Less is more - or less is a bore? The answer to this question can determine whether you could live with Minimalist Interior Design - or not.
At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is marked by clarity, purpose and intentionality.
Minimalism is the basis of traditional Japanese design, where spaces are stripped down to contain only the essential elements. Focus is on simplicity and balance to achieve a space that is calm and has a serenity to it. Importance is placed on lines, form, light and texture.
Quality rules over quantity in minimalism.
HOW DID IT START?
As a 60's grandchild of the Bauhaus movement, minimalism continued the trend of artists rejecting the lavish, highly-decorative styles of the past. It was originally seen as a protest against t- the uncompromising art world and the increasingly consumerist society. The focus of minimalism was to break away from the excessive and overly decorative, and focus on raw materials and brutal simplicity.
Today the word 'minimalist' is often used to describe a wide range of topics from art, to fashion, to architecture, to interior design, to a way of life.
WHAT ARE THE KEY ELEMENTS?
Colour - The color is the main element of minimalist design. The color schemes are very important when it comes to minimalist designs. Bright and bold colors are not used in large amounts. The tendency is towards neutral color tones and palettes like beiges, whites and grays.
Light - natural light is always beneficial in minimalist designs as it helps to provide warmth and coziness in the room or area. Light helps the rooms to look bigger and spacious.
Texture - Usually the texture used as in walls and flooring should be plain and simple in minimalist design. Adding texture to the walls is also a good visual element. The textures can be added with the help of tiles like wood or faux stone. The neutral color tones will fit in with these textures easily.
Shape, form and space - Geometric shapes and forms are most commonly used in minimalism. The forms and shapes imply space, actually they both cannot exist without space. The space in minimalist design refers a clean and wide area. The more space, the more minimalist design.
Lines - Clear and fine lines are acceptable in the design and architecture
Architecture -The architecture in a minimalist design is basic and simple. Geometric shapes are used to design the walls and roofs. The roofs are flat rather than pitched. The use of walls is limited as to create an open living space. The finishes used on the floors, walls and counter-tops are simple and smooth and are left in or close to their natural state.
Purist design is mainly white. Often black and white are used. However, more recently you will see the introduction of colour. While an all white interior is often used in minimalist interiors due to its open, airy and simple qualities, the addition of colour retains the simple feel but makes the room more friendly and cheerful. Adding a bit of colour will put your personality mark on your space as well as uplift it. Green is an ideal colour for minimalist designs as it has balancing and calming qualities. Neutral palettes can also be used, sticking to 2-3 colours to keep the scheme simple.
Design at its most basic, stripped of superfluous elements, colors, shapes and textures
Simplicity in form and function
Uncomplicated cladding & wall finishes
Clean, open, light-filled spaces
Simple detailing devoid of decoration
Strategic use of materials for visual interest, texture, and personality
Clever storage solutions - so no clutter in sight
Natural stone, brick, wood. Glass and chrome steel are also often used in finishing. Texture with different varieties like glass, canvas, cloth, timber and pottery adds interest in monochromatic schemes. This design style is all about combination of form and function which can be achieved by rich textures in a functional home item.
As Minimalist interiors are stripped down to their essential elements and empty space is left to make the design statement - selecting quality pieces of furniture is key. So make sure furniture is chosen with form and function in mind. In order for the space to foster calm and serenity in your mind, it has to be functional and easy to use in the first place! Furniture often has clean lines and is devoid of decoration. More recently, accents of colour are used to create a strong urban feel.
In a minimalist interior, there are very few items in sight and those have to be studied carefully to convey the exact message you want them to. It does take a bit of thinking, but the result will be very rewarding, as the items on display will gain even more importance with less visual clutter around them.
So absolutely no clutter and absolutely minimal accessories. This is why storage that hides necessities is important. Any accessories are well organized, high quality and create an illusion of simplicity.
Minimalist architecture makes the best use of natural light. It works on the principle of clean, light, open spaces. So it helps create the sense of space that is a key element in minimalism.
Any artificial lighting required should be selected for its function and design. Think about a stunning light fixture above a dining table: besides being certainly functional, it will add tons of character to the space and may even become a focal point.
You can use light as as décor. Always designer lights in minimalist homes. Avoid chandeliers as they are the complete opposite of the elements of design. Choose decorative, stunning lights that are works of art in themselves to complement all other elements that make us the design space.
The minimalist house interior design when done well, will be simple, efficient and straightforward. It provides stacked volumes of spaces. The minimalism creates clarity and simplicity in the design and it makes the areas and spaces uncomplicated and predictable.
Simple forms and shapes, minimal interior walls, large and open floors, modest, simple and decent storage areas with emphasis and great importance on views and daylight are the defining characteristics of minimalist designs.
The simple home design without any complications, extra materials, accessories and complexity is the key of minimalist design.
"Minimalist styling is not about creating a cold, hard, empty white box of a home. It is about using simple and natural forms, and taking away layers without losing the aesthetic appeal of the space. The focus is on shape, colour and texture, with a minimum of furniture and accessories" - Nicola Holden, Interior Designer
AND TO FINISH
Thanks to the following for images and advise:
So that's the end of Number 3 in the 'What is Your Design Style?' series. As always we would love to hear how you're getting on with your project and developing your own personal interior design style.
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