Minimalist Design versus Minimalist Lifestyle.

Through the course of designing our new home, we have been introduced to, or have stumbled across several topics or products related to minimalism.

Mock-up examples of articles that kept appearing as Facebook/Instagram ads:

  • Modern minimalist loft design condominium at Ang Mo Kio
  • 10 stylish minimalist home designs you’ll love
  • 5 minimalist homes you’ll fall in love with


Image source: Dezeen

We have also noticed that companies are now naming their products using the keyword “minimalist”, i.e. minimalist bedside lamp or minimalist Zen sofa.

Is there something attractive or current about minimalism that has intrigued the people of this day and age? One thing for sure, is that people are constantly seeking to be happier with less – because over time, they discover that having more does not lead you to happiness (and perhaps the contrary).

However, we feel that the notion of minimalist design and a minimalist lifestyle is something we’d like to expound on and provide a viewpoint.

Minimalist Design.

Minimalism seems like such a sexy word in the eyes of Marketers. Conceivably, analytics and insights may reveal how sales would spike with just a mention of “minimalism” in its branding or product naming. Is there anything wrong with that? To us, no. Marketers are constantly seeking out ways to enhance customer touch-points (the marketer in the wife is doing a minor rabbit trail) and perhaps trying to help the customer feel cool and into “design-thinking.”

We’re sorry, but we have to burst the bubble of such a consumer, and we’d like to help them (or you) take on another perspective.

A beautiful “minimalist” lamp may look fitting for a new home that’s themed “industrial-chic,” but does it have grooves that are hard to clean? Is the bulb easily replaceable/affordable? We’ve heard of friends who have bought beautiful lights online (at amazing prices). After a couple of years, they switched those filament bulbs to normal florescent bulbs as it’s more practical. However, it may not look the way it is supposed to after that change.

Minimalist design is also popular because, hey, it’s beautiful. Black, white, gray, void empty spaces, it’s beautiful. Just look at Kinfolk, modern calligraphy, and café interiors nowadays.

As minimalism is defined: “a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.” Or is minimalism to you, “a tool that can assist you in finding freedom?”

Minimalist Lifestyle.

This is something we are constantly endeavoring towards. We may face ups and downs (mostly the wife on the down bit) but we are getting to a happier place. What is this lifestyle?

We have reduced our total amount of shoes to under 15 (we need to do a wardrobe number check soon) and all of our socks can fit into a relatively tiny plastic container.

You can read more about why we became minimalists here in detail, but the gist of this minimalist lifestyle is this: You’ll be asking yourself these questions pretty often.

Do you constantly:

  • Seek to find easier ways to do things?
  • Look to reduce your clothing?
  • Digitize your papers & documents?
  • Pay your bills on time?
  • Inspire yourself to own less?
  • Have a pretty clean/neat home?
  • Stay on top of things?

To us, minimalism as a tool, has benefitted us a lot. It has steered us to use stuff for people, and not the other way around. It is still a learning journey for us.

Can we marry Minimalist Design and Minimalist Lifestyle?

Yes you can! We hope we did that with our home at least.

A Japanese home is already known to follow a minimal theme, so for us, it’s a wonderful union of design and lifestyle.

A typical Japanese apartment in Tokyo is small, modular and each room can adapt to the year’s 4 seasons easily. It’s usually brightly-lit, filled with white & brown hues, and clean. Each family member would have a set of their own chopsticks, spoon, fork, knife and bowl. No more, no less. A bedroom transforms into a living area in a matter of minutes (futons-in-closet style) – we love it!

At the end of it all, the point is to think through at maximum (ironically), how to make your home design as practical as possible, for a more minimal and happier you.

Choose practical beauty. Choose time with family. Choose having a clean home for your health’s sake. Choose to declutter your stuff and see how it helps you declutter your mind. Choose love, over stuff. Choose people, because your relationships with people are the only things you’re able to bring to Heaven with you. 🙂

See the beginning of our journey here


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