Jenni Kayne on the 10 Things Every Stylish Minimalist Home Should Have
No Kondo-ing required.
Published May 11, 2019 7:00 AM
Everyone defines minimalism differently. Some classify according to clutter, or lack thereof, putting stark spaces under the “minimalist” category. Others define by color, imparting the distinction on purely neutral spaces. Designer Jenni Kayne has her own brand of minimalism—one built on calming colors, organic materials, and soft textiles. Her instantly recognizable aesthetic prizes understated elegance and warm simplicity; no surprise that it’s garnered her a loyal following and made her products so popular.
She’s carried this signature style into each of her product launches, from textiles to dinnerware and, most recently, a line of what are possibly the most stylish pet items we’ve ever seen. The Jenni Kayne pet collection launched on May 1, and with pieces like hand-stitched leather leashes and cream-colored ceramic dog bowls in its ranks, it got us thinking: If this is how chic her pet products are, the rest of her home must be a total sophisticated minimalist dream. We chatted with the designer to learn about the home essentials and decor items she swears by for keeping her space minimal and elegant.
The organization must-have
“I’m a very organized Virgo who loves glass jars—I don’t have any plastic in my house,” says Kayne. Instead, she keeps her space organized with glass vessels, a sustainable option that doesn’t sacrifice style. “I couldn’t live without an assortment of jars, especially in my fridge and pantry,” she continues. Keep dry goods, like pastas and cereals, neatly tucked away on open shelving or counters.
The fresh start
Kayne is of the minimalist school of thought that values simple neutrals, and this starts with a clean base for the walls. She swears by Benjamin Moore’s Aura Pure White paint for a classic white that works with any furniture and decor. “I use it all over. It’s my favorite bright white,” says Kayne.
The weeknight dinner champion
An immersion blender is Kayne’s kitchen staple. The compact and multifunctional tool doesn’t take up a ton of valuable storage space and can be used for a plethora of dishes. She uses it specifically for soups. Her favorite? Pamela Salzman’s simple tomato soup, an all-time classic.
The kids’ room staple
Forget the nursery decor clichés and opt for something more elevated that your little one will be able to take with them as they grow. Kayne’s favorite item is a sheepskin, which can be used either as a cozy rug or a warm blanket and will never go out of style. “We have them around the house to cuddle in with the kids,” she says. Consider it a family movie night nonnegotiable.
The vanity organizer
Listen, being a minimalist doesn’t mean you have to eschew your favorite beauty products and give up tiny luxuries—just be mindful about storing them. Kayne opts for a series of small woven bins from The Container Store to keep her vanity tidy. “I get a size that can fit in my drawers and cabinets,” she says of the affordable pieces.
The bathtime favorite
At the core of Kayne’s minimalist philosophy is an emphasis on quality: quality products, quality materials, and quality production methods. This means shopping sustainable where possible, including bath items. “I love Juniper Ridge body wash,” says the designer. “It’s a clean product that also smells delicious.” It helps that the minimalist packaging won’t detract from your stylish bathroom too.
The multipurpose vessel
“I love ceramic crocks. They are multifunctional and can be used as a vase or to hold utensils on the buffet table and spatulas next to the stove,” says Kayne. Opt for a classic silhouette and simple earthy tone, like cream or terra-cotta, for your own useful crock. Plus, as the adage goes, you can never have too many ceramic vessels. Right?
The office assistant
File under basic, yet effective: Kayne’s workspace essential is a packet of white Post-Its. “After three kids, I need to remind myself or leave notes around and I love a simple white Post-It,” she says.
The accessory for your furry friend
If you’ve spent time carefully pulling together your dream minimalist space, don’t let unsightly pet products ruin it. Kayne’s chic ceramic bowls are so stylish that you’ll want them for your own meals. “I love the clean look of them, as it’s hard to find pet accessories that are both simple and sophisticated,” she explains.
The unexpected laundry room tool
No dryer? No problem: Go for an old-school system instead. Kayne loves her Sheila Maid for hanging clothes to dry. The wood and cast-iron materials are super chic; plus, it’s a sustainable alternative to using a machine. “They are both nice-looking and functional,” says Kayne of hers.
See more minimalist living tips: Every Minimalist Has This in Their Home 6 Decluttering Strategies Minimalists Swear By The Minimalist’s Guide to Decorating With Patterns