Last night when I got home, my dad shared with me a book he picked up from the library called The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection by Louisa Thomsen Brits. My first impression was that this was my kind of book. It seemed like a light read, so I read the introduction and flipped through the photos before I went to bed.
Doing this, I finally realized what I find so attractive about minimalist spaces and associated photography. The photos in this book highlighted the way we engage with objects. Tables, chairs, and books become the table, the chair, and the book. We use these objects each day, but in minimalist photos these objects have a greater presence. There are no distractions. Without clutter, these objects have space to breathe, and this gives the viewer permission to do so as well.
This is also a strategy you will see when people stage houses, or create mock-rooms such as at Ikea. These spaces are curated to help customers imagine living in the room, and emphasis is placed on individual objects so that you may be inclined to buy them.
Being intentional about what I own is one way I promote mindfulness in my life. Having fewer possessions, just the ones I like most, has allowed me to care for and appreciate my objects more.
By reducing the number of things I own, my space takes on the appearance of a staged room. This sounds impersonal, but it effectively highlights some of my favorite possessions, which gives me opportunity to appreciate them.
The openness of minimalist decor – photos, or my own space if I have tidied up – rejuvenates me. The air in these spaces seems fresher. With fewer objects, I notice the textures and colors of my possessions. Sitting in these spaces I feel more creative. Looking at photos of minimalist decor, I feel calmer.
Staged rooms are attractive because they imply new beginnings. When you step inside one there is nothing to clean, nothing to tidy. All your attention is focused on the task at hand. By integrating some of these concepts into my own space, when I am on my game, I am able to immediately immerse myself in the present moment.