Home : Aesthetic Efficiency – Alma Verme – Medium
“It’s okay to have all your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.” Elon Musk
This winter, I spent one of the best weeks of my life in the house of a beautiful family. This family is small and simple, a mom and a son, who live in a two-room house — one of the rooms being the bathroom. They’re that simple.
Standing under the frame of the glass front door, you can see every metre of the house with every belonging they own. The space is a square room with sides no longer than the American school bus. During the day, everything is out in the open including both beds, but at night, Beth and Tenn divide their ‘rooms’ by drawing out a few curtains.
For them, the two main life rules are efficiency and quality. Very unlike their American “let’s oversize” surroundings. The limited space they share makes it crucial for Beth and Tenn to choose wisely what enters their home, their lives. And crucial it is to know how to organise it all. By the bathroom mirror there are two nails that each hangs their respective toothbrush. Two more nails over the showerhead, each with their respective hanging sponge (they are tall people). And magnets are propped up on the kitchen wall, over the only countertop, to put up knives and not waste any valuable drawer space.
Everything they do and keep is perfectly measured to fit and be accessed in the most effective way and, just as importantly, in the most aesthetic way. If you don’t have a lot, you might as well make what you do have count. This opens a path for Beth and Tenn to always perform tasks quickly and be on time for things and appointments. It helps that Beth is an artist and studied design, yet the whole concept of aesthetic efficiency is perfectly engraved in both of their minds. They are both so subconsciously, so effortlessly, efficient in the most beautiful of ways.
I write this not to shame anyone who wants to have a lot (of anything) or anyone who is not organised and efficient. I write this because the week in this home opened my eyes to what I think is the healthiest lifestyle. Beth and Tenn surround themselves in small snippets of the best quality. They get pleasure from every step they take. From the food in the fridge, to the small number of artworks hanging on the walls, to the softness of their dining chairs. These beautiful surroundings inspire anyone to be clear-headed and creative and effective. And, having so little leaves Beth and Tenn to be a pair of humble human beings who are organised, spend accordingly, and are so crazy lovely to be around.
I felt more at home sleeping on their pullout sofa for a week than I do in my mom’s slightly big apartment where I have lived for most of my life. And that homey effect was purely a product of the little, efficient bungalow and the effect it has on people.
I was most surprised by how quickly the efficiency mindset and lifestyle started to filter into my own brain. Like both Beth and Tenn, I began improving my movements around the house and, amazingly, I noticed that I was upgrading my decision-making. That made me immediately connect the dots with one of Beth and Tenn’s aspects that stupefies me: their ability to choose precisely who they build relationships with and with whom they do not. All of their closest friends are people that explode with creativity and love. Never did I sense any bad intentions or felt less than at home with any. So, the connection my brain made was that aesthetic efficiency and prioritizing quality gets in your brain quite rapidly without you even giving things a second thought. Suddenly, you are trying to be as effective as you can with any action, especially with the relationships you build and who you choose to be valuable in your time and life.
Low-key it’s awesome to feel ‘chosen’ by Beth and Tenn.
So, how about we all cut down on our numerous amounts of bulk and squeeze ourselves into the healthiest of environments? Why don’t we drive our minds to find the quality in the simple?