When considering minimalism, words and ideas like “less is more,” “clean lines,” “reduction,” “uncluttered”, “monochromatic”, and “less is more” spring to mind. When faced with a finished minimalist interior, it’s impossible to deny the calm and straightforward beauty. However, achieving this look requires more thought and effort than simply picking a few pieces of furniture for a white background, which can leave a space feeling cold, sparse, and unlived-in.
In this article, we will look at this enigmatic style and learn ins-and-outs of what makes it so appealing. We will also cover what interior design decisions will help you achieve classic minimalistic look without making your house feel empty and soulless.
Minimalism Style History
Finally emerging as a style in the second part of the 20th century was minimalism. After World War II, it took the place of the highly ornamental Art Nouveau style, which generated negative connections with bourgeois society. People now aim for consistency and simplicity in their pace and way of life.
The Japanese aesthetic is where minimalism first emerged and later spread to Western society. Constructivism’s influence was also significant in shaping this style. This trend’s guiding principles are precision, geometry, and the alignment of a building’s exterior design with its intended use. “Style,” the Dutch-born society of artists, had a significant part in the development and rise of minimalism. It created the groundwork for the upcoming fad.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a German architect and designer, must be mentioned while discussing the history of minimalism in design and architecture. He made an effort to make the building’s exterior as straightforward as feasible and create more room. His fundamental guiding principle was “less is better.”
Main Features of Minimalism in Interior Design
- Natural materials implemented into the design
- An abundance of free space to move around the space uninhibited
- Functional, multi-purpose and dynamic furniture
- Sharp, geometric shapes throughout the design
- Closed storage units and system to achieve a clean, clutter-less look
- Monochrome color palette
- Big windows to allow for plenty of natural light
- Hidden light sources for subdued, soft lighting effects
- Rejection of unnecessary, numerous and purposeless décor
Materials Most Used in Minimalism
Natural materials—stone, wood, leather, linen fabrics, etc.—are prioritized in minimalism. They are frequently not treated, emphasizing the rough texture (brick, concrete, plaster). The use of metal gives the room a more contemporary feel; tabletops, shelving racks, and chair legs all look good made of metal.
It is possible for natural and manufactured materials to coexist close to one another within a minimalistic style. However, striking that balance between them is crucial. The blending of glossy surfaces with polished, and wood with plastic, is given special consideration in high-class modern minimalistic designs.
Decorating Flat Surfaces in Minimalistic Designs
Simple structures are not implied on a minimalist ceiling. Painting it over is the simplest fix that most designers come to implement in their solutions.
Concrete, glass, and natural stone with a prominent relief are utilized for wall decoration. You can cover them with plain wallpaper without a pattern or cover them with textured plaster. There are numerous possibilities despite the elegant name of the design.
Laminate, parquet, or porcelain stoneware floor tiles are used to adorn the floor. The guidelines remain the same: no drawings or embellishments, neutral tones, and materials in one color only.
Ideal Furniture for Simplistic Yet Chic Look
One of the core principles of this style is that only about 20% of the room should be occupied by furniture in a perfect minimalist setting. Its primary characteristics should be functionality, basic natural materials, and geometric shapes. The ability of certain pieces of furniture to serve several purposes, such as a sofa bed or a convertible table, reduces the amount of clutter in the room. The premises frequently come with built-in appliances for the same function.
It comes as no surprise that storage systems are a major focus in creating a function-oriented, highly convertible minimalist interior design. Only a few truly valuable items that reflect the personality of the owner are left in plain sight, thus it is better if they are hidden. This is where a cover system of shelves or cupboards without handles come in the play the most on stylistic solutions that adhere to the principles of clean, minimalistic look that is optimized to the near breaking point.
Adding statement sofas or chairs in a different color that complement the surroundings is another intriguing method to improve an otherwise sleek space. For instance, a purple sofa with white furnishings, a brown leather armchair in a beige room, and many more. To reduce the chance of error, start small and use your creativity.
We already mentioned that Japanese design is where minimalism first emerged. Consequently, their use of color is comparable. The primary colors chosen in minimalist designs are white, light gray, beige, and brown; these reflect light into the room and maximize the effectiveness of natural light that can come in from spacious, wide windows that usually are implemented in minimalist designs.
Only two or three fundamental colors are used by designers to create a minimalist decor that is harmonious. The preferred base hue is still white. Black surfaces, geometric grays, or bright accents can effectively dilute it and harmonize with it. Based on these existing colors, you can select a base color that compliments them and add various shades, tones, and tints to it. If you choose blue as your base color, for instance, you can overlay a palette of Robin, Royal, Cobalt, or Prussian blue — each with a powerful impact — on top. The appeal of monochromatic interior design is that it gives you more leeway to apply variations than a polychromatic option would.
Even if you’re designing a monochromatic space, you can break the rules and add little accents of an unfamiliar color to create a welcome difference. To achieve this, glance at the color wheel and select the complementary color, commonly known as the color that is opposite your base shade. Combining complementary colors produces a bright effect.
Planning for Lighting in Minimalist Interior Design
Natural lighting is given a lot of thought. Unhindered, large windows are a terrific method to provide airy space. Vertical or horizontal blinds are employed as a last option.
Artificial light sources are often chosen to be soft and subdued, the ones that spread a muffled, diffused light to the room around it. In a minimalist design you rarely see that an artificial light is heavily relied on with a minimalist setting. It is seen as a last resort, something that is put for as much practicality as necessary and not a tone higher than that.
Monochrome Design and Décor in Minimalist Interior Design
Your interiors may feel a little bland and uninspired if you’re experimenting with monochrome décor for the first time, which simply proves that you’re doing it wrong. Texture, or more specifically, textures, is the crucial term here. Wallpaper with texture, furnishings made of rough natural fibers, woven rugs and blankets, and accessories – any intriguing component that appeals to you will do wonders for the look of your room.
A more welcome ambiance can be created by adding a small plant here and there, or some hanging ferns there. In reality, there are many indoor plant species that can help to filter the air, including Peace Lily, Spider Plant, and English Ivy.
Don’t be afraid to mix different materials, such as cozy woolen fabrics with gleaming marble surfaces or rustic timber finishes with modern aluminum structures, to provide depth to the rooms. These alternatives will let you create a deliciously bold image to go with your monotone interiors.
Additionally, captivating artwork and fascinating patterns will break up the monotony. Even the simplest finishing touches, like patterned throw pillows, may inject personality into a monochromatic space, which is ideal for this style of design. Even though these seemingly insignificant efforts may not seem like much, they will help to give any stylish interior the cohesiveness it needs.
We hope that this overview of this enigmatic and deceptively complex style of interior design has intrigued you enough to consider implementing it in your design solutions. Balancing all nuances and intricacies of this style can be very challenging to someone not well-versed in interior design principles, thus it’s best to work with a professional designer to make sure you are making the best decisions for your space.