Are you a successful minimalist?

typical interior
via Medium

We go on about minimalism, living with less, Marie Kondo, etc. But on Medium, a certain Gutbloom complains about architectural photography in magazines like Dwell, where everything is so neat and there is nothing out of place. I admit that my own home has never again looked like it did in the professional photos taken after my renovation. He writes:

Sometimes the Boss picks up an issue of Dwell magazine for “ideas”. I don’t know what ideas you can get from reading Dwell, other than the idea that your life would look a lot better if you lived in a Scandinavian factory. I love the magazine. It has a compelling aesthetic, but I have to remind myself that not only is the world depicted in Dwell not my life… it could never be my life.

So he picked what he calls a "Dwell" photo, but it could have been just about any architectural magazine or even TreeHugger, and photoshops it to show what it might be like if he lived there.

And tried to show how I would screw up a Dwell house. If someone handed me a Dwell house for free, it wouldn’t look like the magazine within three weeks. My Photoshop skills are weak, so bear with me:

after photoMedium/ After/via

In the "after" photo, he has the big screen TV, dishes in the sink, pots on the stove.

I am definitely in the second camp, I failed at KonMarrying my home, there is always stuff everywhere, and not much of this stuff gives me joy. But I know other people where any time you show up, even totally unannounced, and it is all perfect and neat and tidy and minimal. I aspire to minimalism, even to the point that in our renovation I got rid of most of the storage so that we would not even have a place for stuff, but it is still all there. I know that the greenest way to live is to have less stuff, better stuff, and just enough room to house it all. But I fail. What about you?

Which are you? The Before or After? (UPDATE: added a third choice)

UPDATE 2: Coincidentally a remarkable article attacking the whole idea is in the New York Times under the title The Oppressive Gospel of ‘Minimalism’

The fetishized austerity and performative asceticism of minimalism is a kind of ongoing cultural sickness. We misinterpret material renunciation, austere aesthetics and blank, emptied spaces as symbols of capitalist absolution, when these trends really just provide us with further ways to serve our impulse to consume more, not less.


Tags: Less Is More | survey

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