Photos by Hillary Ehlen
Less is more. Without a doubt, you have probably heard this statement at some point in your life. However, minimalism is not about getting rid of the things you love; it’s about loving the things you own. This month, we met with Fargo minimalists to see how they have made the most of living with less. Now, let us take you on a tour of their intentionally uncluttered spaces with immense style.
About Danyel & Gavin Moe
My name is Danyel Moe. I am a Fargo-native and 2017 Concordia College graduate. I studied Marketing and Art and began my career as a Marketing Content Specialist at the Concordia College Communications and Marketing Department one year ago. This past June, I got married to my college sweet-heart, Gavin Moe (we met in art class). We love to travel, create art, make good vegan food and hang out at home with our kitten, Nori Moe.
Our style is timeless, simple and clean, but we like adding earthy elements through plants and warm tones. I love the juxtaposition of modern shapes with vintage colors, textures and patterns. I think most would say that our style is mid-century modern. Though mid-mod is trendy at the moment, I think it will carry into our future styles quite nicely.
How I became a Minimalist
I did not realize until I started dating Gavin that all of the junk I owned made me feel stressed and overwhelmed. He kindly challenged my belongings and purchases, and I found a new freedom in owning less and only keeping items I truly love and that bring me joy. Now, I’m the one wanting to get rid of more and more. He’s a good influence, to say the least.
The majority of the things in our home are essential and have a direct purpose or function. That being said, art, plants and flowers bring us too much joy to consider living without them. Minimalist isn’t about just owning less. It isn’t a number of items, a certain color scheme or amount of square feet. There are no rules. It is simply stepping back and saying, “What do I love, what do I value and what do I need?”
How We Pared Down Our Possessions
After spending the past two years slowly refining our belongings, we look back and ask ourselves, ‘Which objects have we gotten rid of that we wish we hadn’t?’ We find it hard to name anything. This reassures us that objects are not that important. If it does not bring joy, function or make our lives better, then why do we own it? Also, if a possession has sentimental value, a photo can bring back that cherished memory just as easily as the actual object.
Where We Shop
I would say about a fourth of our pieces are thrifted from areas around town such as Saver’s, The Arc, Now and Then Shoppe (my personal favorite), Reed and Taylor Antiques, The Boy’s Ranch, Goodwill or from my parents’ basement. Our investment pieces such as our bed-frame and living room set that we know we will have for a lifetime are from Scan Design in Fargo and West Elm.
How I Thrift
Don’t be intimated! Thrifting is a fun and creative hobby for me now. My thrifted pieces have quickly become my favorite items in our apartment. They add an unexpected flair to our otherwise simplistic home. I like to make mood boards of rooms, trends and designs I love and then identify the reoccurring shapes, styles, textures and color schemes. When I go out to the thrift stores, I keep those in mind as I rummage through. If a vintage piece doesn’t fit those qualifications, it’s a no-go. When I find a piece that ticks all the marks, I take it home and try it out.
Gavin and I definitely appreciate neutrals, because they are timeless. My favorite color is burnt orange and his is forest green. We have added hints of those colors throughout to add comfort and warmth to the otherwise gray, brown and white palette.
We bought Nori a collection of plush vegetable toys that we call “Nori’s Garden.” To hide away the toys when the day is done, we put them in a wicker basket. We never thought we would own a cat castle, but once we realized how active and playful Nori was, we began to search the internet for something that fit our style. We found a modern, geometric wooden cat castle that we love, and most importantly, Nori loves too.
Our Approach to Art
We love Scandinavian inspired ceramics, woodgrain, and the occasional wild piece, such as one of my own abstract paintings, a Laura Berger feminist print or a Group Partner face pot. It’s what makes us happy and somehow, it all ends up going together (at least we would like to think so). We have a lot of our own art throughout the space, though we received a beautiful Charles Beck piece called “Branches” as a wedding gift from Gavin’s parents. It is very special to us.
How We Deal with Living in a Small Space
Our best apartment “hack” is that Gavin’s gaming station is actually built into our closet. It maximizes our space and allows us to close away all of the cords and tech that come with being a committed gamer. Before we started designing our space, we thought a lot about what we like to do with our time and how our space can accommodate that. Then, we proceeded to decorate and arrange according to our everyday lives.
To learn more about the Moes’ lifestyle, favorite products and travels, follow Danyel Moe on Instagram at @danyelmoe.
A week after this photoshoot, Nori Moe passed away unexpectedly in spay surgery. This was her home. She is so loved and so missed. Rest peacefully, Nori.