$: Replace Your Vanity & Storage

Design options are endless, so assess your bathroom to help you choose a bathroom vanity that suits all your needs. Should you decide to install a larger vanity that offers more counter space, be sure only to keep out what is necessary. 

If you feel that you need more storage than what your vanity provides, opt for sleek bathroom cabinets to store all of your toiletries. To take your bathroom design to the next level, look into mirrors that provide additional storage and lighting to make your room as functional as possible.

$: New Fixtures

During your remodel, you can also consider updating the fixtures throughout your bathroom. Replacing your faucet, showerhead, and light fixtures with modern black pieces will tie the room together for a clean design. Fixtures can be found at a bargain at your local DIY store or Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

$: Declutter the Vanity

If you can’t afford a remodel or you’re in a rental space where you can’t make big changes to the space, take some time to re-organize and declutter the space. Be intentional with the items that you plan to keep on the counter top. If you find yourself knocking things over and getting frustrated, you’ll enjoy the peace from a less cluttered counter. But if you’re someone who needs to have all their stuff at arm’s reach, find a way to make it work for you within the existing space. Minimalism is personal.

Ultimately, the key to incorporating minimalism into any home improvement project is to make meaningful renovations by being mindful of your needs. Through the use of functional furniture and decor, as well as carefully selected design styles, you will be sure to have a finished remodel that the minimalist in you will love.

 

How Your Surrounding Space Can Help Improve Your Mental Health

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Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

Whenever there’s an opportunity to make yourself feel better, seize it! The world is a hectic place, but your life doesn’t have to be.

Therapy isn’t the only way to improve mental health. There are some things you can do on your own to make yourself feel better – the space around you plays a big role in that. 

Do you know that feeling after cleaning up the house or decluttering your desk? That’s exactly what we mean by making yourself feel better. That feeling of motivation and positivity proves to what extent our surrounding space impacts our mental health. 

Here are some tips that can inspire you to improve your well-being and make meaningful changes to your space (and hopefully your inner and outer peace). 

Declutter regularly

“When my house is not in order, I don’t feel in order.”

Clutter can feel like your worst enemy. Picture yourself at the happiest you’ve ever been. Now imagine entering into a cluttered apartment. That feeling of disappointment that you are feeling only at the thought of clutter is proof that your surroundings play an enormous role in your life. The good news is that it doesn’t take that much effort to bring a positive change and to make yourself feel better. Decluttering requires a little will power and a couple of hours of your life (weekly or monthly depending on your desired level of decluttering).

Redecorate

Everybody enjoys a change here and there. Redecorating and changing your space can have a positive impact on your mental health. Those changes don’t have to be immense. Even the slightest update in your living room can put a smile on your face.

Why don’t you consider adding more plants to your space? You probably already know how healthy they are for their air-purifying elements, but they have some healing powers too. Plants will create a more natural atmosphere that will be more pleasant to be in.

(Caitlin’s note: I recommend Wild Interiors and Just Add Ice for indoor plants!)

Apart from adding green to your surroundings, you can bring more colors to your life by painting the walls. Colors can influence moods, so you should choose them carefully. For example, the blue color is known for its calming and soothing power, while yellow can boost your energy and put you in a better mood. 

Rearrange the furniture

While redecorating might require some time and money investment, rearranging the furniture definitely takes less effort but has a big role in elevating your mood.

My mum used to do this a lot when I was a kid, especially when she was feeling blue. A different living room set-up would always brighten up the house. Since my childhood, this was my go-to method for making myself feel happier.

Eventually, which furniture set-up works the best for you and your family depends on, well, you and your family. Try more options until you settle for the one that fits you the most and supports your daily activities in the most productive way.

Spruce up your workplace

“We are defined by where we spend our time.”

For most of us, our workplace is where we spend the majority of our time. There’s no denying that our job and office highly impact our mental health. So how do we turn this to our advantage? 

1) Add more plants

Plants are a must-have for every office space for health reasons and productivity. Even if you’re not working from home, but in a shared office space, there’s no way your colleagues or managers will object to having plants in the office. 

2) Clean and organize your desk 

Your desk needs to be taken care of regularly. Try to tidy up your office desk as soon as you are done for the day. Avoid keeping unnecessary documents or paper on it, that’s what file cabinets are for. Your desk should be fully optimized and free of clutter. Office tools like binders can also be very practical and can help you keep your space organized.

3) Let there be light and air

Good lighting and fresh air are crucial for every workspace. Nothing like those sun rays to make you feel productive and alive! 

Bonus tip: Leave the window open while you are on your lunch break. There is less chance that you will feel sleepy after eating if your office is well-aired. High temperatures can also cause you to feel sleepy, hence not productive, which is another reason to let air circulate.

4) Get a pet

A pet-friendly atmosphere will lift the mood of any workplace. If you are working from home, why don’t you consider getting a pet? If you are managing a workplace, definitely consider getting a pet for your employees. Not only that you will have a beautiful distraction from work, but you will also give and receive so much love, which will eventually make your work blossom.

5) Get inspired

Different people get inspired by different things. Your office space should reflect your personality, your desires, and your goals. You’ve surely noticed how some parents put framed photos of their children on their desks. It is what keeps them going, what makes them feel good and productive. It can be anything, from photos of your close ones to vision boards, places you’d like to visit, anything. What makes you good at your job? What’s your goal? Feel free to frame it and put it in a visible place so that you can get daily reminders of your path.

6) Add some colors

You will hear quite often that employees complain about the lack of color in their workplace. If you are one of them, share this constructive feedback with your managers so that they can consider adding some colors to your office. 

If you are lucky enough to be working from home, you should definitely do some research on colors that would fit you the best – not only can the right colors do wonders for your productivity, they can also improve your well-being and lift your mood. No need to paint your home office walls if that’s not your cup of tea; there are other ways to add color – rugs, paintings, photos, ornaments, etc.

The most important advice I’ve ever received was to always listen to myself. You should do the same. If it makes you feel bad, get rid of it. Experiment with your home, office space, walls, and furniture as much as you want until you get it right. Create a space where you will feel peaceful and happy – what more could a person ask for?

About the author

tess

 

Tess Cain loves being organized. If she is not working at office.eco, then she’s dedicating her time to staying clean, clutter-free and organized. She also likes the outdoors, working out and volunteering.

Furniture limits

I have a little buyer’s remorse over the purchase of two end tables at a yard sale over the past weekend.  However, I have talked myself around to them for a few reasons:

  1. They are more functional for my needs as a bedside table than the storage ottomans I had been using, which were not totally flat and did not have adequate space for a book, my glasses, and my phone/charger without precarious balancing acts
  2. They were only $10 for the pair, a relatively painless amount of money
  3. Since I am so unattached, I can easily re-sell or donate when I move again, if I so desire

So now I have end tables.  I’ll continue using the storage ottomans to store things (like fuzzy winter socks!), or if I find another way to store my fuzzy winter socks, I’ll give the ottomans back to my mother or my sister for college.

In addition to end tables, I have procured a desk.  I didn’t initially want one, because I was confident in my ability to handle any and all computer tasks at my coffee table, but I caved and decided to get an actual work surface for tax deduction purposes.  I can claim a home office (for my freelance writing income) if I have a designated work space for my “home business.”

My new rule for furniture (besides my couch and my bed) is this: If I can’t get it up the stairs and into my flat by myself, I’m not buying it.  With this limit in mind, I re-purposed an end table with a drawer as my desk and then realized I would need a chair. Rats! Another piece of furniture.

I have to take furniture into account as I plan for my fantasy-self-future, where everything I own fits into my car.  I find myself looking at desk chairs and thinking, “There’s no way that would fit in my car and leave any room for other things,” so I rule it out.  I am currently coveting the Ikea Jules swivel chair, in white.  It’s small but functional, and would probably fit in my car with plenty of room for other things.  I’m also considering folding chairs, to save even more space.  When I have made a final decision about how to outfit my new minimalist workspace, another post with photos will surely follow, with my own personal tips and tricks for making the most of what I have.

How do you limit yourself when it comes to furniture?  What’s in your minimalist office?

Minimal furniture

With no furniture, I had to decide what to do about seating in the living room.  A couple of chairs seemed ideal for portability (both in the moving process and around the room!) but I decided on a couch for snuggle potential and to give my sister a place to sleep when she visits.

So I wound up finding a secondhand couch for $40 at the Salvation Army store, and I scrubbed and vacuumed it, and I’m going to cover it with a white or off-white (or yellow, I haven’t decided) sheet because slipcovers are prohibitively expensive – more expensive than the couch!

My mom mentioned finding a chair or two for the living room as well, and I told her a couch was plenty.  She insisted that it would be nearly impossible to have a conversation between three people with only a couch.  I told her it was my apartment, not other people’s apartment to have conversations in, and they could deal with my couch.

I plan to use a trunk for storage and as a coffee table, and I will have my painting easel accessible from the couch.  I can’t see any reason to over-stuff my small place with furniture for other people.  I may add furniture as I continue living there if my daily routine shows me a need for it, but I am starting over clean and fresh and I refuse to waste money on things for the sole purpose of “just in case.”