My loft is almost complete finally. Found the perfect table for behind my sofa to serve as my dining table and working table. It’s a beautiful solid wood table thats about 20″ x 72″ and I’m sure you can all guess where I found it for the bargain price of $80… Craigslist! I just wanted to show my recent additions to the space including the table, my new tv stand, and my vintage chair. My friends have convinced me that it would be okay to not reupholster the chair quite yet so the awesomely ugly yellow chair will just chill in the corner. My next project is building a coffee table and bedframe using wood pallets and refinishing my mom’s old mirror for my dresser. Now, as I said I am not an extreme minimalist, which is obvious by looking at my loft. If I was, it’d be empty besides a bed and table I’m sure. But this is my idea of minimalism and it guides the direction I have taken with my home… Minimalism seeks to expose the essence, essentials or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts. In terms of design, that means that one strips everything down to its essential quality and achieves simplicity. Every single thing you see in my space has a purpose and speaks to who I am as a person and a designer.
Small space. The number one thing you can do as a minimalist, is limit your footprint. My loft is 513 SF and I find that to be about as small as I would go with three pets. But that’s tiny in comparison to what most people expect to live in, especially in Texas. To me, it feels huge coming from a cramped one bedroom 600 SF apartment due to all the walls. This space is wide open and has so many possibilities.
Natural elements. When I walked into this very apartment on a tour I knew it was for me based on the foundation it has to build off of. An important aspect of minimalism is less clutter, less stuff lining the walls, less everything. People’s complaints about minimalist design is the starkness and impersonal feeling. This loft exudes character. I don’t need to through paint on the wall or art everywhere or use neat little accent vases and clutter. The brick wall, the real wood flooring, the wood rafters and beams, the exposed HVAC system, the warehouse windows… all of it is beautifully simple design that makes the space so interesting, I don’t need to detract from it or add to it in anyway.
Essential pieces. I need a space that feels like home. That is one reason extreme minimalism doesn’t appeal to me. I need a space that I can be comfortable in and call my own, not just a space to sleep in for 8 hours a day. Hence why I am all for furniture, it’s just a matter of how much you need and why it’s there.
Bed – sleep time.
Sofa – lazy time and hang out time.
Yellow vintage accent chair – because every designer should have a quirky piece that is oddly loveable and makes the space feel more personal.
Table behind sofa – dining table, work table for drafting and rendering, etc.
Desk – iMac. I did consider moving it to my new table and getting rid of the desk, but it worries me to have my computer out in the middle with my crazy cats running around… plus the desk completes my cat run up to the loft so I’d have to have something here anyway, and that just means spending more money so desk stays.
Dresser – being a loft, it has a tiny closet, the dresser is a functional accent piece that serves as storage and is a beautiful, unique piece for my entry area. It, along with curtains, conceal my bed from the entry.
Billy bookcase – pantry and storage. My kitchen has like 2 cabinets and one drawer. No lie.
TV stand – well obviously I need something to put my TV on… so I decided to find a piece that is different and a do it yourself project. Love it.
Minimizing the clutter maximizes the design. One thing I think that makes my loft minimalist is the lack of clutter. I have some books that are important to me and/or my profession and that’s bout it. If you take away all the junk and little things that fill your home, you can have a design that takes little effort to clean, arrange, and you can spend money and time on finding pieces that truly fill their purpose and make you happy to have them in your home verses buying quick fix pieces to conceal or display all your clutter. Less maintenance and less distraction from your space.
I love my loft and feel like it has turned out better than I ever imagined. Don’t let someone else’s idea of minimalism define your’s… figure out what works best for you and what makes you content with your space.