Over the past few years I’ve been living a more minimalist and simple lifestyle. For me this makes an already busy life a lot less hectic and stressful. I never set out to be a ‘minimalist’ or to follow a particular lifestyle, it just happened. It probably began as I moved house around ten times in ten years. To save lugging all my belongings every time I just cut down on what I had. Before moving in with my husband Ben, I lived in a bedsit for three years. This is where I really had to cut down on belongings and only live with my essentials as there was no room to store anything else. Now we have a three bed house, but I still enjoy only having what we need. I’m regularly selling items we don’t need or the children have grown out of and my obsession for only having what we need has stretched to my beauty routines too. I no longer have an overflowing make up bag, but just the items I use every day. I also used to use a whole bunch of hair care products, but there really is no need. I’ve reduced my hair care regime to the bare essentials and I honestly don’t think my hair looks much different! I’m just saving a small fortune on products as well as saving time every day. Here are the essential items you need for a minimalist hair care routine:
Now, you could even go totally minimal and not have one at all, letting your hair dry naturally all the time, but if you have work to go to or important events, then you’re probably not going to want to turn up with soaking wet hair! The best thing about a hair dryer is it can double up as a straightening tool. A minimal routine is about making the most of everything you have and using items for more than their intended purpose. If something can have two uses and you don’t have to buy two separate items then that saves space, money and time. If you dry your hair in a downwards motion then you’ll straighten it at the same time. My hair is pretty straight anyway, but on the days I don’t wash it I do wake with a kink here and there, so a few minutes blast with a hair dryer and my hair is smooth and straight once again.
Unless you’re going for a pixie cut which must be the ultimate minimal hair style, then you’re going to need a bush. I recommend a detangling style brush if you have hair that easily knots. This will save on having to buy detangling sprays or shampoos. I’m sure there are so many products out there screaming at us to buy them when we don’t need to. I used to have such an extended hair routine and use so many products I thought I needed, but when you strip back to the bare essentials you’ll realise you didn’t need half of them and you won’t even miss them. A brush, however, is an essential for anyone with long enough hair. You can even get a brush which helps to shine the hair so you can do away with any shine sprays you might have been using.
Shampoo and Conditioner
I did try to go super minimal and eco-friendly by trying the no poo hair washing method. This consists of just washing hair with water only and no products at all. Unfortunately my water is hard and so it just didn’t work. I gave it a good go for three months, but had to go back to using shampoo. Conditioner definitely softens my hair and I do notice the difference. I’ll either use just shampoo or I’ll buy a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to save time and keep it simple. I recommend only using natural based hair care products as they’re better for you and the environment.
Hair bands are a must for anyone with shoulder length hair or below. As a busy parent I often need to tie my hair up out of the way to stop it falling all over my face whilst cooking and doing household chores. I’m also a regular gym goer so need it all off my face when working out. A bunch of black elastic ties is all that’s needed – they’re cheap and do the job. Again, nothing fancy or unnecessary to stick with a minimal routine.
My final minimal hair care essential are Kirby grips, just make sure you’re wearing them the right way round. I have a pack of black grips that can hold my hair to the side and out of my face when down, or can pin up loose fallen hairs when in an up-do.
These 5 items are the only hair care items I have making for a quick no-fuss haircare routine every morning. Keeping things simple means I spend less than ever before on hair care and save a ton of time each day too. It’s also much better for the environment to not be spraying so many chemicals into the air or washing them down a plughole. Take a look at your hair care routine and see if you can cut costs and get some valuable time back each day too.
There’s something to be said for kitting out your home with as many luxury items as you can get your hands on, but it’s not the only way to go. One of the increasingly popular decor options is ‘minimalism’, a movement that prioritises the ethos of ‘less is more’. Incorporating this style into your home won’t just make it look cool (though it will); it’ll also improve your mental well being and allow you to do your bit for the environment. And the best part about it? You won’t need to hire anybody else to do it for you.
I always say I'm a natural minimalist. I never knew there was such a trend as minimalism, I've just naturally lived this way for a fair number of years. It probably started when I moved no less than 10 times in 10 years! Everyone knows moving is a stress and chore, so every time I moved I reduced my belongings so I'd have less things to shift. This started me on my minimal journey. Then I lived in a bedsit for over four years. It was smaller than my living room is now. A dinky room with a double bed, rug, sofa and kitchenette in which I had to squeeze all my belongings. Living in such a small space meant I really had to be ruthless with my things and only keep what I needed. This definitely had a huge impact on my minimialism journey. Now I am obsessed with space, cleanliness and only having what I need. One visitor once commented 'where's all your stuff?' when in a previous home of mine!
Whilst I believe minimalism is a different journey for everyone and it is what you make of it, there is a trend beginning. Below, I take a look at fifteen simple DIY ideas that’ll bring your home into the minimalist age.
You’ll want to top up on paint brushes and paint because you’re going to need them. Minimalism isn’t just about having less stuff; it’s also about having a ‘look’ that is as clean and clear as simplicity itself. White walls mixed with black (or dark) furniture touches will do the trick. Of course, you can’t do everything with a tin of paint. When it comes to your kitchen, look at getting white tiles. It’s the white that does all the work, as it’ll make your home look bright and airy, a staple in minimalist homes.
One Piece, Multiple Uses
There is no limit to the human imagination, and if you don’t believe us, just take a look at some of the creative ways people are using their furniture to make sure that do more than just their original job. Remember, you won’t have too many items in your home once you’ve incorporated this design philosophy, so you’ll need to make sure that every thing does its job and then some more! There are boxes you can buy that are genuinely game-changing; depending on how you arrange them, you might have a desk, dinner table, or storage unit. When you need them to fill another purpose, just rearrange and hey presto: you have a different piece of furniture.
Creative Storage Solutions
Minimalism doesn’t mean you don’t get to own stuff. It’s just the stuff you do own needs to have value, and a continued place in your life. Still, you’ll need to get those items out the way if you’re 'going minimalist'. So what options do you have? You can’t have them all in plain view, so instead look at adding some creative storage solutions to your home. Take a look around your rooms: how much dead space is there in corners, below tables, or under the stairs? That’s where you’ll need to (neatly) store your belongings when not in use.
Bringing the Outdoors In
It doesn’t get much more straightforward than nature, so why not bring some of it into your home? Buying a few plants and dotting around them home isn’t so much a DIY job, but it will make a big difference to your home. As well as bringing with it all the benefits of having a plant in the house, you’ll also help break up the monotony of your black and white decoration. The best thing is that plants just can’t detract from the minimalist vibe of your home; get one, get ten. Your home will always look great.
In the Garden
And talking of nature: it’s not just within your four walls that you can become minimalist. Why not also take a look at your garden, too? Summer is made for sitting outside under a setting sun, and it’ll be all the sweeter if your outdoor furniture matches what’s happening inside your home. All you need is some pallet furniture & outdoor seating foam, and you’ll be able to create your own minimalist seating area. Easy to put together, beautiful to look at, fun to sit on: it’s a no-brainer.
Let there be Light
If you don’t know just how important lighting is to the overall look and feel of your home, then where have you been all this time? With minimalism, your lighting takes on even greater appearance, because it can make or break the whole aesthetic. It’s all about having bright, but not harsh lights. Make the most of floor lamps, and avoid lampshades on your overhead lighting; a soft light bulb will make it look much better.
Let Your Culture Be Your Decoration
There’s no correlation between having a minimalist home and having a boring home. Do not make the mistake of believing that you need to leave anything fun at the door! However, the type of things you have in your home will be influenced by your decor choice. A well-stocked bookshelf could be all the entertainment you need, while a painting that hangs in an otherwise bare room will always get attention.
Essential Kitchen Items
Take a wander into the average home, walk into their kitchen, and open a random drawer. What do you see? It’s usually a scene of chaos, with an odd and extensive assortment of kitchen items throw around with no order in mind. This will not be the case in your house. Instead, buy only the essential kitchen items, and then organise them well. There’s a lot of creative storage options you can find online, so take a look and begin your project.
OK, it’s time to make some tough decisions, because you’re going to need to get rid of a lot of the junk you’ve accumulated over the years. Minimalism is about only having the items that add value to your life, and for most people, that’s only a few key items. Everything else must go! As a hard and fast rule, you should donate anything that you haven’t used in the past year (or sixi f you’re feeling extra committed).
The Big Stuff
Of course, you won’t be able to get rid of everything. Some things will have value, sentimental or financial, and you won’t want to take them to a charity shop. There’s an easy solution: put in storage. That way you can keep your home minimalist without having to part with something you value.
Wires, Wires, Wires
You can’t have a simple home if there are wires all over the place. Aside from detracting from the overall beauty of your home because there’s nowhere for them to hide, you need to remember that technology isn’t always good for you; the sheer presence can disrupt your mind, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve! For your tech, go wireless. A laptop and speaker is all you need anyway.
Quality over Quantity
Moving forward, when it comes to buying items for your home (or anything else), you should keep in the back of your mind that it’s better to buy one quality item over five average items. A high-end product will naturally cost you more, but it’ll look better, and will last much longer. Your home doesn’t have to look cheap; by buying a great item, you’ll just be outlying the money you would end up spending on replacing the average goods over the years anyway.
Mixing Rustic with Contemporary
It’s not always easy trying to achieve the minimalist look. But there is one handy rule you can keep in the back of your mind as you’re creating your look: that mixing rustic with contemporary will always result in a good look. That means having exposed, untreated woods and trendy electrical items mixed together to create a vibrant living space.
Every home needs to have accessories, and yours won’t be any different. When it comes to buying your pillows, throws, and other odd sorts that every comfortable home needs, opt for items with tonal similarities. It’ll create a cohesive, uniformed look. However, you should also take steps to mix up your tones, too, by adding a splash of colour here and there. A touch of gold, for instance, will help focus the eyes and bring the room together.
The last task is ongoing. Its aim is to keep the minimalist vibe of your home here for the long term, and it goes like this: when you buy a new item, you have to get rid of something else you own. This might sound strict, but it’s the only way to ensure that your home doesn’t become cluttered!
There are a lot of advantages to having a minimalist home. You’ll be happier, less stressed, and - perhaps best of all - your home will look amazing. It’s the cutting edge of home decor, so take the tips we’ve outlined above and begin the process of simplifying your house - and your life. You won’t regret it, especially when you have a house that you love to spend time in.
To stay at the very top of the world of fashion, you need to be smart with your fashion choices. You need to go the extra mile in both deciding what clothes you want to wear, where you want to get your clothes from and how you want to wear them. You have to do more than just pick out a pretty top every now and again. You have to do more than wear the same old clothes day in, day out. To be a fashion icon, you have to be different and you have to be smarter with your fashion choices.
I’m definitely not a fashion icon! Especially since becoming a mum, I have less money to spend on clothes for myself and it’s no longer a priority. I’d rather spend my money on something else than the latest trends. Luckily as my views on clothes are changing, the industries trends seem to be changing and going the same way too.
Here are some tips to be smart when it comes to fashion:
Go natural with your fashions choices now and your future self will thank you for it
Thankfully, more and more elements of our world are going in a natural and eco-friendly direction. More electric cars are being made each year, and will soon be the only type of car made at all. More people are turning to solar panels when it comes to providing their home with electricity. And more and more fashion brands are choosing greener fabrics like linen, hemp and even bamboo when it comes to creating their clothes. And, because the fashion industry is moving in this way, why don’t you get a head start with it and start buying clothes made in this natural type of way, today? By doing so not only will you be seen to have had your finger on the pulse of fashion for quite some time, but you will also be doing your bit in contributing to the cutting down of the deadly toxins and emissions that are given off by clothes that are causing pollution.
Buy with future fashion seasons and trends in mind… again, your future self will thank you
By buying your clothes with next year and future fashion seasons in mind, you stand yourself in good stead to save on a heap of money. Why? Because clothes prices plummet when the clothes are deemed to be out of fashion; an example of this can be found in the ending of summer bringing about a crash in the prices of summer clothes. But, the moment you see these prices coming down should be the exact time when you do your bulk buying. That season will be coming around again next year, and when it does you won’t have to pay the extortionate prices being asked. You can get ready for spring and summer with a new sundress even when your next summer is half a year away. With a bit of timely and savvy shopping you can cut the cost of your wardrobe for your next summer holiday.
If you have to buy new clothes, buy clothes that will last you a lifetime
Another way to be smart when it comes to fashion is to reduce your intake of new clothes. However, this can be hard to do for some because of how nice buying a new piece of clothing makes them feel. But there are ways to itch that buying scratch in smart ways — one of which is to only buy clothes that will last you a lifetime. By doing so you get to experience the thrill of a new piece of clothing entering your life, and you get to wear it for the next few years to come. And this then both helps you to establish a distinctive style for yourself as well as cut down on the costs demanded of constantly buying new threads.
And there are a number of fashions brands out there that both create clothes that will last a lifetime in a practical sense, as well as in a stylistic one too. Two such brands are Doc Martens and Converse. The shoes that both of these brands produce have survived the test of time and have been worn as a sign of fashion for decades, and will likely continue to be worn as a sign of fashion for years to come.
To satisfy that itch AND be eco-friendly, start using charity shops and eBay to purchase pre-owned goods. Not only is this more environmentally friendly, but you support a charity and you get a new item of clothing to wear.
Being smart with your fashion can save you a lot of things. It can help you seem to be fashion-conscious, when in actual fact you aren’t. It can save you the money you would have otherwise spent, and possibly wasted, on new clothes. And it can save you from having to constantly buy new clothes too. So, be smart with your clothing choices!
Revamp Your Kitchen with Just a Few New Accessories
The kitchen is often considered the hub of the home. It’s one of the most used rooms in the house, so it makes sense it’s one of the first rooms homeowners consider renovating.
However, kitchen renovations aren’t cheap. So, if you don’t have a few thousand pounds to spare, you may think you don’t have the option to decorate. The good news is, it’s possible to completely revamp your kitchen with just a few new accessories. This means, even those on a tight budget can do something right now to improve the look of the room.
Below, you’ll discover some of the best accessories to invest in if you want to revamp the kitchen on a budget.
Paint or renovate cupboard doors
The cupboards often make up the bulk of the kitchen. Over time, they can become discoloured, worn down and scratched through regular use. Just a fresh coat of paint could be all that is needed to give the room an entirely new, modern look.
If the doors are too damaged or worn, you could potentially get away with just sanding them down, changing the handles and adding a coat of paint. If that isn’t an option, replacing the doors is a more affordable way to achieve a drastic new look.
Add stylish blinds
Blinds are a modern choice for UK homes and there are literally hundreds of designs to choose from. The range on offer is also pretty impressive, with different styles and materials to suit every home.
As the kitchen is one of the messiest rooms in the house, it’s worth considering investing in waterproof blinds. These are very easy to keep clean and ensure they won’t become damaged if they’re constantly splashed with water from the kitchen sink. You can pick up high-quality, stylish blinds at an affordable cost from companies like Direct Blinds.
Alter the lighting
Another accessory that’s going to make a massive difference to the look of the room is the lighting. Consider adding a dimmer switch for example. This allows you to control the ambience of the room and can also save you money in the long-term if you have the lights on dim to use less electricity.
As you can see, there are ways you can revamp your kitchen on a budget. Investing in the right accessories won’t just add style to the home; it will also potentially help you to save money.
Let me know your tips for easily updating the look of your kitchen in the comments!
7 Ways to Achieve a Modern, Minimalist Look For Your Living Room
There’s something be said for those classic traditional living room decors, but it’s hard not to fall in love with the recent spate of minimalist designs that are cropping up in homes across the UK and beyond. If I had to describe my décor style it would be natural, boho and minimal. I’m a natural minimalist. I can’t stand clutter or mess, it makes my head fuzzy. I only want what I need and use. I regularly have sort outs to see what we no longer need. It’s a bit of an obsession of mine. I’m happiest when everything is organised and in its place and there is no extra. I do like a cosy room though which is where the natural comes in. Wood, wicker and house plants keep our home from being too bare and boring.
If you’ve not heard of minimalism before, it’s essentially a movement that emphasises a ‘less is more’ approach. Rooms styled in this way are simple, mind-positive places that allow its inhabitants to escape the noise of the hectic 21st century. A calm clutter free environment creates a calm clutter free mind in my opinion.
Here are seven ways you can give your living room a minimalist makeover:
Many people have a habit of filling up living areas with anything and everything, and as such, they can very quickly have a cluttered look. This is the opposite of minimalism, so the first thing you’ll need to do is get rid of everything that doesn’t have to be there. If it doesn’t add anything to the room, then remove it: it can go in storage elsewhere in the home or if you’re fully embracing the minimalist lifestyle, carted off to a charity shop. Keeping items in the room to a minimum will be a good start to the process, but you won’t be finished yet.
Minimalism is all about keeping things simple, and you’ll want to reflect this in your colour scheme. There are two trains of thought when it comes to how you should decorate a minimalist room: you can go uber-simple and only have clean and plain colours; think cream, white, and black. However, for some people this look is too modern, and in some cases, impractical; children or a dog with muddy hands/paws can very quickly ruin the aesthetic! In that case, go for two complementary colours, like clean blue and yellow.
You won’t be packing your living room with furniture and cushions: when it comes to minimalism, you should be selecting what you need only. If one sofa and a single standalone chair are all you need to seat the members of the household, then that’s all you should have. You’re trying to achieve a sparse look. The tone of the room should be light, airy, and spacious. Because of this, this decor style lends itself to living rooms of all sizes; even the smallest rooms can be made to look bigger if there’s little inside.
Adding the Fun
Minimalism doesn’t mean boring. You use your living to unwind and have fun, and you’ll be able to do both. It’s just about unobtrusively adding the fun, ensuring that everything you add to the room has its purpose. Glass TV stands are inconspicuous, and an effective way to ensure your television doesn’t compromise the clean, uncluttered look of your living room. A bookshelf also works especially well in a minimalist living room, as long as the wall isn’t overflowing with them. Indeed, books strike to the heart of the minimalist ethos, because they serve a purpose.
Your living room will look a bit dull if you don’t have any features at all, so don’t be afraid to add a few homely touches to the room. A vase of flowers on a coffee table will brighten up any room, while a rug on the floor can help bring the room together. When it comes to decorations, it’s about quality, not quantity. It’s much better to have one work of art on the wall that really suits the room and stands out, than a dozen cluttered pictures that get lost amongst each other.
If you have a big window, then let in as much natural light as possible. Also, a few touches of wood blended in with any glass and metal, as well as a few stone accents, will help you to achieve a natural look. You’re trying to achieve a clean look in the room, and nothing is as clean nature, so try to bring the outdoors into your home.
Everything In Its Right Place
There’s a lot of stunning minimalist designs you can get ideas from, but the whole purpose is to keep things simple, so it’s more than possible to go solo and find your own way. The key is to live by the minimalist code: less is more, and everything should have a purpose. If it doesn’t, it’ll be subtracting from the simple, calming look you’re trying to achieve.