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Tiny houses, minimalism & more – How to craft the home for you

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Our home is our safe space, where we can just be. So it only makes sense that it makes us happy both aesthetically and practically.

The Tiny House Movement is a big trend at the moment – and it involves people giving up their houses or apartments in exchange for a mini home or portable home. 

This works really well for those who are trying to live a minimalist, sustainable or off-the-grid lifestyle, and it’s a huge money-saver when you look at the costs of rent or bond payments. The people who go for this lifestyle save a lot of money, which they use for travelling or other luxuries they might not otherwise afford. 

The Tiny House Movement works extremely well when the interior design is made up of ingenious storage solutions to make up for the lack of space. This can be in the form of beds and tables that fold away when not in use, or a tiny second storey accessed by means of a foldaway ladder. The creativity and aesthetic power of simplicity seen in the tiny house movement is inspiring and is moving this trend forward in leaps and bounds.

Plus, living with only the essentials can be exceptionally liberating!

Wanderlust 2
Photo Credit: businesstech.co.za

However…

It is not as simple as you might think. 

The amount of personal items that need to be given up for the lack of storage, and the amount of effort that goes into simply trying to make your bed in such a small space every morning, take away from the charm of the Tiny House Movement. (Not to mention the legal considerations when finding a spot for your new little home.) 

And while this is unfortunately not a lifestyle for everyone (unless you’re okay with bumping your elbows on the shower walls every day or putting in the extra work of putting everything away in a very specific place after every use), there are some amazing and creative lifestyle philosophies to take from it and apply in our own (normal-sized) homes.

Wanderlust 4
Photo Credit: businesstech.co.za

Minimalist living spaces 

Just because your home isn’t 2x2m², doesn’t mean you can’t apply a minimalist approach to your space. Minimalism is a way to live the tiny house life without the stress. 

  • Remove all clutter. You can do this by following Marie Kondo’s advice from her many books or Netflix specials, or you can simply find designated storage spaces for the items that continuously find a place on your countertops and tables. [Pro tip: Make use of vertical space by adding cupboards and storage solutions on top of things like your fridge or wardrobes for items that you don’t need often.] Using space efficiently and neatly can add to your productivity and sense of general calm in your home.
  • Neutral colours and tones around the home can add to the feeling of minimalism by not overstimulating the senses.
  • Consider the ‘one-in-one-out’ philosophy, whereby an item must leave your house before you can buy another. So for every item you want to buy for your home, think of what you no longer need and either sell or donate it.
  • Without cluttering each space (storage, storage, storage!), make the rooms in your home multifunctional wherever possible. A multipurpose room can be anything from a bedroom with a desk for work to a kitchen island that serves as a preparation space as well as a dining table. Your options are endless!
  • Use restraint when decorating. Less is more – that is literally the concept on which minimalism is based. Choose sleek and simple accessories rather that elaborate and ornate pieces. [Pro tip: Get bonus points for using décor that is functional too, such as a centrepiece bowl for a coffee table which also houses your keys.]

Foreign philosophy 

If the idea of minimalism is too extreme for you (or you just can’t give up your collection of throw pillows), try a more focused approach with the Danish philosophy known as Hygge.

Pronounced ‘hyoo-ga’, this concept cannot be translated into one simple English word. Rather, it encompasses a feeling (or many feelings) that accompanies cosy contentment and well-being that comes from enjoying the simple things in life. 

Hygge is the feeling of snuggling under a blanket with a good book and decadent hot chocolate on a rainy afternoon. Hygge is having a wholesome home-cooked meal after a week-long work trip. Hygge is having an open-hearted and mutually heartfelt conversation with a loved one. Chances are that you’ve experienced hygge without even knowing it. 

Of course, by these definitions, your first thought does not go to home décor. But the concept is most often applied in the home, because that is where we feel the most cosy and spend the most time. By decorating according to this philosophy, we are constantly reminded to enjoy the simple pleasures and live in the moment. 

Here are a few ways to use hygge in your home for hyggelig (hygge-like) experiences every day.

  • Light candles even when it’s not loadshedding.
  • If you have a fireplace, use it more often.
  • Use throw blankets and throw pillows on your bed, couches and armchairs.
  • Make use of a variety of textures throughout your living space.
  • Use ambient lighting and accent lighting in warmer shades, as opposed to big, bright white lights with a harsh glow.
  • Use calming colours – pastels, neutrals and warm shades – throughout the home.
  • Introduce plants, furniture and décor made from natural materials, such as wood, wool, bamboo and leather.
  • Change the atmosphere of your bathroom to be more warm and relaxing.

At the end of the day, decorating according to hygge can only serve as a reminder to live a more hyggelig life – but you are the one who must continuously craft this lifestyle for yourself. 

So spend more time outside or creating handmade goodies with your nearest and dearest – and less time staring at your phone. Buy only the most comfortable things, from blankets and sweatpants to quality handcrafted shoes and furniture. 

And most importantly, enjoy your home and live in the moment.

Get the finest leather boat shoes for your hyggelig or minimalist wardrobe from Sebago.