A High/Low Mix at Home: Minimalist Organizer Kristen Ziegler’s Dozen Design Essentials

“I feel like a walking catalog of products,” jokes Kristen Ziegler, owner of the Richmond, Virginia-based organizing company Minima. “Especially with IKEA and The Container Store. I know their products by name.” While the organizing pro reads up on home products for her clients, that doesn’t mean she isn’t on the hunt for her own home, too. Kristen, also a true minimalist, is meticulous about the items she brings into her pint-sized Richmond townhouse, spending hours carefully researching products before she makes a purchase.

Originally an architect who was laid off during the housing crash, Kristen embraced minimalism as a way to survive the recession on a dime. “You can get away with having less when each thing is so exciting,” she says. So what does this converted minimalist’s home look like? Well, it’s outfitted with a mix of high-end Scandinavian and Japanese furnishings, along with a few IKEA pieces. For instance, in her kitchen, four ash Hans Wegner Wishbone chairs are tucked under a crisp white IKEA tulip-shaped table, and above hangs a delicate Nelson Saucer Pendant lamp that George Nelson designed for Herman Miller.

While Kristen’s home is filled with both high-end and affordable decor, she says that it’s totally worth waiting for the right items for your home. “You need so much less if you invest in high-quality things that you love,” she says. “It’s worth saving up for it.”

As a minimalist, naturally Kristen eschews tchotchkes, but she is quick to say that she does have pieces that function more in the realm of art. “I don’t buy things just to fill a space,” she says. “I try to be intentional about where things go, like art or a meditative plant.” For instance, Kristen fills her curvaceous Menu vase with fresh tulips and lights candles encased in beautifully crafted hurricane glass. “To me these serve a function,” she says, “they make me feel comfortable, and they serve an emotional function, as well. While I love just about every item I own, these are the things that spark a little extra joy. I refuse to have anything that I don’t find to be both useful and beautiful. I would rather live without something than settle for an item I don’t enjoy.”

As someone who truly believes in only buying what you absolutely love (even if it means have far, far less), we checked in with Kristen about the items in her own home with which she has chosen to surround herself. Check out Kristen’s essentials:

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