Minimalism and Adapting Your Space

37 items of clothing, 8 pairs of shoes, 3 bags

‘What is the purpose of this space?’ This question rang in my mind as I discarded the entertainment equipment from my living room.

When we picture a living room, we probably see similar things. We imagine a large room with an entertainment system, surrounded by a number of comfortable seats.

While these are simple, functional objects, they reveal a lot about our shared values. First of all, the entertainment system is the focal point of the living space. This suggests that we spend a lot of time ‘consuming’ concepts and ideas in the form of entertainment. Next there is an inherent assumption about ‘togetherness’. The lounge is a meeting place, a place to share entertainment  with your loved ones.

As we gain adulthood and employment, many of us strive to recreate this image. We never question why. It’s just what we do. It’s how a living room looks. We go into our first home purchasing the objects that fit the image. And there is nothing wrong with this, if that is how you genuinely use the space. We are very lucky that we live in a world where we can afford to have a space dedicated purely to entertainment.

Ask yourself though, do the rooms in your home meet your real needs? Is there another way in which you could use the space better?

The reason I removed my giant TV and DVD player and my DVDs was because I found that most of my entertainment viewing takes place on my tiny laptop, on my lap, and all the other stuff basically just gathered dust. If I wasn’t using it, what was it doing there?

I use my dining table as a creative space and office. My art materials were already stored in the living area. It was inevitable that it would become an extension of my creative space.

I decided a better use for the focal point of my living room was as a space of inspiration. You could describe what I created as kind of an altar, though I am hesitant to use this phrase overtly because of any religious/cultural connotations it might have for people.

I placed objects of importance there. My favourite artwork. A few objects I like to look at. Some plants, some candles. All the the things in that space inspire and calm me.

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We can adapt any part of our space to suit our real needs. Forget about how a space is ‘supposed’ to be used, and fill it with the things that are useful to you.


28 thoughts on “Minimalism and Adapting Your Space

  1. This is such a great point. I had never considered the “why” of the set-up of my space. My bedroom is fairly large, and years ago I bought a small secondhand sofabed to put in there for (1) my niece to sleep in my bedroom when she stayed over, which is often, but still have her own sleeping space and (2) me to have a place to read and work when I don’t want to use the common area and disturb my roommate. When my boyfriend and I first started dating, he thought that a sofabedin a bedroom was the strangest thing. In his head, sofas belonged in living rooms. I shrugged it off, but your post has made me realize why he thought it felt so out of place. We have really ingrained pre-conceived notions of space set up and usage.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great post! We have done just that with our apartment over the last few years. We always had a dining room table, because, you’re supposed to, right? So when we moved into our current place it went into the place the previous owners decided was the “dining room” (it’s was an open plan living/dining room). But really, we don’t entertain much–a couple of times a year–and often eat in the kitchen. Why were we wasting space on this clutter-gathering piece of furniture? It really had become a holding place for mail. So, we sold the table & chairs on craigslist, and bought a gateleg table we keep closed & tuck against a wall, and turned the “dining room” into a sitting area, where my husband and I talk after coming home from work, before we start dinner. It has totally improved the flow of the room.

    Really enjoying your blog!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful! Really makes us question focal points in a room. While being a gamer removing the TV is not practical, I have removed the microwave and toaster from our kitchen and made the oven the focal of our kitchen. We create more healthful, wholesome and better tasting food and it has taught us great things are worth waiting for. No more half frozen hot pockets or rubbery fries for us. xx

    https://easybrizy.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this! When I moved into my place, I bought a dining room table & chairs because that’s what you do, I thought. Then I realized I’m never gonna have a 6-person dinner party! Now my goal is to create a more cozy, cafe-inspired feel with one big fluffy, comfy chair where I can drink my tea. Yay for getting real!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Perhaps your inspiration space is something of a tokonoma?
    Our living-room is shaped by the couch & armchairs, the bookshelves, and the two desks. We do have a screen, and we put it where we can see it, but it isn’t at all the focal point of the room. I’m not even sure what the focal point of the room is, now I come to think of it. The window? The fireplace? The coffee-table in the angle of the seating area?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A lot of what you talk about space here is expectation and how the use of space is being changed by technology. When I got rid of our TV, both my parents and my parents-in-law didn’t really know how to use the space. They are so used to having a room with a tv in it, and naturally gravitating towards the spot with the best view.

    Our living room is now set up for what we actually do: eat at the dining table, watch a laptop on the sofa, and do yoga in the middle!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I found this really interesting, in fact I have just read it all out loud to my wife. So true how we are bound by these “traditions” of how we use space.

    You have just made me think slightly differently about life so thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post. I hesitate on altering my space too much as I can’t afford the investment right now but I’m enjoying making small changes with the goal of using the space how WE want. For example, My coffee table shelves used to house my printer and a board game. Now it’s home to my yoga mats and equipment. A nice reminder of what I REALLY value 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a good point.

    I have a tiny kitchen but love to cook, especially baking cakes, so cupboards and spaces in other rooms that wouldn’t ‘traditionally’ store kitchen equipment and decorating kit have been adopted for exactly that. Though the wine rack in the bathroom just off the kitchen does raise eyebrows when guests visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You have inspired me to move my MAC to the combined dining/ living room, and place it on the dining table. It is a lot cooler to work in this room than it is in the area I originally have set out as a study. Keep up the amazing blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Totally agree. By getting rid of my TV and associated paraphernalia (and therefore removing that focus), my living room become much more open, spacious, inviting, and relaxing. Exactly what I wanted. It’s amazing how we can transform our living space, simply by rejecting the things we’re “meant” to have.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You make many valid points here. I’ve noticed that all new construction establish even where the tv should be located. My tv isn’t a large one because I like an asthetically pleasing look. I’ve just decided if my friends want to watch big event, we’ll go to the house with the huge set. My day to day life is more important. You’ve inspired me to look around and see what else I might get rid of. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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