Saturday, October 3, 2009

Karim Rashid On Shopping, Clutter, and More

Karim Rashid book cover - Design Your Self

Karim Rashid loves color, curves rather than straight lines - and sharing his opinions with the world. After I wrote about Entre Nous, commenter kbfenner recommended his book Design Your Self, and I'm so glad for the pointer (and to my library, for having the book).

Here's Rashid on shopping:
Sales are really about making you buy things you don't need: the coat that almost fits, the pants you might wear some day, the shoes that are only one size too big.
And more:
The next time you're at a mall, ask yourself if you really need anything, and if perhaps you wouldn't be better off going to the museum.
But he goes on to say:
By no means am I advocating that we should not be buying or having things. I firmly believe that we should be hyperconscious of the things we surround ourselves with - either love and enjoy them or do without them.
And he continues:
When I look around my personal environment, my house, my office, even my car, I ask myself whether everything there has a meaning. ... Do I have anything that really has no significance to me, such as gifts I was given, mistaken purchases, or things? Is there anything there that I have been keeping over time, sometimes to the point of not even seeing it anymore?
His emphasis, over and over, is on fewer but better things:
Have less but better furniture in your domestic environment. Minimize the number of objects in your kitchen - best quality, least quantity.
And he says:
Remember it is not just the mess of excess itself, it's the effect it has on your psyche.
But I don't agree with everything he writes, including this recommendation for the home:
No visible books, magazines, CDs, or clutter. No bookshelves.
We've touched on simpler wardrobes before, and Karim also writes about this, saying:
In my wardrobe, I have thirty pairs of white cotton socks, thirty pairs of white underwear, and thirty white 100 percent cotton T-shirts of the same brand. ... I only wear white, silver, or pink, so my wardrobe and packing are simple.

green Garbino wastebasket - with handles and curvy lines

Now, let's take a quick look at some organizing-related products Rashid has designed. His book mentions the Garbo wastebasket he designed for Umbra in 1995, which became a bestseller. You can now buy the smaller Garbino from Umbra, The Container Store, and others.

pink watch

And in the time management realm, here's the wristwatch he designed for Alessi.


kbfenner said...

Glad you liked it. I agree with you on the books. I think I go by Cheryl Mendelson's (Home Comforts)

strategy of only one "project" out at a time--I only have the books and magazines I'm actually reading strewn about, and neat stacks of those I'm truly going to read, and then the others are on shelves. I have an iPod for music.
I haven't been able to settle on a color scheme for a wardrobe, but doesn't it sound wonderful to have one?

Jeri Dansky said...

Kbfenner, I haven't looked at Home Comforts in a long time; maybe I'll pull it off that bookshelf that Karim Rashid says I shouldn't have.

I do have a color scheme of sorts; I had my colors done a few years ago - and discovered I really do look best when I wear my colors. (I'm an "amber autumn.") So it was (mostly) in with black, camel, gold and bronze, rich greens and browns, and terra cotta orange - and out with the other colors. Not as simplified as Rashid's three colors, but it works for me.

SueBK said...

I can't imagine not having bookshelves. I love browsing through people's books / movies / music to see what we have in common.

As much as anything in my house my bookshelves "this is who I am".

Jeri Dansky said...

I too love browsing through other people's bookshelves, SueBK.

kbfenner said...

I am a winter for sure and used to have a mostly black/white/gray/red wardrobe, and then I got concerned from time to time that winter colors are not for the over 35/40/45 woman. I read article after article that says no black/white next to the older face--yesterday on a rerun of WNTW Stacy London said "Black for daytime wasn't so kind next to over 35 skin." Then I tried to simplify my life by going gray--not a great look for me, so I went back to coloring my dark hair. Sometimes it comes out more reddish, which throws me into a more autumnal palette. sigh
Simple isn't easy sometimes.
Love your blog!

and Cheryl Mendelson is not simple at all!!!

Geralin Thomas (@metrozing on Twitter) said...

Jeri, I've just started reading a book called, "To Buy or Not to Buy" by April Benson, Ph.D and it is excellent! She is a therapist who works with folks who want to stop overshopping and over acquiring.

I think after I finish this book, I'll head over to the library and explore the books mentioned here. Very helpful post.

Jeri Dansky said...

Geralin, April Benson's book has been on my wish list for a while. I just checked, and my local library system has the book, so I put it on hold. Thanks for giving me the push to get my hands on that one!