You can live a more meaningful life ... with less.
Fewer possessions. Fewer choices. Less clutter.
The ultimate resource for reducing the world’s noise and the stress that attends it: mnmllist, a new, curated site devoted entirely to minimalist products and ideas.
That covers everything from interior design to your wardrobe to your daily reads. You’ll notice a few things here we already dig: Aedle headphones, Beoplay speakers, Hardgraft leather goods. All beautiful, straightforward and stark, sans adornment or unnecessary flourishes.
The site itself is purposely sparse — no photos, three items/links per category, black text on a white background. Nothing else.
It’s relaxing. With that peace of mind, we spoke with the founders Manuel Moreale (coder, co-designer) and Carl Barenbrug (who’s also the Editor in Chief of Minimalissimo) about how to keep your life at the perfect minimum.
InsideHook: What made you interested in creating a site devoted to minimalist products, ideas, etc.?
Manuel Moreale: I’ve always been a fan of minimalism, and I'm also always open to new projects — especially if are fun and quick to build and in collaboration with friends. I ran thegallery.io for a couple of years and that's a site whose focus is mainly minimalism in web design, while Carl has worked on Minimalissimo for years and they cover pretty much everything minimalism related. So minimalism is nothing new for us. What was fun about mnmllist is that there are no images involved and that's unusual for a site in 2018, where everything is mostly visual. As a result, the site is growing pretty fast.
Carl Barenbrug: There are two things I'm really passionate about: minimalism and curating. While Minimalissimo — a magazine that I run dedicated to minimalism in design — is a wonderful resource for creatives, it has a relatively narrow focus and relies heavily on high-quality photography with minimalist compositions. As part of my research for new features, I visit many, many sites, whether it be design studios, architects, blogs or shops. But what I don't have is access to a single bookmark where all my favourite creators, products and places live. This would be useful for me as a curator, but I thought it would also be a useful and interesting bookmark for anyone who is interested in minimalism.
IH: What advantages do you see to minimalism?
MM: I personally find minimalism helpful, as a tool. I'm not one of those hyper minimalists in terms of overall design aesthetics — my house is not all black and white — but I do own very few things. I think it helps to not being surrounded by stuff and clutter all day long. It's also useful because when you own very few things it's easier to stay organized; as a result, you spend more time doing what's important.
CB: There are countless advantages to minimalism, particularly if you adopt it as a lifestyle rather than solely an aesthetic. For me, I appreciate it as a design philosophy and also as a tool to lead a simpler and more meaningful life — it gives me focus. Minimalism has taught me to only focus on what is important and ignore that which does not add any value to my life. I also love that it helps me be more efficient, organized and tidy — which at times borderlines on obsessive, but I don't mind that. Beyond that, it makes me more conscious of how I spend my time and who I spend that time with.
IH: What are three resources, brands or products would you particularly recommend to someone who was trying to become more minimalist?
MM: Well definitely minimalissimo.com and also minimalism.life, another Carl side project. Those are great places where you can "learn" about minimalism. When it comes to brands, that's tough. I'm not a huge brand follower but I do try to invest in quality products when I need to buy something. Hard Graft is a brand I always liked, both in terms of style and quality.
IH: Manuel, your personal site chronicles you trying out a lot of "month without ..." experiments and discusses ways to simplify your life. What’s worked best for you?
MM: Aha, well, my "months without" are, as you said, experiments. I took the idea from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits fame: it’s an interesting way to explore the way I live and question particular aspects of my life. And these experiments are actually great fun. I was shocked to discover how much I need music and I'm also slowly discovering how hard it is to declutter and get away from the "digital life." I think this is gonna be very important in the years to come. I'm quite happy with my email and mobile devices setup, and I blogged about them if people are interested to know more.
Main image: Instrmnt Watches. Inline: Melt Coffee Table by Oito.