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  • Writer's pictureAnita Vandyke

My minimalist living room, San Francisco

Updated: Jan 25, 2018

I moved to San Francisco over a year ago and had to start from scratch. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to start afresh and challenge myself to decorate with only secondhand finds. Here is a tour of my minimalist San Francisco living room with some tips and tricks on how you can decorate with a zero waste flair.

My (mostly) secondhand living room furniture

Mid century Danish teak lounge from an antiques store in San Jose, California. $1500 - not the cheapest but well worth it! It's excellent quality and I've always loved Danish designed furniture. I saw similar piece in San Francisco for $5000!

Cushions from Goodwill. Everything was $4.99 or less.

Lamps from - $60 each, unfortunately this was an urgent purpose and I couldn't find lamps which were in good condition that were secondhand. There are no ceiling lights in this room so we needed these lamps!

Marble side table from - $50, damaged floor stock. This is a great tip to prevent furniture from going to landfill, this side table had a small crack and we decided to buy it for a discounted price rather than see it go to landfill.

Vintage leather side chairs - $225 in total, from antiques store in San Jose, California

Rug from - it was really difficult to find a secondhand rug that was large enough to fit this space. We resorted to buying this new instead.

Have a source of inspiration

My living room is subdivided into a lounge area and study area. It is a space for creativity, relaxation and entertainment. I am inspired by the 'Kinfolk' aesthetic which is a mixture of modern and vintage finds that create an atmosphere of serenity and elegance. I borrowed books from the library, pinned images in Pinterest and flipped through my collection of Kinfolk books and magazines to be inspired.

How a room feels rather than how it looks

The most important thing to me is how a room feels rather than just the aesthetics. Some minimalist interiors can feel stark and cold, because there isn't enough love and comfort in the room. How a room feels does not equate to how much money you spent on the items, it is the little touches that make it a home where you can rest and relax.

When you come home, it should be the same feeling as when you've loosened your tie, taken off your high heels or putting on a pair of comfy socks.

It should feel relaxed, safe and comfortable. When designing your space, write down three words you would like your space to feel before you begin searching for secondhand finds.

Clutter-free life

Coming home to a house full of clutter is disorientating and unsettling. Have you noticed when you are in a messy room you feel more anxious and can't sit still?

If your home is filled with clutter, you're more likely to want to escape it rather than enjoy it.

Removing your clutter is the first step to giving your home some breathing room, the more you declutter, the quicker you'll find your sweet spot, the perfect balance. Your home should be a sanctuary, a safe haven - it should not be a storage closet.

Secondhand finds

For me, shopping secondhand is the the most economical and ecological solution to our waste problem.

Participating in the circular economy is an important part of being a mindful consumer. Upcycling, reusing items, buying from thrift stores are great ways to participate in the circular economy. It's great for the environment and even better for your bank balance!

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