My 2017 Word of the Year: Minimalist

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As 2017 approaches and I sat down to decide what my word of the year would be, it was actually a pretty easy choice: minimalism.  I began the process of simplifying the way that I live three and a half years ago when we moved to the farmhouse, selling furnishings with our former home and selling, giving away and donating much more as we got ready to move.

Over the course of the last three and a half years, I've lived with about 80 percent of what we own in storage.  I've had a basic wardrobe consisting of about 25 items of clothing and four pair of shoes and boots.  We've lived a pretty spartan existence in a 300 square foot efficiency apartment with our 72 lb yellow lab.

It seems fitting that the concept of minimalism originated in France in 1905-1910 and while it was originally a political statement, it has become a design style that I have come to love and embrace.  I've always been a "plain" decorator at heart. Pattern is used carefully in my home and I prefer classic shapes and natural materials with beautiful color and texture rather than pattern. I've always believed in quality over quantity and I also believe one well chosen piece can make a room.

As the renovation of our farmhouse is drawing to a close and I am finally retrieving our belongings from storage, I find that I'm taking a new look at the items that I choose to allow back into our home.  While family heirlooms and beloved collections will return, I have already begun the process of paring down things like my ironstone collection to only those pieces that have a simple shape or will serve multiple functions. I'm repeating that process with virtually everything that we own.

As I complete rooms here at the farmhouse and begin to share them, you'll likely see a "less is more" approach to my design. However, while I do embrace minimalism, I don't want our home to feel monastic; I want carefully edited rooms, not those that feel cold or sterile.

I'm also learning to allow my belongings to have "breathing room" to better appreciate them and through that process, I have found that there's a fine art to creating spaces that lack "excess" but still exude warmth and beauty. I am making the creation of those types of spaces here at the farmhouse my mission in 2017.

I can't wait to share the completion and unveiling of the farmhouse with you in 2017 and as always, I wish you health, happiness and the love of family and friends.

Thanks so much for reading!