L’art de la simplicité. Dominique Loreau

You know, I have recently read a book almost at one sitting. It is  about the fact that happiness is in having less, not more. The French writer has been living in Japan for a long time. And in her book she offers various variations to use the Japanese way of living. It was interesting to read, even despite the fact I do not agree with some thesises. Or by my opinion some of them are described quite superficially. But some oh the points really caught me. Very simple ideas forced me to think about my life values and my views. Since some time I try to read books with a pencil in my hand. Especially interesting ideas I underline or even write them out somewhere. Here what I did, for example, reading this book:

Each of us i s a unique collage, of our parents, our friends, our studies, experiences and travels, our reading

Generally I love this idea in itself. That we all are somehow a set of characteristics we got from different sources. But still, I believe that we are already born with some of them. So I would add here something otherworldly origin – like natal card from an astrology or type of personality from psychology, something already embedded in us when we come.

Whatever you do, don’t try to change other people This will only complicate your life, drain your energy, and leave you feeling helpless and frustrated

I used to think that such approach was very selfish. Why not to help someone to change for the better? But no! It os quite the opposite in fact. Now I think we can only change if our own experience tells us that it is really necessary, or the example of another person, but without violence. We need to understand the need of changes by ourselves. 

A golden rule: if you nothing good or kind to say, say nothing. Do as you would be done by: treat others with justice, kindness and respect

No comments. I learn this constantly.  

Don’t be the person everyone expects you to be – be the person you want to be. Know precisely and firmly the things you want and do not want in your life. Be independent. Have the courage to say ‘no’ with a smile, and with no excuses

There are two thoughts, but both are very valuable for me. Be yourself. And say ‘no’ without apologising or explaining. Let it be just a negative answer to a question.

We will be much happier if we learn to live with our own and others’ imperfections

Oh, Yes! Everyone has them! My close friend calls them «bziki» – issues. «Tania, it is just his own issue» – she always says calmly. And there are not more questions. 

Projecting yourself into the future in order to experience your goals is an ancient technique

I faced somewhere this idea and I come across it all the time. Probably this ancient technique really works. So, if you want something, imagine you already have it. In detail. You can’t even imagine – then how it will come true? Are you sure you want it?

Try to ‘sense’ your brain in your legs. Taking part in sport will help you to ‘digest’ your thoughts. Your body will be awakened, and so will your mind and spirit. You may find yourself struck by the most amazing ideas during exercise. Don’t practice sport or yoga with the sole aim of losing weight. Take pleasure in it

I tried to be friends with sport for a long time. Surprisingly, but it really works! All what is said about a pleasure and about insights. Oh, sport – that’s life!

I like also a practice mentioned to wash your eyes inside the water every morning. I know in Ayurveda it is suggested to wash a throat and a mouth using the oil, to clean the tongue. There are special procedures for “oiling” the eyes and nasopharynx. The sinuses can be cleaned using a special device. But to clean the eyes, putting your whole face into the water, opening the eyes and rotating them until discomfort stops – I have never heard about it before. I should try. 

Style comes with good sense and taste. Style is not limited to your clothes, or your physique; it’s an outer sign of inner intelligence. Style is a choice, a concept of self, of what we want to become, and how to get there

A place for everything, and everything in its place. Tidiness saves time and frees the memory. Good work begins with clean and tidy surroundings

That is it! And I wondered why I have such a love of order at home. Long time ago I noticed when I clean up one part of the flat a miracle happens: in a clean kitchen everyone who lives with me, suddenly want to cook, and in a clean bath – to titivate for hours. 

Once a week treat yourself to a bunch of flowers

Marc gonna like it! He does not understand why I spend money for nothing and buy flowers to put in a vase at home!

We wear 20 percent of our wardrobe 80 percent of the time

No waaaaaaay!

Women who wear black lead colourful lives

Ha, I knew it is not a sign of a depression like everyone says!

Simplicity is the key to a distinctive, eye-catching appearance. This is the key to a woman as it is for a photographer


Train yourself to evaluate the objects around you. Your peace of mind will grow as, gradually, the things that make up your everyday world come to reflect your true needs and personal tastes

I’m learning this. Just someone I live with likes to put his toys everywhere in the flat! The book does not suggest what to do with it when live with someone.

Oriental people always remove their shoes entering a home

Oh, French! Yes, imagine, we do! Always! Marc, of course, knows what “tapochki” are for. 

Without storage, there cannot be empty space in the home

True! Why didn’t anyone think about it in Russia? All of us, for example, need a pair of skis for the winter and suitcases for traveling, we all need tools for cleaning, boxes with documents. But where to keep it all in an apartment in Moscow? We used to use a balcony for it. In Vienna I I have discovered there are storage rooms located on the ground floor and belong to each flat. Plus quite often, if the size allows, there is a small room for such things in the apartment. It would be nice to have something like this in Moscow.

A small, perfect space, a good book and a cup of tea are a source of extreme satisfaction

And something sweet to eat with the tea. I am not Japanese, I am Russian! We used to such way.

Architects and ethno-socialogists agree that our living space makes us who we are, that a home shapes the mind and spirit of the people who live in it

Yes! I think the amount of unnecessary stuff at home has a great influence on us. When we have a lot of things – how to clean this flat if you do not even have a place to move normally. And design? In Moscow in rent apartments the repair had place last time in 50s-60s (depends when it was built). I do not know why so… Well, the owner can at least just paint the walls and ceilings and buy a simple furniture in IKEA before letting? We live in 2018, not 50s!

People who live in clean, empty spaces feel in control of their live


Western society has lost the art of living simply. We have too many material possessions, too many temptations and desires, too much choice, too much to eat

I also sometimes think that probably we have lost something important in our infinite desire to buy, to eat something or have something new. 

We have a duty to bring a touch of beauty to the world we live in


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