My bedroom is 10 feet by 10 feet (100 square feet), which is much smaller than the average American bedroom, but it is plenty large to me! I love my bedding and my headboard. The art in the room was a steal, my fella got the fox print near the window at a thrift store, and I bought the prints above our bed from a guy on 6th Avenue for one dollar a piece (they are reproductions of vintage Vanity Fair covers), my mom gave me the frames as a gift so that definitely helped! I’ve had those striped curtains for about 4 years, I bought them at Ikea and have moved them from apartment to apartment, they look great everywhere! Our bed frame is from West Elm, I bought it during a sale for 50% off!
(Look at our pretty green yard and our furry roommate!)
These beautiful nightstands were free, my dad made them and they are my favorite pieces of furniture. I hope to have them next to my bed my whole life, thanks dad! Oh, and check out that funky lamp and clock radio! The fella is an excellent thrift shopper and always finds cool stuff like that. We never buy lamps new, they are so cheap used and you can get something of much higher quality.
I read that the average size of an American master bedroom is about 250 square feet (150 square feet larger than our bedroom), I also read that newer constructions are being built with even larger bedrooms than that, due to increasing demand for bigger homes.
For a room whose main purpose is use while unconscious (read: asleep) it’s hard to imagine what exactly you need so much space for, are people doing shuttle runs across their massive master suites?
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that the fella and I live in a 475 square feet, two bedroom apartment. I have gotten very positive response from my other posts showcasing my bathroom, living room, and kitchen. The main comment that I get is that my living space doesn’t “seem” small.
I think this is because, like with so many other acts of consumption, people have a very skewed idea of what they actually need. I love my little home, in fact, I don’t feel it’s that little at all. I can honestly say that we use every room on a daily basis, and that every piece of furniture has a purpose and gets lots of use.
A lot of homes today are filled with unused space and unused stuff. There are the guest rooms that are used once a year, the home offices that only get use during tax time, and of course the silliest of all: the formal living room that no one lives in. Who are these phantom rooms for? When you have more and more rooms you have to get more and more stuff, it’s like a wasteful snowball effect.
If you’re looking to get rid of some stuff, start with a walk through of your home and a notebook. Count the number of chairs you have, can you remember the last time you or someone else actually sat in every single one of them? Imagine that you have to move tomorrow, what 10 pieces of furniture would you take with you? Those ten pieces are probably either your most used items or sentimental, or both.
Also write down your pieces of furniture (or lighting, decorative things, etc.) that get little or no use. I’m talking now about the furniture filling all of those phantom rooms. Do you have two living rooms? Two dining areas? A recreation room that hasn’t seen use in years? What about those tiny little side tables that can hardly support the weight of a book, who are those for? There are so many people without the resources to buy even basic furniture. Imagine the impact if every household donated just the duplicate and unused items from their homes! It would be massive!
Houses are meant to be lived in and used, they aren’t just staging platforms for interior decoration. Of course, decorative items have a place in the minimalist home. As you can see from all the posts of my apartment, I definitely enjoy decorating, I actually think my decorative pieces stand out more because they are thoughtfully placed.
For me it’s about finding a delicate balance between aesthetics and utility. That’s why the minimalist home is so hard to define, it can be different for different people. You may have a sewing room in your house, if you use it almost daily then it’s completely justified. I knit a few hours a week, but I usually do it in the living room while watching tv, I do not need a designated sewing room. However, I spend hours almost every day cooking fairly gourmet meals in my modest kitchen. If you only cook basic dinners once or twice a week, you probably don’t need a massive professional grade kitchen with a 6 burner stove, multiple ovens, and a sub zero freezer.
Minimalism isn’t about getting rid of stuff for the sake of getting rid of stuff. It’s about getting down to what you really use and enjoy on a regular basis. What brings you real, true joy in your home and what is just taking up space?