What’s the One Thing Every Home Needs? White Space

The following  guest post is from  Brooke of Slow Your Home:

white space
source: Helga Weber

As far as minimalism goes, I would consider myself on the fringes. One who, like Joshua Becker, embraces the idea of rational minimalism.One who loves the simplicity of living in an uncluttered home and the peace that brings.

At the same time I want a home that is warm, inviting, personal. And, to me, that means owning items that are “unnecessary”.  Like home décor – the odd vase, a picture frame or 14 candles, artwork.

None of these things are strictly necessary – they are decoration, mementos, embellishments.

Does this mean I am living less mindfully than others? Am I doing a bad job at living by intention? Am I a materialistic jerk?

I don’t think so.

But there is one idea I would credit for keeping me in check. It helps maintain a clean, clutter-free home (which is altogether different to tidy – I do have a three year-old and a one year-old, after all) that is still full of history, style and personality:

White Space

(Just to be clear, white space is more about emptiness than colour. White space does not, in fact, have to be white.)

You probably already understand the benefits of a home that has ample white space. It is airy, light and feels spacious – even if only the tiniest of apartments.

White space is the stage. The people and possessions you choose to surround yourself with are the players, the back-story, the show.

And the more white space you are surrounded by in your home, the more you can truly appreciate the things you do own. Either for their usefulness or their beauty.

Before you can create a beautiful, funny, meaningful performance, you need to set the stage. Or, in this case, strip it back to the bare essentials.

Remove the Unnecessary

Choose one area in your home to create more white space, and remove all unnecessary items:

  • Empty the mantel
  • Remove all art from a wall
  • Clear a shelf of all its contents
  • Take the myriad photo frames off the hall stand

Start with a Clean Slate

Clean the now empty space thoroughly and take one moment to recognize how beautiful it is. It’s completely without adornment and it’s up to you what history or beauty to highlight.

One Thing – Beauty, Meaning, Usefulness

Replace all the items you have removed with one thing. Just one thing.

One beautiful thing. One meaningful thing. One useful thing.

A piece of history, a reminder of happy times, a thing of beauty or love. It’s up to you:

  • A vase of flowers on a bare dining table or windowsill
  • A homemade garland over the bed
  • A single, bold piece of art on the living room wall
  • A beautiful lamp next to the lounge
  • A framed photo on the bedside table
  • A houseplant on the hall stand

Doing this means you celebrate the beauty of that one thing every time you pass it. It means you are intentionally creating a home of personality, history and style – a home like no other. And that’s worth highlighting – with lots of white space.

Does your home have white space? Too much? Not enough? Let us know your tips for creating white space in the comments below.

Brooke McAlary is an aspiring minimalist, blissful gardener, passionate writer and inappropriate laugher. She is also a happy wife, busy mum, slightly weird Australian and creator of the insanely helpful Slow Home BootCamp. She blogs at Slow Your Home and is on a mission to help you find the simple life you want. You can find her hanging out on Facebook and Twitter multiple times a day.
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