Saturday, January 30, 2016

Our Minimalist Home

I've been wanting, for awhile, to share some pictures of our home. We love being here, and we enjoy showing it off. Here are pictures and brief explanations of our space and how we use it.

Living Room

We do most of our hosting on the main floor, which contains our living room and kitchen, as well as a half-bath off the kitchen. Because our living room doesn't have a light built in, we have to use several lamps so it isn't so dim we get sleepy at night (especially on long winter days, when it starts getting dark around 4 PM). We have a clock on the wall and some pictures near the entryway.

One shelf has reference and literature books. The other only holds items our daughter plays with. There are six or seven toys, a few items which "nest", her Simba, and a box of blocks.

Two couches and a love seat might seem like too much, but we frequently need all of them, and the rug is mostly to protect the cream carpet from my daughter :). The mirror and the clock were gifts from my mother.

The closet hangs whatever coats or jackets we're currently using, our boots during the winter, the books we're currently reading (since this is also a primary place for family time) and a few writing utensils. I keep our cell phone in there, as well, unless we're currently using it.

The piano is used multiple times every day, as is the sound system. The ottoman holds a few smaller items. It would be easy to get rid of it, but we like how it feels in the room, and it serves as a place for people to sit while they remove or put on shoes.


The kitchen is the space I am in for the majority of the day. I keep the counters clear except for a miniature hosta. I keep my knives on the wall not only because I use them frequently but because they stay in good shape longer that way. I keep my dish-cleaning items in the cupboard below the sink. As you can see, we were about to have tea when this picture was taken :). The artwork was a gift from my husband.

We keep our table in the corner unless we have company; it makes the room feel much bigger. We like to have a candle burning, and there tends to be one on the table all the time. I keep my calendar out because I actually use it. I don't like having a calendar on my laptop or phone, as I try to avoid needing screens for my daily tasks as much as possible. The window mirror hanging on the wall was made by my grandfather.

Our cupboards hold what we use all the time. It might be more than some people use, but I spend a lot more time in my kitchen than a lot of people do. We have guest dishes, but we store them somewhere else. I mostly use carnival glass for glasses and serving dishes, as these were given to me by my godfather and mother. They're too nice to not use and incredibly hard to break.

My pantry is label free. It feels amazing every time I open it. I will never go back.

Master Bedroom

Our bedroom is probably the most minimal room, because the only things we do in there involve either the bed or the closet. The quilt chest was also made by my grandfather. We have an alarm clock and a picture on top of that and a large mirror on the wall. The opposite wall is empty, so I didn't take a picture. On the other side of the bed is a shamrock plant my mother-in-law gave me.

Our closet (yes, ours!). We share half of the closet in our bedroom. The other half holds things we wear infrequently but need to have around (like swimming and camping clothes). This is what I wear all year long; I don't have seasonal clothes stored anywhere. My husband was incredibly reluctant to go minimal with clothing, but he eventually decided it made life easier, so he has fewer clothes than I do. He uses them differently, but ultimately he dresses with the same style and colour choices.

Entertainment Room

This is where we watch movies, do puzzles, and play with my daughter. The chest is yet another item made by my grandfather. We don't spend a heap of time here, because we only watch movies two nights a week, but it's also a hosting area. We can easily fit a table to seat twelve (we do have one, but we put it away when it isn't in use), and it's also a sleeping area for company. The multi-coloured couch is a pull-out bed, and the rust couch is my mother's choice of bed when she's visiting. The artwork was a steal we found at a thrift store in town - $15!

Here you can see two of my daughter's favourite things: a giant bean bag and her play-tent. The curtain blocks off the view of the tv and the door to the laundry room. We put it up for various reasons. The space was oddly shaped, and we didn't want the tv to be a focus object. The curtain makes it feel more like a room than a basement.

We use the tv so infrequently, we've thought about getting rid of it, but we enjoy the high quality we can't get on our laptop, and it was a gift. There are no plans to replace it when it breaks.

Laundry Room/Storage/Pantry

This room is our storage for things we use for company, wine, medicine, canned goods, cleaning supplies, tools, and anything else we don't use every day but at least frequently. The counter usually has a box on it which holds anything we're planning to donate or sell.

Not pictured is the other end of the room, which has the washer and dryer. Didn't figure you would care much about that :).

Full Bath

Just a quick look at our bathroom. Not too fancy. Pretty bare cupboards.

The dragon was a gift from my sister and is one of my favourite things. I actually have another one she gave me, which sits on top of the identical cupboard in the half-bath.

Guest Room/Sewing Room

This room serves a double purpose, as it has a bed for company and is also my sewing room. I sew nearly every day of the week, so I spend a lot of time in there. I have more books than a lot of minimalists, but I've read almost every single one multiple times and plan to either read them again or pass them on. I am not a collector, though I used to be. There's actually a second shelf on the other side of the desk (have you noticed we like symmetry?) which holds reference books we use regularly. 

There is a lemon tree growing on the bedside table (the table belonged to my great grandmother). The quilt was a wedding gift from my sister-in-law. On top of the shelf, you can see an urn. There's a second one on top of the other shelf, as it is one of a set. They were a gift from my mother. Unpictured is also a cup and saucer which belonged to three generations of women on my mother's side (not including my generation), and it is displayed alongside the other urn. There is also an antique plate, which was a gift from my godfather. 

The desk is used for writing and sewing. I do some editing work, there. The drawers are not very full. They mostly hold stationary, writing utensils, and other items that people would usually have on top of a desk. One of the bottom drawers holds toys for my daughter to play with when I'm working. 

The closet, which is closed, is still needing some work, so I didn't take a picture of the inside (it doesn't look that bad, but it's not up to the standard of everywhere else, yet). The toddler rocking chair was made by - you guessed it - my grandfather. The artwork was a gift from my parents. 

Second Bedroom

My daughters room is nearly as plain as the master bedroom. It holds her crib, a rocking chair, a little bit of artwork, and a small shelf with books on it. She gets read to every night before bed, so they get a lot of use.

The CD player is used to create white noise. Our neighbors can be loud, sometimes, so we like to cover up as much of that as we can. On the unpictured shelf is a mother-child figurine my brother brought me from Russia. 

My daughter's closet is also pretty small. I do laundry frequently enough even if she soiled her clothes every day, she would have enough to wear until her clothes were cleaned. Every item is something all three of us loves, and she really enjoys looking pretty. Obviously, we cloth diaper. If I could go back, I would have limited myself to one or two diaper colours. Oh, well.


Our linen and game closet. I keep a couple extra pillows in case someone visits and doesn't bring his or her own (who does that?!), but I don't keep extra sheets except for my dauther's crib. She's never had a problem with leaking so bad we couldn't just lay her back down, but I'd rather be safe than sorry on that front. If my own bed was in a pinch, I could use sheets off a guest bed. I wash the sheets weekly, and so far it hasn't been a problem.

That's what our home is like! It really is that clean much of the time - at least in the evenings, after my daughter goes to bed and her toys are put away. A year ago, I couldn't have kept it so tidy. That's one of the greatest blessings of minimalism to our family.

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