Mindfulness, minimalism and design.

  • Photography © Republic of Fritz Hansen

    People who are real passionate about something sometimes have a hard time agreeing—which is often the case with minimalists. There are those that see it as something structured and dictatorial—as if it could only exist one way: You are either in the black-and-white emptiness or you are merely a so-called minimalist.

    I see it as oblivious to rules as we are as people ourselves. Minimalism lacks rules but it doesn't lack principles. These principles are there to help us make the best of our lives... and I am happy to see people experiment with these preconceived notions on every level of the creative spectrum.

    Powerful design studios who base their views on minimalistic principles (such as the power of investment over spending) are bringing to the fore new collections of products for those, who like myself, miss the warmth, the craftsmanship and the stories behind beautifully built products that reflect the genuine humanity of those who make them.

    Republic of Fritz Hansen is one of those, changing the "shake and bake" recipes for a warmer and more inclusive approach—and I for one celebrate what this new wave of minimalism is shaping up to be.

    What are your thoughts?

  • Photography © Norm

    Your alarm goes off. You grab your phone, your eyes half open as you eyeball your like count and messages. After spending a few (or maybe not so few) minutes seeing what needs seeing, you skyrocket out of bed to begin your day—as if the day itself was on a Machiavellian mission to do you in. Between your day to day responsibilities and the unexpected and inevitable surprises of life's mishaps, your day seems to end in the blink of an eye . . . but somehow you haven't managed that much. Feel familiar?

    In this day and age we're all connected. Think about it. How much of your available time is spent staring at a screen: scrolling, liking, replying, pinning? . . . As if the world was going to implode if we didn't. A 24-hour day to us is not even close to what it meant to our parents and their parents (who were present every moment of their lives).

    We spend so much of our lives plugged in that we forget the power of doing one thing at a time—mindfully—from start to finish. I'm not saying that time spent on anything non-work related is time not well spent. What I am saying is that in order for us to better get a hold of our must-do's, we need to give everything its space and time.

    Your days as well as mine are torn between work, life and rest—and neither should suffer because of the other. Putting everything in its place guarantees that not only will your day be well spent, but that you're not suddenly overwhelmed and overrun by your commitments.

    The feeling of accomplishment is immediate when you give things an allotted time for completion . . . and that will only encourage you to move forward, knowing that the time you have available is more than enough.

    Seeing time this way (and not worrying about technology to the point of it becoming a nervous tick) has given me a breather not only in my day-to-day living, but it has also definitely made me more present and less anxious about my daily routine.

    Please share your thoughts with us.

  • Photography © Matilda Hildingsson

    Home is one of those words that brings us instant comfort when we think of it. We learn the value of home in different ways starting from our earliest memories ... when we had a bad day at school but had a safe place to come back to... when we became insufferable door-slamming teens... and then a little further along the road when we bring our babies home for the first time from the hospital.

    It's incredible how concrete, water and wood can become a place that gives us a sense of who we are and where we belong. I still remember the home I grew up in. It holds the same value for me as has every place I've lived in—no matter the distance, the country or the size of the roof.

    As minimalists, our spaces teach us valuable truths: A few square meters are enough space for us and our dreams. Living with less is the best way to live freely and clutter-free. Comfort is not found in a cluster of cushions, comforters and scented candles—but rather in making that home truly ours. There's no price to the peace found in one's home but instead we learn that no material things can match the almost spiritual feeling of being at home and the sacredness of a home well loved. A home might be ever changing, it might not be bricks and stones. It might be found in a group of friends, in hugging our little ones tight, in the memories we keep that warm our hearts.

    To me, my minimalist home is made of the stories my little E and I have built in it. It's made of our daily battles, of the lessons we've learned in it. In the chattering of friends who visit and the afternoons lying in my balcony hammock thinking of life, feeling grateful or sometimes even defeated, yet at home.

    The sense of a home grows fonder as we become less attached to the material. It pulls us closer to feelings, it warms our houses and turns them into homes.

    Home can be wherever you want it to be. It's about presence and not property. A home can be full while having only what you truly need in it.

  • Photography © Hugh Forte

    There are no winters where we live . . . and while it guarantees us a lot of wonderful things—like endless, sunny days and opportunities to take strolls down the beach—the guarantee closest to my heart is having courgettes of every color and every kind available to us at the market. And as predictable as this next statement might be, so be it: There are courgettes on my table every single day. Read this and weep.

    Don’t ask me why this obsession surfaced; it might have come about years ago when I learned about the nutritional facts or maybe when I realized how versatile and delicious they are in both savory AND sweet recipes—I just can't get enough of them.

    There’s something light, classic and effortless about courgettes. They're good and forgiving companions. From a gorgeous and glamorous fiori di zucca to my almost daily 5 minute zucchini and eggs breakfast, these nutrient-packed and waist-line friendly mini gods make incredibly delicious recipes . . . like this Roasted Zucchini Pasta Bake by Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen which I have yet to try—but staying true my melodramatic claims, I'm sure to love.

    For this wonderful recipe, please see Sara's blog.

    Where do you stand when it comes to courgettes? Love? . . . hate!? Please do share.

  • Photography and Styling © Karina Dimas

    For most people home ends on the outside of one door and work starts on the inside of another . . . but that's not the case if you, like me, work from home.

    We are the envied few, viewed as the lucky hipsters who get to work from bed. We lived in a falsely romanticized life by those who believe we get to work from cozy beds decked out in Egyptian cotton, free to work or play at our leisure.

    The testy truth is that working from home is far from glamorous. It is instead an endless race to meet deadlines and oftentimes a setting aside of the conveniences a home office might bring. It wraps around us like ivy and makes us feel guilty for enjoying the everyday things that others working outside of home enjoy: An 8-5 schedule, an hour-long lunch or even a 30 minute break away from our computers.

    So yes, working from home is one thing, but managing it successfully is another. It is very common, in fact, for most of us who work from home to feel like we'll never get a hang of it. We often use all of our energy and resources burning ourselves out, only to accomplish the same level of success as others who do less.

    I've personally found in my own pursuit of success on the work-from-home front that the secret to doing it successfully is inviting in a contradiction and holding to structure as if we were working outside of home.

    The 2 main areas where we need those limitations are:

    01. Space Designing a specific space for work might burst your expectations bubble and feel trivial if you believe the best thing about working away from an office is the freedom to work anywhere you want—but in assigning one space for daily work, whether that be a room, a workshop or a section of your living room, you automatically also create the ability to switch on and off work by acknowledging that as soon as you step away from that space you finish work and when you are in it . . . to log into it.

    Doing this doesn't take away from your freedom to occasionally spend a day of work at a cafe, to do it from a hotel room or even while on a plane ride to your vacations. It simply gives your brain an automatic way to switch off from your responsibilities.

    02. Time This one is a hard one but it is probably one that's the easiest to take for granted or to not value, depending on your schedule.

    Having a set time to work and structuring your online hours in extremely important—even for us creatives who might have a fantastic idea in the middle of the night or might feel a rush just before meeting a deadline.

    Time is were we have the most freedom when we work from home; we don't have to comply to a set schedule, we just have to put the hours in. So, playing with that freedom and missing the mark is often what happens. Delimiting your time can bring you not only a feeling of accomplishment every day but also actual accomplishments. Why? Because you will be giving your 100% to each task without the interruption of a billion other things.

    If you determine a clear work schedule and commit to it, you will welcome the daily pauses and breathers with a whole lot more peace of mind—and that will help you make the wheels spin with more ease on a daily basis.

    In short, freedom cannot survive without structure and structure deserves a little bit of freedom. To succeed at working from home, we need to understand where our limitations lie and enjoy our work and the fruits thereof fully and freely.

    What is your secret?
  • Photography © Northern Lighting Imagine a creative force spearheaded by original ideas — in a place where traditional seems like a thing of the past . . . where contemporary artifacts find new friends, and award-winning classics are remade with state of the art materials.
    Look no further than Northern Lighting an Oslo based Studio and Shop that has been featured on this blog for its ingenious ideas and the mastery of their craft.
    From their updated collection, the stunning Say My Name table lamp — now in light grey with a matt finish — stands out as a personal favorite.
    Just looking at it, we can agree that the handcraftsmanship and artistry of Norther Lighting’s pieces is something to write home about.
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30 Days To Minimal Blogging

30 Days To Minimal Blogging is an interactive, 30 day journey to a stunningly more mindful blogging experience. Presented in 5 powerhouse sections, this guide gets to the heart of what you need — from how to create balance in your blogging career to monetizing your blog.


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