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What furniture would you have in a very minimalist home?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

We are starting back at scratch in regards to furniture and I love the feeling that we can only bring in the essentials this time and nothing else! I love having lots of space and very little furniture. I was just curious what furniture and appliances others think is essential.

 

If you are a very minimalist person what do you have now?

If you're just and aspiring minimalist, what would be in your ideal dream home if it was completely minimalist?

 

So far we have:

 

-Queen bed

-Single bed each for the kids

-Day bed (for a couch)

-Giant floor cushions as I am down a lot playing with kids

-Fridge

-Washing Machine

-Dryer (not essential but will be cloth diapering triplets soon and already do family cloth etc so do a LOT of washing winky.gif So got this for convenience when the babies come as things will be chaos and not time to hang dry every little cloth wipe!)

 

Apart from those the only thing I am thinking about getting is 

- wire mesh drawers to put the baby things, diapers and clothes in

- desk for laptop as I have nowhere to set it down- really not sure I need a whole desk though as I don't have anything else to store in it, but nicer than sitting computer on my lap

- bedside table for me as I take water to bed. Doubles as storage for all my jewelry, things, and books- I don't have much. 

 

Though for now I am seeing what we can make do without and what else we could use that we already have for these things.  

 

Would love to hear other ideas of furniture for the perfect uncluttered home treehugger.gif....

post #2 of 29
No time to really post now... But looking at creating good storage space in closets would be a big help.
post #3 of 29

For me a good, sturdy dining table is essential... and some plants - unless your kids are diggers like mine...

 

Do you have any outdoor space?  Even something like a bistro table would work for me by a front door.  I like to sit and drink my morning coffee/tea outside when the weather is cooperative.

post #4 of 29

Oh- fun thread! (I think I killed a furniture thread once w my minimalist ideas, oops)

 

We are working on moving to a tiny cabin (dh, me, ds14yo, dd12yo, & one on the way).

 

We plan to keep/ build:

 

1 long built-in u-shape sofa bench w same-height coffee table (converts to queen bed in one corner when coffee table is slid in & cushions are rearranged; nearby edge of bench functions as night stand, changing table, etc)

 

1 heirloom rocking chair 

 

2 small antique wooden chairs

 

1 old steamer trunk to be sewing/ craft storage & sewing table

 

1 twin platform bed & 1 free standing shelf unit/ child (children's rooms will be in loft space)

 

1 large folding utility table- it will be "counter space" and kitchen work space 'til the counters are built, then it goes to an outbuilding or to the farmer's market booth

 

stove

 

icebox

 

a LOT of built in shelving (some replacing kitchen cabinets, linen closets, pantry, clothes closets, etc)

 

built in desk & shelves in dh's "office alcove"

 

laundry equipment (low tech-- no "machines"), bath tub, composting toilet

 

...not sure re dining/ kitchen table-- *very* little room; we'll have counter space & shelves, but it really bothers dd that we "never" meaning very rarely, eat at the table, even now & previously w nice table area & more floor space. I'd like to respect her sensitivity to what she sees as bad manners, but there are only so many square feet in the new cabin! I like the idea of a small patio table outside-- that'll appeal to her.

 

if I had **3** on the way, there would be washing/ drying machines! HAHA & congrats

post #5 of 29

It will vary a little, depending on the floorplan of a home. In an open floorplan with the living room/dining room/kitchen spaces flowing together, some furniture can multi-task and you can avoid duplication. Our dining room opens onto the living room. We use upholstered chairs at the dining table and they are useful for extra seating in the living room, if needed. In the living room, we have a sofa and upholstered ottoman. We have a cabinet for storage (china and table linens) and a side table. That's it - 4 pieces of furniture in the room. If we were true minimalists, we'd probably get rid of the side table since it holds a few pieces of art and is only decorative. I'd like to get a couple of armchairs but the dining room chairs work fine.

 

We don't need a kitchen table and a dining table. If you have separate kitchen and dining rooms, you'll probably need 2 tables. 

 

I find proper storage units and shelving are useful. We have several bookshelves for books, games, toys, craft materials. Minimalists probably don't have much of that stuff, but I find children aren't minimalist by nature and it all collects. Underbed boxes are useful in children's rooms for extra storage. 

post #6 of 29
I've had several family members live in homes without a kitchen table. They had a nice counter with seating.
post #7 of 29

Kitchen table:

 

One the one hand, we've been eating at a kitchen counter with bar stools for 7 years.  It was just fine, very convenient.  We also had a dining room table (kitchen table in the dining room), but mostly it served as a giant catch-all, which was just a source of stress.  Not minimalist. 

 

On the other hand, a few weeks ago we moved to a smaller home, with no seating at the kitchen counter.  The kitchen table is set up in the kitchen again.  I can't tell you how happy I am that the 4 of us are sitting at a table again, facing each other, passing the peas to each other.  I got the place mats and cloth napkins out of storage.  The coffee pot, and the butter dish we haven't used in 7 years, sit on the table during breakfast, and we have room to spread out and read the news paper.  Somewhere in the maze of boxes in the garage there are some candles.  Eventually I'll dig those out and put a candle on the table.  I don't know if that's simplifying, but it's very satisfying for sure!  I've missed our family kitchen table routine/ritual.  

 

The move forced us to organize, toss, shred, recycle and pack up the stacks and stacks (and stacks) of paper work on the table.  We've minimized the papers down to 3 plastic file boxes, all which can probably go into the file cabinet that sits under the desk. 

 

We haven't had a coffee table or sofa side tables in about 10 years.  I do miss them when I want to set down a cup of coffee, lol!  But otherwise I don't miss them.  When we had a coffee table it was too easy to cover it with stuff that simply got ignored (like bills).

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4vr View Post

...not sure re dining/ kitchen table-- *very* little room; we'll have counter space & shelves, but it really bothers dd that we "never" meaning very rarely, eat at the table, even now & previously w nice table area & more floor space. I'd like to respect her sensitivity to what she sees as bad manners, but there are only so many square feet in the new cabin! I like the idea of a small patio table outside-- that'll appeal to her.

 

That's really interesting about your dd!  Is this the 14 year old?  She sounds like a girl after my own heart. orngbiggrin.gif  However, this is your home and you've got to make it work best for you. 

 

Definitely set up that patio table.  When the weather's good she can set the table and you can gather together for family dinner.

post #9 of 29
I use a wooden TV tray for my laptop "desk". When I'm not using the laptop I hide it behind a couch cushion so DS1 won't mess with it. wink1.gif When I'm not using the tray it folds for easy storage in a closet. Very simple!
post #10 of 29

Ty, actually, she is 12yo. We've already discussed the patio/ bistro table & she's charming her brother into setting pavers for it between the cabin & the "eventual" cob house site. (Poor ds! He's never set pavers before & has no idea how much work he's agreeing to! But I think the agreement is... he'll make the paver patio area & she'll make him from-scratch biscuits for breakfast every saturday while in progress, so I guess it works out, hahaha! Plus, imo, at 14, boys seem to have something to "prove" & completing a physical challenge gives them so much confidence, but I digress.)

 

I do feel her pain... I like the informal grab a seat w your plate anywhere feel, but I also miss the sitting 'round the table as well. It's fun to keep it simple, but idk about not even having the *option* of sitting around a holiday meal table, possibly for years (bc now w baby on the way, the cob house plans are certainly delayed!). I guess, that makes me an aspiring, wavering minimalist C:

 

Now DH -is- a minimalist! Wow, he can be perfectly happy with exactly nothing if he could occasionally eat or something, hehe.

 

(I wonder if there could be a spin off thread re: whether minimalists, as a generalization, like to live in their heads... as in, in my head as opposed to undue focus on physical surroundings. I know my DH does, and I do more than most, but maybe not as much as him. The hardest part of our minimizing move, we've realized will be limited electricity via a wind turbine & battery bank... like he can't even plug his laptop in if it's dying in the middle of something --the horror! for me, too!-- or he'll compromise the power available to work on "work" stuff tomorrow... Since you mentioned actually adding a piece of furniture for a laptop, OP, I wonder if this applies to you at all, like it does to us-- that the hard things to do without involve intellectual "things" more than physical? Although they do have physical manifestations) OK-- ramble over C:

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4vr View Post

It's fun to keep it simple, but idk about not even having the *option* of sitting around a holiday meal table, possibly for years (bc now w baby on the way, the cob house plans are certainly delayed!). I guess, that makes me an aspiring, wavering minimalist C:

How about indoor picnics, rolling out a tablecloth (more for ceremony than for need) and sitting on floor pillows every night for dinner, and then tucking them all away when you're done? 

post #12 of 29

I don't think we're necessarily minimalists with our furniture, BUT we have a very, very little house so we don't have a lot of room for furniture :P

Sectional couch
small coffee table/storage area for blankets/pillows
dining room table w/ 6 chairs
king size bed w/ frame
bassinet
bunk beds

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by chel View Post

I've had several family members live in homes without a kitchen table. They had a nice counter with seating.

 

A large work island with seating would be my ideal, I think.

 

We lived in one house with an open floor plan "Great Room". The kitchen opened onto the family room and dining area. A work island acted to define the kitchen space. The dining area was adjacent and the rest of the space was a beautiful open area. We had our dining table and chairs, a large comfortable sofa, the t.v. and stand, and not much else in that space. I can't recall if we had a coffee table, but I don't think so. We had some large potted plants but I am a killer of all indoor green things so they didn't last too long. 

 

I suppose we could have lived without the dining table but I like sitting around a table for family meals. It also worked for all sorts of purposes such as homework, crafting, work etc. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

We haven't had a coffee table or sofa side tables in about 10 years.  I do miss them when I want to set down a cup of coffee, lol!  But otherwise I don't miss them.  When we had a coffee table it was too easy to cover it with stuff that simply got ignored (like bills).

 

I find that the best way to avoid surface clutter is to deal with the stuff as soon as possible and as regularly as possible. It helps if everything has a proper place eg. files for unpaid and paid bills and other correspondence, the kids' school work, etc. 

 

 

I can and do live without a coffee table. I couldn't do without a filing cabinet or some other file management system. 

 

Many mornings, as I wait for my coffee to be ready, I'll do a quick sweep of the kitchen, dining area and living room to deal with that kind of surface clutter that has built up over the past day or two. Newspapers get tossed, papers get filed, the kids' junk gets piled up and I'll dump it in their bedrooms. I figure the problem isn't so much the fact that we have kitchen counters or tables that get covered in junk, it's that people aren't dealing with the junk itself. 

post #14 of 29

Some ideas we've used & loved re no kitchen/ dining table:

 

as a PP mentioned, "picnic" on a floor cloth,

 

gather 'round a large-enough (storage) coffee table on floor cushions/ couch/ futon cushions moved to floor,

 

*adding a table cloth always enhances the dinner-time feel

 

*these options seem natural & intuitive to us bc we have Arabic family members, and eating at or near floor level is standard at their homes

 

*the thing that bothers me most about each person holding his plate in his lap & sitting wherever around the living room is the disconnect-- we seem to be each doing our own things & in our own worlds more & connecting less, as if we're eating in front of a blaring tv, but w/o the tv, LOL. That and the inevitable spills on upholstery...

 

I absolutely agree that minimalist *habits* are at least as important as minimalist furniture/ arrangements! I love love love FLYlady for helping to train those of us who never learned "the routines" growing up!

post #15 of 29

I'd say our home is minimal and low key in terms of furniture and appliances.

 

We have a king sized bed for two parents and an infant, one twin extra long for 3 young kids (although we're going to have 2 twin extra longs soon cause it's getting squishy in there), one sectional sofa in the lounge room, one washer and dryer, one oven, one fridge, one cheap ass TV that does the job and one coffee table that also doubles up as a kid's table.

 

We don't have a dining table - We pull some chairs up to the island and eat there. Or sometimes we're just lazy and eat on the sofa 2whistle.gif while watching tv.. duck.gif
 

Congratulations on the triplets!!!!!! biggrinbounce.gif biggrinbounce.gif biggrinbounce.gif

post #16 of 29

Here is what I have. I live in a 1 bedroom with my DS(7)

1. Bedroom- double size platform bed with just the top mattress. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S69874773/

 

3 drawer dresser. I have the bottom drawer, son has top 2.

Beanbag for DS so he can sit and read his books quietly.

1 lamp

Closet- set of 9 cubicle shelves. 3 baskets for 3 of the shelves. Some plastic containers for son's Legos.  I add an extra rod in the closet, so it doubled the space. I did this in the front hall closet too.

 

2. Living room- loveseat with sleeper. 2 armless high back chairs, square table- We utilize this as dining room and work area.

I have a large tufted bench with storage in it for blanket, pillows, etc.

Side table with large lamp

 

My son sleep either with me or on the sleeper sofa. He loves it!!!

 

3. Chaise lounge where a normal dining room table/chairs would be. 2 bar stools. We utilize the breakfast bar for the laptop and my son to do his homework.Large glass candle holder, white candle and some pretty glass rocks on the bar.

 

4. Washer/dryer and 1 large drying rack.

 

 

That is all I own or want for now. Perhaps, when I find a small-ish house, I will add a few more things. I love IKEA. : )

post #17 of 29

Not super minimalist, but here are our furniture & major appliances. We live in a 3-bedroom flat 2/ two teenagers.

 

Kitchen

 - washing machine

- a stove-top with 3 gas burners & an electric oven

- refrigerator

- a folding step-stool (to reach high shelves)

It's not what I grew up calling an "eat-in kitchen" - no table or room for a table.

 

Store-room

 - an old wardrobe that we use as the pantry

- some free-standing wire shelves to hold food and other supplies

- some shelves on the wall

 

Living Room/Dining room

 - dining table + 6 chairs

 - couch

- coffee table

-side board

2 shoe cabinets

2 book cases

2 area rugs

2 stools

a CD shelf

some built in shelves w/ lots of books and DVDs

 

Daughter's bedroom

- a single bed

- a desk

 - a chair

- a filing cabinet

- a wardobe

- some shelves on the wall

 

 

Son's bedroom

 - a single bed

- a wardobe

- a desk

 - a chair

- 2 book cases

 

Our bedroom

- a double bed

 - a wardrobe

- a bedside table

- a small table

- a chair

- some shelves on the wall

- a small rug

 

Hallway

 - a small rug
 

post #18 of 29

What are the reasons and convictions behind being minimalist? 

post #19 of 29

Mommy, thank you for asking. :)

 

I have several.

 

1. I hate to clean and organize. I rather spend my time with my son and our animals and working on my health. Just lot less to worry about. We can pack up on a Thursday night, go to work/school next day and be on the road by 5 Friday, off to any adventure. It doesn't take long to pack and we don't worry about coming home to a dirty, unorganized space. I love it!!1

2. Trying to live lighter. I think we, as in the world, are using our resources at an alarming rate. I want to teach my son to care for the Earth.

3. I am OCD and have PTSD. Simple and minimal helps me stay focused and centered, calm.

4. More money in the bank to do experience more. I won't die rich but I will die having fun. No regrets!!!

5. I really never aspired to have a home that was decorated and spend my time picking out just the right paint color (((YAWNNNN))) for me nor did I ever care about obtaining xyz clothing, shoes, gadgets, gizmos and gear. :)

 

I think life is an adventure and I have to feed my gypsy soul. I want to get to know people for who they really are and not for the materials things they own. We only get to do this once so why not have some fun!!!

post #20 of 29

Great question, Mommynorthend & thanks for posting!

 

I haven't sorted my reasons methodically, but here is my rambling answer:

 

When I look at my priorities in life (which I really have spent time defining), "having lots of things-n-stuff" is simply not one of them. A couple of my priorities are definitely supported by more minimalist living (I've only defined 5 ideas/ goals important enough to me to be called a "Priority in my life"), such as "simplicity" and "loveliness." It would be difficult for me to keep a simple, lovely life or home with too many material possessions that I do not really use (not simple) or do not really love a LOT (not lovely). Plus all my useful or beloved items get lost in the clutter & become less useful& a source of frustration rather than joy!

 

To be honest, I'll stick my neck out & risk a bit of flack here, by saying that my religious convictions are supported by minimalist living: ("Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 cor 14.40) I am not saying that all believers need to be minimalists, by any stretch of the imagination, only that having too much stuff around really makes it difficult for me to do things decently or in order. I do know some believers who are surrounded by a LOT of possessions who seem to keep up with it all; for me, it's distracting & can be overwhelming.

 

Plus, we're moving to a -very- small space, & living there, it will not be a matter of choice-- it simply will not all fit!

 

I can't wait to hear from everyone on this!

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