I’ve been reading a lot of books about minimalism these days and was thrilled when I received Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith as a Christmas gift last month.
This book was at the top of my “Most Wanted” list that also included The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker and Essential: Essays By The Minimalists. Yes, they all sound very similar, but cover different areas of minimalism.
I’m almost finished reading Cozy Minimalist Home and have learned so much about home design. I have so many things to say about the book, so in an attempt to unjumble the thoughts in my head I’m going to list them out for you here. Please pardon this nonsensical word vomit:
- The subtitle of Cozy Minimalist Home is “More Style, Less Stuff” which is exactly what I was looking for in changing up the look and feel of our home. Discovering what in your home you actually like and use is huge.
- I was relieved to read that I didn’t need to go out and buy more stuff or new stuff to get my home looking the way I wanted it to look and feel. Daniel and I have lived in our current apartment together for two years and up until a few months ago I thought that I had to buy new, cutesy things to fill up every nook and cranny of our home for it to feel “homey” or “cozy.” In the process of donating and selling items that I don’t use or like, I’ve found that there are many things in my home I do enjoy and need to highlight, not cover them up with more trinkets. I’m so glad I restrained myself from buying items I had my eye on because they wouldn’t fit in our new apartment anyway (Oh yeah, we’re moving to a new apartment!)
- The author of the book talks about “quieting your space” by removing everything from the room except your furniture. By doing this, it opens your eyes to what your room looks like underneath all your stuff.
- The Cozy Minimalist Home order of bringing items into your space is as follows: furniture, surfaces (end tables, coffee table, entertainment center), rugs, drapes, lighting, and finally, wall art. Since we are moving to a new apartment, we have a blank slate to work with. Having an empty space has made it much easier to follow this order. The author’s rules on wall art were interesting and eye-opening to me. I think many us, when moving into a new space, rush to hang up the wall art because we think it will make the walls look not-so-bland and empty. Myquillyn explains that when we fill the room first with our furniture, surfaces, rugs, drapes and lighting, the room is 75 percent finished. By filling the room with these things first, we put limits to where we can hang wall art, which is a good thing! If we hang wall art first, we could run into the obstacle of situating our drapes and lighting in the spaces where they fit, not where they look the best. Wall art could be likened to sprinkles on a cake. They add the finishing touch, but shouldn’t run the show or limit what you can do with your design.
- Large scale items make a bigger visual impact. This may seem like a no-brainer, but, I’m sure you (and me too!) have countless cutesy knick knacks that, although pretty on their own, when clumped together in a gallery wall or vignette, end up looking cluttering and our eyes don’t know what to focus on.
- Myquillyn writes to not be ashamed of your design style if it doesn’t have a fancy name like French Coastal Rustic Vintage or Tropical Midcentury Boho. Most of us don’t have a style that can be nailed down with a name. I think my style is an oxymoron of sorts. I like the use of bright white and neutral colors, but I also love color (as you can see in the photo of our bowls). I like antiques and old sentimental items from my grandparents, but I also like some aspects of more modern design like simple, clean lines. In reading this book, I’ve learned how I can better incorporate and showcase my style in my home. The thing is, I already have so many things I like and enjoy that I need to highlight while cozy minimalyzing my home. This book has taught me how to utilize what I already have, how to display items in a way that is more visually impactful, and how to quiet my space of all the “noise” that I had carelessly cluttered it with before.
Stay tuned for more on this topic as I dive deeper into the cozy minimalist process with our new apartment!