Thoughts on Minimalism and the Point of Home Decorating

An old friend of mine recently* posted this quote on his Facebook page:

“The best lives are often well-edited, carefully curated lives.” – The Minimalists

My immediate response was, “This sounds like the mantra of a control freak.”┬áBeing a bit of a control freak myself, I feel like I can say this with confidence. The quote immediately conjured images of someone wrestling with the idea of what a particular throw pillow or end table says about them. Inevitably this would lead to someone whittling down their book collection to only the titles that make them look witty, smart, and hyper-intelligent. No mysteries or chick lit here! Is that a scrap of junk mail that didn’t make it directly into the recycling bin? Burn it!

Ugh. Doesn’t that sounds exhausting? Even maddening? There’s a reason why the apartment from American Psycho looks like this:

Obsessive minimalism is, to me, not that different from hoarding. Your life is all about stuff–accumulating it or getting rid of it. Either way, when you let stuff take over your life to that degree, it seems like a symptom of something bigger. Continue reading

Green Design = Cheap Design

I haven’t been a good blogger lately. I am completely and utterly preoccupied. This house buying thing has completely taken over my brain. More accurately, decorating the house has taken over my brain…even though I’ve got another month before I can even move in. Part of the problem is that I’ve decided to use as much secondhand stuff as possible.

I’m doing this partly for budgetary reasons. When you’re going from a tiny apartment to a grown-up house, there are a lot of things to buy. When you’ve just ponied up a giant chunk of change for a down payment and closing costs, it’s hard to justify spending thousands more on new dining furniture or a guest bedroom set. So, it makes sense to put in the man hours to track down good deals on good used furniture. But I’ve also got green motivations. Continue reading