Happiness By Design: L’art de la Simplicité


“A home furnished with nothing but a handful of beautiful, absolutely essential things is a haven of peace. Cherish it, clean it and inhabit it with care and respect – it is a protective shell for your greatest treasure: your own self.”

– Dominique Loreau

Maia and I live in a reasonably-sized cottage with my parents. We are very fortunate in just about every way possible, and I owe everything to my amazing parents. But I do carry with me just one, teeny tiny irritation.

The clutter. 

When I came across this book in the library I did think “Now is this going to get me all worked up about just how far our house is from the ideal “stress-free-clutter-free minimalist home?”, or could it give me some useful insights and ideas for what I could do with the four upstairs rooms I have full creative/clutter control over…


I borrowed it anyway, and have to say, the woman makes a rather convincing argument for living the minimalist life.

“Only once we are free of material concerns can we truly thrive…
The body shelters our mind and spirit, and home shelters and nurtures our body…Only when the mind and spirit are free can they truly develop.

..Home should be a place of rest, a source of inspiration, a healing retreat.”

I love my home. I do. I love the cosiness. I love how there are photos in nearly every room, and multiple book shelves. I love how colourful it is and how our cushions don’t match. I love how late at night sometimes if I can’t sleep, I can sit in my cluttered kitchen, nice and toasty next to the AGA, and know there will be a newspaper to flick through on the table.

But sometimes, I get a little tired of the clutter. It’s probably worse in my head, but I was always convinced – even as a child – that my house was just that little bit more cluttered than friend’s houses and it always bothered me just a tad..(sometimes more than a tad).

So I began reading the book and only a paragraph in decided; I’m having a clear out. 

Not so much of my things, because I go through my things quite regularly; I give away clothes and books often, I know where most of my things are and what’s in my drawers..I’m organised.

Downstairs is another story.  I can’t wait for the day I can walk in to my kitchen and utility room and just see surfaces.  

Maybe a bread bin and a sugar pot on one surface…Even a small collection of recipe books. But definitely not the vast collection of random objects and food items that accumulate there day by day and that I cannot – try as I might- stay on top of.  

I will never win the clutter-fight in this house, but I can lessen it’s burden. I can find homes for things. I can do something. 


I can’t even shift the blame to my parents on this one..This is all myself and Maia…And all mine to clear up.


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