Living a simpler and less cluttered life is gaining fans around the world. Here’s some key trends.
1. Tiny living
Rapidly growing global populations mean homes are getting smaller – from micro apartments, re-purposed shipping containers to tiny houses. But, living small does not have to mean living in a cramped space, with designers increasingly focused on maximising every inch of space.
Sydney architect Spencer Jones says today there are many design elements that can be used to maximise space.
“In cities like Paris where living spaces are very small, people often have made-to-measure, full-height joinery to store as much as they can and leave the rest of the floor empty.
“Designers are also taking inspiration from caravan or boat architecture, using spaces for multiple functions. We are seeing more bedrooms that double as living and dining spaces, multi-function furniture and the use of mezzanine floors in smaller spaces.”
2. Mindful consumption
Australian consumers tend to have high consumption habits. Yet research by Santander Trade also finds we are increasingly concerned with our health and the environment, which is helping to drive a trend towards more mindful purchases.
If you are aiming to become a more mindful consumer, here are some tips to get started:
- Shop for locally produced and made products instead of imported goods.
- Buy secondhand from charity shops or online listings. Older or vintage items are usually better quality and will last longer.
- Choose eco-friendly goods made from recyclable materials.
According to blogger Joshua Becker, of lifestyle blog Becoming Minimalist, there are many benefits to owning fewer possessions – less to clean, less debt, less to organise, less stress and more money.
One method Becker recommends to declutter your home is the ’12-12-12 Challenge’. Find 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate and 12 items to be returned to their proper home.
Our living, shopping and lifestyle habits have moved on considerably from the 80s and 90s when conspicuous consumption was the norm. Today’s consumers are discovering that living with less can not only help the environment and our pockets but can also help to reduce our stress levels too.