Location: Tokyo, Japan
Size: 1200 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years owned
What does a truly tidy home feel like? If you're Marie Kondo, author of the wildly successful, world-wide best seller The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it feels joyful. It feels restful. It feels like the kind of place where you can truly be the person you are becoming now, not the person you were in the past.
Marie doesn't just live in a home that looks like it exudes peace and comfort, she actively folds in activities that help keep her space feeling appreciated. Each morning, she runs her hands across all the clothes carefully folded in her single dresser drawer to show them that they are cared for. She hugs each one of her (very few) clothes items hanging in her closet. In the evenings, after the sun has gone down, she pours herself and her cat some tea, sits at her impeccably clear desk, and writes long, genuine and thoughtful thank you notes to every single item that day she may have discarded. Her interior design style — plus her philosophy on clutter — are both worth emulating.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Opulent minimalism meets vigilant organization. With a heavy emphasis on all-white spaces.
Inspiration: The gentle sound of a babbling mountain stream. Examining every item you own. An empty drawer. A detachment from the past. Not fearing the future. Bookshelves filled only with books that you love. Examining one's inner self. Folded clothes that don't wrinkle. Speculative futuristic minimal interiors from 1960s science fiction movies. Marie Antoinette.
Favorite Element: The way the rooms echo when we talk. You can actually hear how organized the home is.
Biggest Challenge: Waking up some days and sadly realizing that I've successfully discarded everything that doesn't spark joy and there's nothing left to sort through.
What Friends Say: "Where's all your stuff?"
Biggest Embarrassment: I once found a balled up sock under a t-shirt in my carefully curated all-white t-shirt dresser drawer. I believe very strongly that socks should be able to rest when they are stored, (they have such hard days, after all, being worn on your feet). I'm not sure how this balled-up sock got under that t-shirt, perhaps an unfortunate dryer-static-cling situation? In any case, the sock was completely despondent when I finally unballed it. It never looked—or wore—the same again.
Proudest DIY: Helping people all over the world transform their homes into tidy, joy-sparking spaces. My clients' lives are always completely changed after they use my approach to tidying a home. As you can read in the book The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up: "...when you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too."
Biggest Indulgence: Carving out 20 hours a week to sit down and examine each item I own, decide whether I want to keep or discard it, and then choose the best place for the things I decide to keep.
Best Advice: Also from The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up: "The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one's hand and ask: 'Does this spark joy?' If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. I also recommend you dispose of anything that does not fall into one of three categories: currently in use, needed for a limited period of time, or must be kept indefinitely."
PAINT & COLORS
White reflects light and is considered (in the visible spectrum) to be the presence of all colors. (Farrow & Ball's "Every Hue White")
- Empty air in order to slowly and peacefully prepare myself for stepping out into the world.
- A chair I bought from a cafe in Paris.
- Only the necessary amount of seating needed for the people who share the space with me.
- A floor lamp that my first client gave to me (after deciding it no longer sparked joy in her life).
- A handmade simple wooden pine table and two chairs I had made from the discarded kitchen table of a chef. I felt like harnessing the beauty of this culinary artist's joie de vivre would make all of my meals taste so much better. (I was right!)
- One Global brand prep knife
Savoir No. 2 with Horsehair Topper
- Tile that's easy to clean
- Faucets that allow water to flow
- A mirror to see myself with
- Furniture meant to relax and inspire
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Re-edited from a post originally published 4.1.16-NT
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