When it comes to combining wise, profound life philosophy with an interior design that guarantees peace of mind, 9 times out of 10 we need to turn to Japan. You might be already familiar with wabi-sabi, that is, the “melancholic beauty” aesthetics. In a nutshell, things do not need to be perfect or super refined to be beautiful, because, in the great scheme of life, everything moves in a neverending circle of death and rebirth. Therefore, there is no logical reason why we should attach importance to being completely flawless and perfect, as this is not a realistic or an attainable state. Now, let’s move on to Kanso! Kanso is a more general principle in a way, which is why we can also have a Kanso home with some wabi-sabi vibes. But what does it imply? Basically, Kanso is pertaining to the concept of simplicity, which, in the interior design context, translates into the elimination of clutter. Couldn’t we just call it decluttering, then?
Well, not really. It’s 2018, and by now we all know what decluttering means: getting rid of what we never actually use; getting rid of all the superfluous clutter that we have been tolerating for years all over our house. Still, the main risk of decluttering is that sometimes it becomes a an automatic process: we declutter because we think we have to, and we often lose sight of the goal that we initially had in mind when we first started our decluttering process. With Kanso, this risk is non-existent. Why? The idea that’s the foundation on which the whole philosophy of Kanso is built, is that this interior design philosophy should have clarity as a goal: clarity of mind, clarity of the soul. Of course, you are not going to be able to reach these two levels of clarity simply by moving your furniture around and tossing out what you don’t need; however, being surrounded by an environment where everything has a specific, essential function and nothing is redundant will certainly help pointing you in the right direction.
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Regardless of whether you’re turning to Kanso as a life philosophy or strictly as in interior design aesthetic, the final goal is therefore clarity. And how should you reach clarity without getting rid of the obstacles around you, represented by the non-essential? An omission or an exclusion of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose is key. The question is: why should YOU choose Kanso for your interior design? Trust us, we could give you heaps of deep, resounding reasons why you should, but in truth, there’s really no need to do that: practical reasons are already enough.
First of all, think about all the stress you feel the pressure of on your shoulders! Every. Single. Day. You wake up at 6am, have breakfast in a rush and who are we kidding? We don’t really have breakfast anymore, we just drink a cup of instant coffee while we struggle to put our shoes on with our other hand and wonder why evolution didn’t provide humanity with an extra limb. Then, you rush to work, praying to all the gods you know you won't end up clocking in late, but of course, as you probably know very well by now, this is only the beginning. The morning goes on, and it’s just one meeting after another, a new task to tackle after the one you’ve just finished dealing with. Not to mention having to struggle not lose your temper with that annoying co-worker who somehow always seems to find a way to complain about everything, and so on. Sounds familiar? There’s a very high chance it does, because this is the pace at which our daily lives move.
Now, think about life outside of the work environment. If you have a family, as soon as you get home you have to deal with your partner and your children and of course, you love them, but they do make life a lot busier and frenzier. On the other hand, if you’re single, you’re still dealing with so much other stuff! True, you certainly do have more time to look after yourself; but, you also have to look after your social life; not to mention your dating life, because chances are, you may not want to be single forever. And we’re not even going to go over all the hardships of dating in the Tinder and Bumble era, because that would just open a chapter full of terrible first dates and countless encounters with semi-professional ghosters.
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Are you starting to understand, now, why we need Kanso in our lives? We need it because we so often end up feeling lost in the maze that is our busy work, social and dating life, that we need to come home to a quiet, peaceful, essential environment that can remind us of what is really and truly important in life. The first place you should apply your newly discovered Kanso philosophy to should be your bedroom. In fact, some people may find Kanso to be a bit too extreme to be extended to the whole house and in that case, we would go so far as to say that a Kanso bedroom should already be enough. The main reason for this is that your bedroom is where you first open your eyes in the morning and where you close them at night, so you can easily see why it is kind of fundamental that this space is organized, clutter-free, peaceful and serene.
Would you like to extend your Kanso atmosphere to another room? We suggest you choose the bathroom! See, this is another key room in helping you fight the stress of your daily life. After all, your bathroom is your personal spa! It’s a sacred space dedicated to getting ready for a new day and to cleansing yourself, therefore it only makes sense that you should organize it as a pure, decluttered space. Moreover, always remember that if your bathroom is quite small, an essential Kanso aesthetic will make it appear wider!
Of course, you’re free to style your whole house as a whole, flowing Kanso environment! Needless to say, also thanks to the recent popularity of wabi-sabi, it’s fairly easy to find home décor designs that fit this style. For instance, a pure, white and bright table lamp will make sure you focus on your book or your work, without getting distracted.
One of the ideas at the base of Kanso is that the specific function of a piece should be fairly easy to grasp. In short: a table is a table, a chair is a chair; there’s no need to complicate these pieces of furniture by adding complexity to their designs. Remember, you can always play with color if you feel like the overall look of a room is a bit too sober!
Is glass still a material you can employ? Of course! Just remember to always opt for a sober, almost understated design. We don’t mean banal, though! We’ll give you a rough rule of thumb: each home décor piece should be pleasant, original and relaxing to look at, but, at the same time, it shouldn’t be an immediate eye-catcher.
One last tip: a good Kanso color is actually green! It always feels good to create a connection with the natural world in your own home: Kanso is about restoring clarity in your life, and nature will always help us when it comes to going back to our roots and being able to tell what truly matters from the non-essential.