Mindful Minimalism

September 05, 2017 | Article from Katrin de Louw

Mindfulness is about cultivating an awareness of the here and now, of oneself and one’s surroundings. The present is the only place where we can shape our lives, be active, and enjoy life consciously and as it happens.

W e don’t need much to do this. Our most valuable assets are our health, nature and the peace that we find in it – and of course the time that we need to take to find a slower counterpole to our hectic daily lives in a digital world. We are looking for ways to decelerate. We want to read a good book, work with our hands, take a stroll in the forest. We want to discover with all our senses the nature and materials around us – in their natural structure and with their history. Smelling, tasting and feeling are important real-world experiences.

TREND TIP: Lavish indoor plant arrangements will continue to be a lifestyle feature in 2018. By engaging the observer’s emotions, they enhance the visual effect of the furniture with which they share a space.

We bring numerous plants into our spaces and create new indoor gardens where we can relax. Designers create furniture that can be used both inside and outside. Natural materials such as wood and stone feature very prominently; rough branches and cracks in surfaces show that these are authentic materials. We value and practice traditions and crafts. Basketwork, earthenware pots, cotton, linen and cork underscore a pared-down, mindful lifestyle that features crafted elements and allows timber joints to be seen through table tops. These are true collector’s items. Aged and brushed softwood – sometimes burnt, sometimes bleached silver-grey by the sun – is both a contemporary witness and a storyteller, and is paired with seemingly old, handcrafted stoneware table decorations. The beauty of the imperfect moves us emotionally. Less is more, because with ownership comes responsibility. Sharing and lending is a way of life, and absolutely sufficient. The environment and sustainability are important in both the choice of materials and in design. Local sources and the origins of things play a crucial role. However, this is not the closed-off environmental lifestyle of the last century. This is a liberal and intellectual approach to the results of one’s own quest for meaning – and it does not close the mind to new technological developments.