How to De-Kondo Your Condo and Live in Maximal Happiness

Yes, we regret that too.

Die-hard Marie Kondo fans are taking on the minimalism that spread like wildfire through the homes of New Yorkers a few years ago. « Does it spark joy? » was a question we asked more than « So which subway line is out of service today? »

« A lot of it was about the need to control your environment, the idea that there might be a path to some sort of fluid existence, » designer Chris Stevens of Tipper Studio said, « It’s is why New Yorkers were so sensitive to this Please we always do 15 things at once.

Now, however, interior design has shed those minimalist shackles, thanks to trends like trinket-rich Clutter Core and comfy, upholstered Coastal Grandma.

Simply put, maximalism is back.

Former Kondo disciples have doubts.
Adam Rose/Netflix

“People want to decorate in capital D now, because they spent all this time working from home and saw that the Marie Kondo thing removed the whole character,” said Hugh Long, TikTok interior designer and champion of « more is Suite. »

“They want to add things to their space because they’re there all the time. People assume that organization is a key goal for your home, but it has to be done in tandem with decorating,” Long said.

As a result, of course, this Kondo-inspired makeover of your home turned into an interior design response to a drunken tramp dab inking — a regret-filled, hastily made, and seemingly impossible-to-undo choice. .

Don’t worry, though, if you’re stuck with an empty house that’s just as cluttered and joyless.

Interior of Chris Stevens on a sofa.
New Yorkers are control freaks, says Chris Stevens, and are therefore susceptible to Kondo’s minimalist doctrine.
Manuel Rodriguez

We’ve got a few solutions from a few New York-based interior talents, all of whom are staunchly maximalist champions; consider their advice the decorative answer to laser-cutting that poor late-night decision.

« Marie Kondo was all about purifying herself in nothing, » said Martin Brudnizki, the glamorous designer who helmed the interiors of Cane Mare and the Beekman Hotel, among others. « So to fix it, start with the walls and see what you do with them. Every room needs light, so hang mirrors – they can be small, even shards – and then put lights on them, a sconce or a lamppost in front of them.

They will twinkle and sparkle, adding energy and interest to an interior effortlessly.

Alongside Martin Brudnizki and Marie Kondo
Designer Martin Brudnizki (left) says Marie Kondo (right) wants you to cleanse yourself into nothingness.
Getty Images

Fill what’s left of the walls with what Kati Curtis, of the namesake studio, calls « a riot of beauty » – it’s a living room art wall, where pieces jostle for space and come together, offering the perfect clash of colors.

“It tells people who you are and where you’ve been, what’s important to you. I know people are afraid to do it, but honestly you can’t go wrong,” he said.

Curtis said an instant extra solution highlights storage: Consider a coat rack by the door instead of a closet that hides every jacket or scarf.

The same is true in the kitchen: remove doors to show off plates and bowls, flipping them over so they stand in outward-facing shelves, so they’re both more decorative and easier to access.

Also forget the appliance garages. Curtis points to the envy-worthy collaborations between Smeg and Dolce & Gabbana on small appliances, for example, which are meant to be displayed rather than scattered around. Buy a fancy toaster and leave it on the counter – decorative and useful, all at once.

I hope you haven’t dropped all the elements that Kondo’s rules have rendered joyless.

“Kondo says put things in boxes in boxes, and you can never really find things that way,” Curtis added.

« Kondo says to put things in boxes in boxes, and you can never really find things that way. »

Katie Curtis, designer

And if you’ve actually stashed some stuff in storage boxes, now’s the time to grab some choice tchotchkes. Fill one or two surfaces with it: a table, perhaps, or a shelf. The key when arranging this display is the theme: think of an idea, or concept, that connects all the elements you present.

« They all have a relationship to each other – you shouldn’t have to explain what it is either, because it should be clear, » said interior designer John Barman.

Brudnizki puts it more simply – think of yourself as a real estate agent showing the space later.

“Can you tell a story walking around in space with people? Imagine that,” he said.

Interior of a bedroom by John Barman.
John Barman likes to group objects by common theme.
Anastassios Mentis
Interior of a living room with library and fireplace.
Stevens wants your libraries to “burst”.
Manuel Rodriguez

When in doubt with your doodads, opt for oversized vases and the like.

« Don’t get too involved in the tiny little things, because unless you’re really on top of it, it’ll get away from you, » Stevens said.

Long offers a simple formula for shelves to be full but not overloaded: books should take up 60% of the space, decorative items 30%, and keep 10% empty.

« Without a bit of open space, you don’t feel like you can breathe, » he said.

Interior of a bright living room.
Hugh Long loves open spaces.
Joseph Barajas and Hugh Long
A mirrored wall interior plan.
Virtually double your art collection with a well-placed mirror.
Joseph Barajas and Hugh Long

But what if you scrapped all the precious collections in a fit of Mary-inspired madness?

The easiest and cheapest way to restock is to go to a local antiques mall or flea market. Sort through the stock there, Long says, and you’ll find collections that someone else has already put together that you can adopt, wholesale.

« It looks like you’ve done it over time, when in fact someone else has done it over time – and for you. If you’re just buying random junk, it can give the impression that you live in a storage unit.

Long also says it’s easy to avoid re-cluttering a home when you de-Kondo it if you change the way you shop. Instead, train yourself to consciously acquire. Stick with Etsy and the like if you browse online, but never buy anything new from your computer. If you have to get up and walk out to a physical store, it’s an effort, a gesture, and a quest – and it’ll save you from buying too much.

“The essence of it all is that people are spending so much more time at home and seeing things so differently. You don’t want to live in a white cell.

Martin Brudnizki

Kondo taught his groupies that over 30 pounds was redundant, but these designers dismiss that idea as a bunkum; it’s time to stack your shelves again – or fill the floor.

“Your bookshelf should burst, but I have so many books in my house that they become side tables,” Stevens said.

Stacked, the coffee table tomes themselves become actual tables for a guest to use – coasters only, please – and also grab a title or two to flip through when one piques their interest. With hardcovers, remember to remove the paper jackets that may fray or discolor.

« Once you’ve done that, it’s all cleaned up and it’s nice to have the books on display, » Curtis said.

Whatever you do, forget the posh Kondo-inspired rules that less is more, or things are bad. It’s good to surround yourself with beautiful things.

« The essence of it all is that people are spending so much more time at home, and they see things so differently, » Brudnizki shrugged, « You don’t want to live in a white cell. »


Back to top button