It’s strange to think Mongolians were found own no more than 300 objects each. We actually need very little to live; far less than we think. And there’s something to be said for the pleasure owning just a few (but very good quality) things. Like Dominique Loreau says: “No one can own every shell in the sea. And seashells are so much more beautiful in isolation”.

Having lived in Japan for many years, French-born Dominique Loreau discovered the art of simplicity through Japanese philosophy. Her book L’art de la Simplicité has become somewhat of a cult classic among minimalists… And for good reason. Dominique Loreau intertwines the Japanese concept of ma with the Francophilian love of pleasure and beauty. The result is a kind of hedonistic approach to minimalism.

And when it comes embracing this new philosophy of two worlds, the author suggests  there’s no better place to start than by re-examining that space closest to us… Our home. This is her advice on how to create a more luxuriously-minimalist home:

Live with fewer things, but more lightness, freedom and fluidity; greater refinement, too. * There is no beauty without empty space. In an empty space, everything becomes a composition, a still life, a picture. * Avoid uniform lighting in your home. Natural light is constantly changing, subtly altering our perspective. * Your mistakes are your guide. By choosing the wrong thing, you can identify what’s perfect for you. * Quality materials are the key to comfort. Choose them with your eyes closed. * Creating an environment that matches our deepest aspirations enables us consciously to orchestrate the existing link between our inner and outer selves. * Perfumes, colours and sounds answer one another… * The ideal: to live with the strict minimum, in a dream setting, with an impeccable interior and to be absolutely independent, leaving the mind clear and open to a world of new discoveries. * When you live with the strict minimum, every item, no matter how small, must be both functional and beautiful. * When a synthetic object ages, it becomes uglier and more irritating. Choose living materials. * If you can’t yet afford the sofa of your dreams, save for it little by little until you can. But don’t buy a cheap substitute while you wait. You may find yourself becoming accustomed to it, at your cost! * Once you have savoured quality, you will never settle for mediocrity. But we are exposed to quality less and less frequently in today’s consumer society, so that we no longer desire it.

Dominique points out: The great Zen masters choose their personal treasures from everyday items and natural, unexceptional objects. In this way, they would seek out beauty in its most unusual forms. True beauty is all around us. We don’t see it because we look too far into the distance. With industrialisation, we have lost the ability to see and judge the intrinsic quality of an object.

How true!

Here’s a recap of Dominique Loreau’s thoughts on how to create a more luxuriously simple home (please feel free to share!):

Pascale Booysen | Dominique Loreau The Art Of Simplicity


Pascale Booysen | L'art de la Simplicite

The book? Visit: L’art de la Simplicité.


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