Last week a new book released called Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith. I pre-ordered my kindle version and read it in two days. It’s a great read, but part of truly enjoying a book is knowing what to expect. I wanted to share with you what you can and can’t expect and my overall review of the book.
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What to expect in Cozy Minimalist Home:
- beautiful pictures
- her journey
- steps to decorate your home
- design rules & inspiration
What is NOT in Cozy Minimalist Home:
- a how-to guide on being a minimalist
What I loved
I love her story. I could completely relate to being a bargain shopper and holding on to way too much stuff. It felt like I could have written that section as it’s so similar to my own story. Myquillyn then shares her journey in creating a home and getting rid of excess things.
I also love Myquillyn’s out of the box ideas and style. She is willing to break the rules and try different things. She talks a lot more about this in her first book, The Nesting Place.
While she is braver than I would be willing to be and I don’t always jive with each styling choice, her house is beautifully cohesive and uniquely her own.
Her way of writing feels very relatable. She seems like someone you would meet who would be very kind, generous, and warm.
I love her focus on hospitality and I have no doubt that those who visit her home immediately feel relaxed and welcomed.
Before getting started, Myquillyn talks about thinking through your style as well as your goals and vision.
As part of that, she suggests using Pinterest to pin lots of inspiration images and then analyzing the themes that the rooms share. She also talks about needing to decorate one room at a time, so your house doesn’t turn into chaos during the process.
Her step by step guide to decorating includes the following steps:
- clearing/quieting the space
- re-arranging the furniture
- adding rugs, curtains, and lamps
- wall treatment/art
She emphasizes allowing time in between steps to see how the room feels. Myquillyn encourages you to be intentional in the choices you make in your home.
She also clearly explains the rules of design and emphasizes the importance of balance. She reiterates a few times the importance of doing the steps mentioned above in order and explains why.
What is challenging
As mentioned above, don’t expect this book to be a how-to on becoming a minimalist. That isn’t the intent or purpose of this book. The Cozy Minimalist Home is about how to design and decorate your home in a cozy minimalist way.
The only challenge I see in this book is if you are a minimalist wanting to style your home, but not buy anything at all, this could be difficult.
One of her main points is that your rugs and curtains are integral to styling your home (as opposed to all the small knick-knacks).
If you do not currently have very large rugs or long enough curtains, you may be tempted to purchase them to follow her design rules. It isn’t that I think the rules are wrong, but if you aren’t in a place to buy those things, you may feel like you can’t achieve the design goals.
When it comes to accessories, Myquillyn recommends using some bigger statement items rather than tons of small things. However, if you are someone who doesn’t already own those things, you may feel the need to go buy those as well.
Her hope in having those bigger statement pieces is that you can let go of a lot of the smaller stuff.
If you follow her recommendations, you shouldn’t end up with more stuff. Most people have too many of the wrong things and this book will give you permission to let those things go.
Just realize that her ideas may require some investment to accomplish the vision if you don’t already have some things she suggests. She does make a good point about how investing more in pieces that will work well and last longer is more economical than buying cheaper items more often.
My favorite quotes in Cozy Minimalist Home:
“For too long, my actions had declared that keeping stuff for possible future use was more important than having a workable, easy-to-maintain home.”
“Instead of being a Stuff Manager, start thinking of yourself as Chief Home Curator.”
“Since becoming a CoMi, I hardly even think about my house. It looks great, it functions just the way we need it to, it’s flexible, and I like being there and having guests. I knew something profound had changes when I could invite people over and focus on connecting with them rather than being preoccupied with how my house looked.”
“One of the best parts of Cozy Minimalism is this off sensation you can begin to experiences-one that most people never allow themselves to feel. It’s called “enough”.”
“I’ve discovered that when I have less, I am able to contribute more. Buying less stuff and having less stuff means I have more time and money to contribute to other things like non-profits, our church, and people we believe in. Less is the gift to myself that keeps on giving.”
Near the end of the book, she includes her Cozy Minimalist Manifesto, which I loved.
Cozy Minimalist Manifesto:
We believe that home exists to serve people, not the other way around.
We believe it is a sacred calling to be watchful about what comes into our home and purposeful about what goes out,
We believe unique style always trumps trends, and that an uncomplicated home is a blessing to everyone who encounters it.
We believe that empty spaces are just as important, beautiful, and useful as filled spaces.
We believe home is an ever-shifting combination of grace, coziness, abundance, simplicity, form, and function.
We believe that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
We believe that it doesn’t have to be cluttered to be cozy, and that it doesn’t have to be modern to be minimal.
We believe we truly can have more style with less stuff.
To recap, there was so much to love in Myquillyn’s Cozy Minimalist Home. It is an interesting read for anyone on a simplifying journey and who wants minimalism without sacrificing warmth.
This book is for you if you want a step by step guide to decorating your home in a cozy minimalist style. You’ll still find inspiration and direction even if you aren’t in a place to buy anything yet. You just may have to wait in order to fully follow her rules (i.e. right size rugs, curtains, and accessories).
I also highly recommend her first book, The Nesting Place. In that one, she talks about having moved a lot and adapting each space to her style. She had some very unusual and creative ideas I never would have thought of.
Frankly, some of them are too far out of my comfort zone, but I still found the book very inspiring. I also loved the theme of embracing where you are and working with your home’s flaws and quirks.
I’m living somewhere between The Nesting Place and the Cozy Minimalist Home as we are currently renting our place. After reading her first book, I decided to work on loving my home as it is now.
I got to work sewing toss pillow covers, adding inexpensive curtains, and hanging some things on the wall. After reading her second book, I will work through her design steps and reevaluate my accessories.
Myquillyn’s advice is spot on and her writing is inspiring. I have no doubt that if you followed her steps and suggestions, you would achieve a cozier and more minimal home.
She will give you the encouragement and direction you need to transform your home if you’re willing to invest the time.
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This book is on my wish list! I have hesitated to buy it simply because I knew it was more about design and as I’ve minimized, I let most of my design pieces go, so this is such a helpful review! I do think I’ll still put it on my to-read list for the stories and inspiration, but I don’t see myself following all her design rules either! Thanks for the review!
I appreciate your really great review, thank you! My friend has the CoMi book and I need to borrow it and maybe try to get my hands on the other one, too. I didn’t know she wrote more than one! I’m very traditional in decorating, not modern at all, and I love richness, color, and texture, but my house is cluttered and not peaceful. I definitely keep things “just in case” but this has actually served me well, so tossing it all makes no sense, I just need to downsize it, organize it, and get my surfaces and floors empty! I agree, too, about the rug and curtains and art. Big yes! Thx again!