Design

Floor Living

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Living with less creates more space, freedom and peace of mind.

With our move to Austin, we wanted to create a new lifestyle and decided to outfit our apartment in Japanese Minimalist style. We sit on the floor, eat meals from a low table, and sleep on a futon. It took some getting used to, but I’ve really started to embrace this new way of living “low to the ground.”

I was a bit skeptical at first, but after a few months without a traditional sofa, bed or dining set, I am living more easily and comfortably than I ever have. We own 4 major pieces of furniture: our bed, a floor lounger, this console desk, and a low dining table we built with prefab pieces from Lowe’s. Add in a few floor pillows and our trusty exercise ball and we have everything we need.

Here are some perks of floor living:

*  Without heavy furniture, it’s a breeze to clean. All our pieces are light and portable, making them easy for one person to lift and vacuum.

*  Everything is mobile. We can sit by the fireplace or lounge by the record player. We just pick up the pieces and put them where we want.

*  More breathing room. I can do yoga in the center of our living room. My boyfriend can do his fancy yo-yo-tricks without breaking anything. We even have space for impromptu dance parties.

*  Health benefits. Sitting on the floor is great for the body. Muscles are engaged; hips and legs get a nice stretch; not to mention the constant workout of getting up and down. No wonder the Japanese are in such great shape!

*  More money in my pocket. Whole paychecks that might have gone to dining chairs and a bed frame, can now happily be spent on lemon drop martinis and a new hybrid bike.

The greatest benefit of this minimalist approach is the peace of mind that comes with it. I no longer feel overwhelmed by my things and finally feel like I have room to breathe.

How do you create space in your home? 

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On Art

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It doesn’t have to be expensive or grand, it can just be a little something that speaks to you.

In my opinion, art shouldn’t just be “decorative” – it should mean something. It’s important to have an element that is more than just utilitarian in the home. Even the Japanese who live very simply have a small space called a tokonoma to display artwork.

Since I don’t have the budget for major art, I began to think outside the box. Above are two vintage Valentine’s Day cards I picked up from an antiques shop for $0.75 each. I love the handwritten messages on the backs and the caption “A great town for hold-ups” makes me smile. With simple frames, these custom pieces cost 10 bucks a piece.

When we moved to Austin without any furniture and only a carload of our things, hanging these two made our empty space feel like home. $20 DIY art that lasts a lifetime? Priceless.