- CLEARANCE SALE!
As a wife, mom, visual artist, and blogger residing just outside of Toronto, we’re always impressed by what she accomplishes. We’ve been staging in Lisa’s freshly renovated 1960’s bungalow for a little while now, and we’re continuously dazzled by her outside-of-the-box design choices and aesthetic. As a former archaeologist, barista, and software developer, Lisa has an eclectic background and a wealth of life experience: this really shows in her home. She expertly balances simplicity and minimalism, while sprinkling in so many details of warmth and comfort along the way. She and her husband decided to renovate their house from the inside out in 2015, and she keeps a detailed blog about the process on her website. Step inside Lisa’s world and find out her thoughts about the increasingly popular trend of minimalism, and what role it plays in ones’ home life. This incredible woman has a lot to say about minimalist living, and we’re all ears. Take it away Lisa!
Can you give us a brief description of your design aesthetic?
Keeping things simple is my goal in almost all aspects of my life, including my home. So my aesthetic leans heavily towards open, airy, and uncluttered spaces, but ones that still exude warmth. I like to consider my aesthetic a ‘cozy minimalism.’
What do you think about Minimalism in home décor, and how do you react to this in your own space?
When it comes to interior spaces, I generally love minimalism except when it feels too sterile. I simply don’t find an all-white space very comfortable. That would surprise some people who say I’m all about white, but if you look closely I make sure to add elements of warmth throughout my home. I achieve this mainly with different textures and fabrics - woven baskets, leather, wood, rugs, blankets, pillows - these are all essential to creating an inviting space. Oh, and the occasional plant! I don’t have many (black thumb here) but the ones I do have make an impact.
Where does your love for simplicity and minimalist design come from?
My Mom is a maximalist so I grew up in spaces with a lot of stuff. That style made her feel good, and so I think it’s great she embraced it, but it made me realize that style wasn’t for me. It sort-of had the opposite effect on me, and made me feel anxious!
I also spent a lot of time in the Arctic as an archaeologist, which was a transformative experience. Everything I owned I could fit in a backpack, and I felt so utterly complete and happy. Being there literally changed my life.
You have some beautifully curated and truly unique pieces! What do you value about the items you select to be a part of your home?
Thank you! I spend a lot of time choosing what comes into this home. I want to surround my family with things that we will love and cherish for a long time. Many things will end up being heirlooms that I will pass down to my son, who already has an appreciation for them. Of course, there is the occasional misstep, but I’m not afraid to purge every now and then. In fact, purging is a necessary part of maintaining a minimal home.
What do you think is the biggest barrier to decorating a home minimally? What is the greatest advantage?
There is a shift in thinking when you decide to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle, and it’s not an easy shift. It took me years to get over bad habits. Some of these would include buying an item of lesser quality because it was cheaper, but then buying two of them because two is better than one right? Or buying things just because they’re a good deal and deals are fun. When you embrace a more minimalist lifestyle you commit to having less, which means getting over those habits that make your home busy and you miserable. The good news is that when you abstain from buying a lot of things, you can save up for that one item that you really want - the expensive one that your deal-loving brain told you not to get. You end up with a home that is less cluttered, and with things you truly value.
What does minimalist design within your home help you achieve? What role does it play in your day-day life?
Without question, having a cozy minimalist home helps me feel a sense of inner peace.
Where does all the ‘stuff’ go? Do you have any advice for people who want to decorate minimally but love nick knacks?
When you have less, you appreciate more. So for anyone wanting to have less, I would spend some time editing. It’s a very “Marie Kondo” attitude but really it just makes sense to keep only what you love. Get rid of the rest. Don’t keep things just because it was a gift, or because you may need it someday. For some people, editing is a fairly easy process, but for others it can be extremely difficult. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support!
Does minimalist design ultimately mean owning less, or does it mean choosing items more carefully and with more thought?
That’s a great question! I really had to think about that one. But first and foremost, choosing minimalism means choosing to own less. That results in choosing items more carefully for sure. And choosing items more carefully can also result in a minimalist home but not always.
What advice would you give to those looking to convert their home into a minimalist haven?
I believe that our environment affects us emotionally so first I would say be sure to find out what you are - a minimalist or a maximalist or somewhere in-between. What makes you happy and energizes you?
If you’ve decided to convert to a more minimal life, start by reading up on it. Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” is probably the most popular book on how to edit your home and life. Hopefully you will have a lot of fun purging items that have little value to you. And your home will thank you for it now that you are able to display only those items that you truly love. :)
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