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Old Town Feature

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. – Hans Hoffman

Reducing one’s carbon footprint. Downsizing. Minimizing. Simplification. Modern life is busy and hectic and overstuffed. Many of us are finding that paring down to the bare essentials brings more contentment and joy to everyday living.

Surrounding ourselves with marvelous and beautiful things does indeed bring a sense of satisfaction, an aesthetic bliss. Fill a room with too much stuff, though, and the beauty of individual pieces begins to be clouded by the clutter. We may find ourselves frustrated with the flow of our spaces. Frustration does not lend itself to joyful living.

How, then, to simplify?

The first step is to take the time at the outset to sit down and think about how, in an ideal world, your home would work. What functions do you need your home to fulfill for you? Where do you read, for example? Where do you work? Where do you entertain?

Once the functions are determined, begin crafting the space to meet those needs. Eliminate things that do not make you truly smile! Purge things that do not bring you sufficient joy. Showcase things that do. Keep things that tell your story. Let go of things that tell other people’s.

• Purge and plunder a room, then stand back and assess. Then edit some more.
• Allow for negative space, it actually allows the beauty of the objects remaining to shine.
• Use texture to keep things feeling warm, layer when necessary.
• Consider hanging nontraditional things as art pieces. Doing so allows for more tabletop and shelf space, and draws the eye to an objet d’art that otherwise may have been overlooked.

As you work, if necessary, repeat the mantra: less is more. Remember that negative space is a positive thing. Focus on function, assess the flow. Make your vision into your reality.

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