Minimalism Interview with Josh Millburn
Josh Millburn runs the blog The Minimalists with his life long friend, Ryan Nicodemus. Minimalism as a philosophy has gained huge momentum in the e-space. Hundreds of blogs discuss as many niches on the subject yet Ryan and Josh are the undisputed torch holders of the field.
Josh is an avid fan of minimalism in design as well as the field of thought. We took a few minutes to get his thoughts and check out what the essayist's living space looks like.
Horne: Describe the convergence of Philosophic minimalism and design minimalism:
Josh: For me, they are one in the same. Minimalism is about eliminating the superfluous in favor of what's important. I attempt to apply minimalism to all aspects of my life, be it my apartment, my clothes, or my conversations with other people. Doing so allows me to focus on what's important and live a more meaningful life.
Horne: Do you think the two are mutually exclusive?Josh: I've actually had this argument with minimalist architects before. Some minimalist architects tend to think of themselves as "true minimalists." One guy told me go goes by the dictionary definition of minimalism, which only includes art and architecture. I told him I subscribe the broader, encyclopedia definition of minimalism, which also includes "living simply," among other aspects.
Horne: With so few items, each one has to stand out. What do you look for in furniture?
Josh: Function and beauty. I like things that are aesthetically pleasing but also serve a purpose.
Horne: How about clothing?
Josh: Similar to furniture, I like things that are functional, aesthetically appealing, and comfortable. I also enjoy variety. It is my belief that a minimalist wears his or her favorite clothes every day. Most days I wear jeans, a teeshirt, and a pair of Toms shoes. Or, when I feel like it, I wear a crisp white button-up shirt, jeans, a blazer, colorful socks, and a clean pair of dress shoes. And I avoid logos for several reasons (although I still have a couple shirts with a small horse logo).
Horne: Many minimalist blogs as well as minimalist lofts and spaces seem to emphasize a simple color pallet. Does Minimalism need to be stark white and black?Josh: I like stark white, but it's certainly not necessary. A splash of color can speak volumes about a person.
Horne: What does living in a “Minimalized” space do for you?Josh: It allows me to focus on what's important. From a practical standpoint, it doesn't take much time to clean—which time can be better spent other something meaningful.
Horne: Before you “converted,” what was your apartment like?Josh: I owned a three bedroom house. Why? Because society told me that bigger (read: impractical) was better. Two of the bedrooms were empty. There was a lot of unused space. Ironically, the most used room was the unfinished basement, where I stored myriad boxes of unused junk—junk that weighed me down mentally and added unnecessary stress to my life. Once I embraced minimalism, I got rid of the house, and the stuff, and I have so much less stress in my life because of it.
Thanks, Josh, for your thoughts. Check out Josh's work here and all your modern home design needs at Horne.