Sense of Home

Popularity of Marie Kondo’s Joy of tidiness, footprint reduction efforts and working remotely sparked a resurgence in minimalistic living in the last decade.

Varying generations freed themselves of life clutter and focused on conscious consumerism. Some radically reduced to live permanently on the road with one suitcase. Blogs focused on living in a van, off grid or tiny home are commonplace.

Reflections from extreme minimalists include drawbacks, with feelings of a lack of sense of place, and lack of feeling grounded. Regrets noted were giving away or selling irreplaceable items, and not having space for joyful activities and hobbies. 

Even if you aren’t living out of a backpack, extreme minimal interiors can feel impersonal, even sterile. They may lack a feeling of comfort, familiarity, and sense of home.

Though De cluttering and conscious consumerism are wonderfully positive, going to extremes can have a less than positive effect.  One blogger who gave up her extreme minimal life, missed things and activities of value. She wrote “Getting rid of stuff doesn’t reduce stress if your stress is unrelated to owning stuff.”

Downsizing healthfully can be unburdening. If it’s to an extreme where one is deprived of a sense of place, loved things or heirlooms, it can feel punishing, affecting mental & emotional health. 

The minimalist trend actually began in the 50’s and 60’s. According to Minimalism made simple 

It’s interesting the first mention is of Art. 

Art is deeply personal, and an easy way to infuse your space with individuality and warmth.

Art can be a comfort in times of transition, especially if that transition is unexpected, or stressful.

When I helped my Dad move into a nursing home last summer, I did my best to replicate his surroundings with his choices of favourite  furnishings, art, clothing, etc. 

I took reference photos so knew exactly where to place little knick knacks and pictures. I organized books on his bookshelf in the order they had been previously. 

Being surrounded by his favourite treasures, books and art helped to make the move less stressful.

Anyone can apply this concept to make a move to a new home an easier transition. Waking up to see familiar things in familiar places brings a sense of comfort. Peppering surroundings with new acquisitions can be coupled with a sense of ritual. This kind of sense of ceremony if often overlooked in how we introduce new things into our spaces. This act pairs the familiar and new for happy beginnings, and honours a sense of sanctuary. 

We are visual creatures, so art plays an important part.

If the move is one of necessity because of toxic relationships, or home, a positive action during  transition may be to collect a few new pieces of art, and place them in focal point areas. The subject matter is important as well, as Marie Kondo says, that which “sparks joy” is key.

New Water has sold ~ New Flowers, Moonlight, and Island all available for purchase, please email me at for details. Tundra shown in clients home.