Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Minimalism - Vintage Interior Design

Inspired by a post over at Moon-Doggies Blog I thought I'd do a post about minimalism in interior design, and managing our collections.

I adore this bedroom! This is the look I am striving for in my living room *fingers crossed* Dark walls, white and gray, with red accents.

But I am one of those people who loves to collect all sorts of vintage treasures.

So, what to do?

Can people really live like this, in these homes? I think they design most for magazine spreads and photo shoots, but I doubt most people actually live like this.

Don't get me wrong, I love rooms filled with all sorts of vintage wonders, but for me, personally, I have to have each room look visually "restful", and for me, that means space. Open space.

For those of us who want to create space, how do we manage our collections?

Here are a few tips that work for me:

1. Decide on a hard and fast era, theme, and a set of colors for each room (or the whole house).

2. Stick to that theme and those colors. Do not deviate. (This cuts down on the random buying for me).

3. If you find you have too many things in theme and colors, select ONLY those things that "look right", and get rid of the rest. Box and store the things you just can't bare (bear?) to get rid of right away.

By sticking to a theme and a set of colors, it really makes a room look cohesive and "put together" rather than a "visual carnival".

Let me say again, I love rooms filled with all sorts of vintage treasures, but for ME I need "order" in my home.

One more tip:

I have 6 shelves in the Studio (garage) that I filled with vintage stuff. I covered the whole thing with a black drape and it not only looks wonderful, houses my "extras" collection, but it keeps the dust off too, and I can access it any time I want, if I wanted to change things up a bit.

Oops and one more!

It's better to have fewer, larger things than a lot of little things (a habit I have to break myself of).

If you have any tips, please share them!


  1. Curse you woman! It's a darn good thing my husband doesn't read my blog or anyone else's because if he saw these photos he'd say, "Well if THEY can do it, so can YOU" and that would be the end of me. I can't live without clutter and I don't even WANT to--my mom had clutter, my sisters have clutter, my father's house is insanely cluttered. If we ever get that second home, though, I have already promised to be austere.

  2. Haha Christine... I'm not sure my house will ever look like these examples!

  3. Hey, thanks for the link.
    The kitchen in that first picture is so calming.
    Thankfully the thing that has put me off having lots of little things is having to dust them! It's just a shame that smaller things tend to be a bit cheaper so it's easier to accumulate them.
    Now, I'm off to cook in my newly streamlined kitchen :D

  4. My step sister is an interior designer and has a very fancy house that has been featured in a design magazine. You betcha it doesn't look like that every day! All the 'stuff' of life was hidden away.

    If you went through with a box and de-cluttered your house COULD look that way, you just couldn't live that way!!! :-)

  5. Nail on the head, MoonDoggie. It's the dusting of so many little things that makes it difficult for me.

    Thanks, neca, that's exactly what I figured. ;)

  6. top picture -i'm in the middle of painting my kitchen the exact same colors, minty jadeite and white cabinets. this picture makes me feel better about my decision!

  7. I debated on minty green for my kitchen, thinking the little speckles in the original pink formica were white and green (the walls are currently green, painted that way back in the 50's). But after decades, I discovered the speckles in the formica are white and GRAY, not green! Ha ha!

    White walls, pink cabinets for mine (unless I think I can salvage the cabinets and simply sand and re-varnish them again).


  9. I was gonna say "they dont look lived in" lol! As a matter of fact I was just thinking today how many people (middle class "good old boys and girls" actually owned a full set of Eames or (any designer for that matter)... that kitchen in the first picture, does look stunning... but you only see examples like that behind glass, ropes, and green carpet runners in museums. I think your collections and tidy-non cluttered space can co-exsist its all about how you display ;)

  10. Yea, I bet in all of those pictures there is a room somewhere that looks like a bulldozer pushed all their stuff into. I do love the blue pic towards the bottom with the wood slat walls and over stuffed crochet ottomans. Nice!