The organic home: for minimalist living

THE MINIMALIST BATHROOM June 21 2017, 0 Comments

Our bathrooms are a space where minimalism can be hard to achieve.  A minimalist bathroom is difficult because we have so many ‘amenities’ at hand: everything from toothpaste to towels and toilet paper. Here are a few easily actioned tips to get you started:

One of each

Duplicates only add to the clutter. Keep one item of all the essentials at hand - one tissue box, one towel, one shampoo, etc. This is so simple and should make an immediate difference.  You can store your backups in a cupboard somewhere else or discard them if it is something you can easily reorder online.

Quick Tip: use multifunctional hair care products! Instead of keeping one shampoo, one conditioner, and one bar of soap, why not have a single product that can accomplish everything at once? A minimalist bathroom never has items with duplicate functions. Also, stick to one brand! Limiting your cosmetic and hair products to a single company (or packaging colour scheme like white) will add consistency to the overall aesthetic of your minimalist bathroom.

Don’t use what you don’t need”

This is the central philosophy of minimalism - so apply it to your bathroom. Take out every single accessory in your bathroom, and put back only the things you need. Trust me, you will be surprised by how little you actually use need on a daily basis. That 10-year old comb from Thailand you never used before, the expired face cream in your linen closet, take that out!  It’s really worth taking everything out one by one and then packing it back.  One realises the extent of one’s own hoarding if done this way! 

Quick Tip: try to keep your less important items ‘hidden’ by storing them inside opaque or mirrored closets. Only display the essentials. This follows the core fundamental of a minimalist philosophy: ‘promote things we value, remove everything else that distracts us from it.’

Light Colours (but white is always your best friend!)

Keep away from dark or shiny colours. Ideally use tones and shades that are pale and calming. It will make your small bathroom nook feel much more spacious. Mirrors can also add to sense of space, and most bathrooms need them anyway.  If you think a mirror will make you feel vain, insecure or self conscious GET OVER IT. Or just throw out the mirror because life is too short to live that way.  After all, there is no means to avoid the bathroom!

Quick Tip: Uniformity is crucial to calm. The last thing you want is pink towels, light-blue walls, and brown curtains. If you are going to use a colour, stick to one and commit to it. There should be no sense of mismatch or confusion if the bathroom colours are uniform.  White works well because even different shades of white tend to blend and work well together. 

Aesop shower gel bottles and facewash tube in monochrome bathroom shelf

Keep everything clean

This is a BIG one!  And maybe the most obvious tip. Luckily after you have ‘triaged’ the items in your bathroom it will be easier to do :)

The perfect minimalist bathroom is spotless, so you need to regularly give your surfaces a wipe with a non toxic product like these. This will revamp the entire bathroom and gives it life. Plants are also good in the bathroom, despite popular opinion. As long as they are easy to move and you have good ventilation - go for it!  

Quick Tip: replace your old-fashioned plastic amenities with modern BPA Free ones. It will make the bathroom feel much more clean and fresh if you use glass, stone or metal rather than cheap plastic. Unsustainable and old crusty bathroom items here and there will not only disrupt the minimalist atmosphere, but also make YOU feel out of place.

Make it smell like… nothing

There is a new product called poopourri, which kind of does what it says on the tin. It makes things smell the same as all the other rooms in the house. Alternatively flowers or greenery work great!  Green goes especially well with white and even a small branch of greenery on a glass vase can brighten your mood or bright 'homeliness' to a sterile room. Lets face it, bathrooms are SUPPOSED to be sterile!

If you follow these guidelines, your minimalist bathroom should be a haven.  

You can disappear in there when the kids are screaming, when you need to cry because your boyfriend just dumped you (and you know your makeup is going to run) or just to, you know… do the business.

 

 


Working on our pitches for magazines and online sites April 17 2017, 0 Comments

Twoodie is the ONE STOP skill-building, creativity-boosting baby toy solution designed to cover ALL the essential developmental and learning needs in your child's first 18 months of life.


Our toy is inspired by Montessori free play, because we believe fun playful learning is fundamental to growth – and don’t just take our word for it, free play is preferred by Prince George, Google's Larry & Sergei, and an innumerable number of super-successful CEOs who were educated according to this method. We’ve dedicated three years and over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity/safety of Twoodie toys, so that you can trust every single one is natural, sustainable, and made to exacting quality standards in Japan.  Twoodies come packaged in a luxurious velvet pouch for easy transport, and a solid artist-tattooed shoebox for safe storage...adding beauty (not clutter) to the home.


In this tech-focused world, your baby only needs ONE toy before paediatricians say it's safe to engage with smartphones and screentime: Twoodie is that toy!


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Twoodie is the ONE STOP baby toy solution that is designed to cover ALL the essential developmental and learning needs of a child's first 18 months of life.

It's inspired by Montessori free play as preferred by Prince George, but also Google's Larry & Sergei and a disproportionate amount of CEOs who were schooled in this method.  Twoodie spent three years and ran over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity/safety of the toys which are natural, sustainable and made to exacting quality standards in Japan.  Twoodies come packaged in a luxurious velvet pouch for easy transport and a solid artist tattooed shoebox for safe storage...Adding beauty (not clutter) to the home.


You only need ONE toy before paediatricians say it's safe to engage with smartphones and screentime: Twoodie is that toy!


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Twoodie Gems

US$125 with complimentary shipping

Sold exclusively via twoodie.com


We've spent 3 years immersed in Japanese culture, interviewing children's health & development specialists and collaborating with wood technicians to create the ALL IN ONE baby toy.

The Twoodie gems are unique in that they cover ALL the early learning and developmental requirements for 0-18 months but are appreciated by playful minds of all ages.

With Twoodie you only need ONE toy for the critical first 2yrs when paediatricians recommend no screen time. Twoodie is an all in one solution that's organic, stylish and PROVEN.

We've designed a toy that speaks to Marie Kondo's minimalism and Montessori free play (as preferred by Prince George, but also Google's Larry & Sergei and a disproportionate amount of CEOs who were educated according to this method).

It's an heirloom and adds beauty not clutter to the home.

We have run over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity and safety of the toys which are all natural, sustainable and made to exacting standards in Osaka, Japan.

Twoodie is the world’s first completely transparent toy brand.



Safe Sustainable and stylish

Tried tested trusted

Imperfect impermanent incomplete



Twoodie is the ONE STOP baby toy solution that covers ALL the essential developmental and learning needs of a child's first 18 months of life.

It's inspired by Marie Kondo's minimalism and Montessori free play (as preferred by Prince George, but also Google's Larry & Sergei and a disproportionate amount of CEOs who were educated according to this method).  We ran over 20 independent tests to ensure the purity/safety of the toys which are natural, sustainable and made in Japan.

75 words, 460 characters with spaces

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Using sustainable woods and some impressive physics Twoodie makes whimsical surrealist stacking toys.

The gems are part of a new movement of toys that embrace free and 'self directed' play and has recently gained momentum after the royal family decided that Prince George would attend a Montessori nursery school.

From 0-2 yrs paediatricians recommend no screen time as this can damage a young child’s retina irreversibly.  So the African-Australian designers at Twoodie set out with the ambitious goal to create a toy that would fulfil ALL of the developmental and learning needs for the first 18 months of life.  

"People need less stuff because they are travelling more and living in dense urban spaces.  They seek the organic: wood, nature and calming objects - a complement to their hyper connected surroundings and lifestyle.  Twoodie is an all in one toy for millennial parents that relieves anxiety and encourages interaction."

These pure wood gems are cross purpose although they are tested to the strictest international standards for newborn babies and have faceted edges and a careful weighting that allows little ones to grasp them easily...

Everything is Made in Japan where the toy was developed with human centred design and observation at the Tokyo Toy museum and the hundred year old archives of the Odawara wood center.

Twoodie is the only toy brand in the world offering complete transparency, a rarity in the cheap and opaque world of plastic playthings.  This engenders trust from a small but growing international clientele of artists, tastemakers and idealistic parents.



254 words


Hi Nic.  We're writing to you because you write about issues that are

important to all of us.

Therefore we think there is a possibility you will understand what we are

trying to do.  Its about mission, not ambition:


We've started a new type of toy company.  After living in Asia and being

at the coldface we experienced the poisonous effect cheap plastic toys have on our health, communities and environment.  Everyone talks about cleaning up the fashion supply chain, but toys are a vastly more opaque and

untransparent industry.


There was this moment when I realised that the plastic toys I was picking

up off the beach in my company sponsored clean up were exactly the same as those in the Toys R Us showroom I walked through every day at work.

If the statistic that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the

ocean is true then sacrificing our careers and everything we own to fix

this problem has to be worth it.


How we solve this problem:


1 - We designed a toy that uniquely covers ALL the developmental needs of a child for their first 18 months.  So you "only need to buy 1".

2 - We made these toys sustainably in Japan, compensated everyone involved fairly and tested them independently.

3 - We made our Public Benefit company COMPLETELY TRANSPARENT: all our margins, factories, salaries, contracts, testing certifications and

philanthropic giving is available for public scrutiny at twoodie.com

This way we hold ourselves to account.


How can you help us?  Connect us to someone at your newspaper who

understands design and sustainability and will tell the world that *there

is now an alternative to toxic toys and plastic landfill.* Or consider this for your blog. That's all we're asking: the opportunity to let people know it exists.


For your consideration.  


Montessori March 30 2017, 0 Comments

(Trying to help one of our partners promote)

Needs must people!

Prince George, Montessori & Free Play - Why there’s so much BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzz

The Royal family favouring a Montessori nursery for Prince George’s education like his father Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge

In this modern day and age where only the best is sought out for future generations, the word ‘Montessori’ is not an uncommon one for new parents to be throwing around in conversations. A flick through any article in the newspaper promoting the success of Montessori will heavily feature some of the world’s best and brightest including Larry and Sergei, the co-founders of Google; Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon; and most recently, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and his royal son Prince George, among many other leaders, who have all passed through this particular mode of early learning.

Nowadays, the demand for schools that adopt the Montessori approach is exceedingly high, especially after the endorsement of many pioneers in different fields citing this as a contributing factor to their success. This renders it nearly impossible to gain a place at the top London Montessori nurseries without previous planning and ample connections or funds, as some institutes take as few as 20 students annually.  

A minimalistic Montessori school for learning

With flashing headlines about the Montessori primary school system, you are bound to wonder what Montessori really is? Simply put, it is an educational method created by Maria Montessori targeted at how young children learn, with emphasis on the child’s own interests, abilities and incentives. In a practical sense, it is the encouragement of play, exploration and discovery of the little learners, instead of restraining them to the boundaries of instructions or textbook learning.

This allows individual development at their own pace, and the early development of attributes like self-assessment, inquisitiveness and independence amongst many others. This hands-on approach and the help of guiding teachers also ensures a personalised and unique learning experience is catered for each child in Montessori. Some studies even show that children who have gone through Montessori schools have higher capabilities regarding reading, creative writing and mathematics in the future. The people who have come out of Montessori are the best reflections of its success and benefits, including creativity, confidence in taking the initiative, cooperation with peers and self-discipline, and it has clearly helped them in the long run.

 Co-founders of Google Sergei Brin & Larry Page, Jeff Bezos amongst many other technological innovators, are proud advocates of the Montessori learning system

One of the most important components of Montessori is ‘playing’. Rather than in the traditional sense of games and make believe, Montessori allows playful learning based around freedom of discovery. Schools often provide specific materials and props with different textures, shapes and sizes that encourage curiosity and the interest of children as they play with them. This is where the importance of ‘free play’ comes in, as this process is integral in allowing children to make sense of the world around them with confidence and attentiveness. The Tot is proud to present Twoodie, a new all organic toy from Japan, to our Montessori fans.  This unique toy provides a healthy and safe platform for parents to encourage their children to engage in free play and exploration.

As avid fans of the free play attitude, the Twoodie gems are the perfect non-toxic and natural resource for children (and adults!) that can be held, stacked and played with through mutual interaction. Twoodie is a unique one stop baby toy solution designed specifically and safely to encompass all learning and developmental needs of a learning tot. The company’s aim is to provide beautiful toys of the most outstanding quality to all children, with an emphasis on transparency and love. The comprehensive testing that the Twoodie gems undergo ensures that they are safe and sustainable toys for all ages, especially teething toddlers! An ingenious fusion of nature and education, Twoodie is a toy suited for Montessori learning and fit for any curious baby and even for royal ones like Prince George.

Prince George's first day at a Montessori School

Prince George’s first day at his Montessori nursery school 21 years after his father Prince William, Duke of Cambridge





Why kids need minimalism February 21 2017, 0 Comments

As a child, I had the type of closet that you opened at your own risk. Because when you opened that door, only God knew what barrage of toys, clothes, and “stuff” would come barreling forth. I didn’t know it then, but as a kid–I needed minimalism.

I always said, “I am just messy, period.” Like it was some kind of personality trait: MessyClutteredOverwhelmedAnxious.

As a kid 30 years ago, I needed minimalism. But today…for my kids? Minimalism is essential.

Note: This is an excerpt of a brilliant article by Denaye Barahona of Simple Families.

Continue reading the rest of her piece here...