"less is more." - Mies Van Der Rohe, architect.
When the world (and our lives) feel chaotic, our homes can be a soothing antidote. And while some create joy in their homes through stimulating the senses, others tend towards finding happiness in simplicity and restfulness. This is minimalism.
Minimalism is a fine art, however. Getting the balance right between calming and cold isn’t as easy as it sounds – uncluttered can feel unfinished and simplicity can feel boring. So how do you create a beautiful minimalist space?
Minimalism is more than just an interior style - it’s a philosophy for life. It means focusing on the essentials, and only having the stuff you need in your life. It’s a rejection of consumerism.
When it comes to interiors, a minimalist style is all about creating a calming place away from the hustle and bustle of the world. A soothing space that’s timeless, pared back and functional.
It means clean lines, no clutter and a monochromatic, neutral palette.
Like many design styles, minimalism emerged after a period of the opposite style. For minimalism, it was the Victorians – industrious and adventurous, they loved pattern and showing off their wealth through art and collections (the forerunners of maximalism). In reaction to this, an artistic expression style known as ‘De Stijl’ was founded around 1917. Considered the beginnings of minimalism, this movement championed purity in colour and simple, geometric shapes (think: Mondrian’s yellow, blue, red and white squares and rectangles).
Minimalism’s roots can also be found in Japanese Zen Buddhism and scandi design – both simple, and focused on function and creating a calming atmosphere. Think of the focus on natural light and functionality.
It really came into its own in the 60’s as a design style, with lots of art, theatre, fashion and film all subscribing to the idea of less is more. Everyday objects began being designed in this way too, with radios, calculators and more getting a simplicity overhaul.
The 80's brought bold excess back to the fore with consumerism and advertising gone wild, so in the 90's, minimalism came back with force – it was super stark to the point of coldness.
Now, minimalism has a softer touch, with monochromatic palettes warmed up with some elements of colour and texture. It is also arguably one of the most popular choices when it comes to home style, creating a stripped-back and relaxing contrast to the chaotic world of today.
Born from the need for simplicity, the ‘less is more’ look can be hard to pull off. If you’re not careful, all those blank walls and monochromatic decorations will have your home feeling like an unpopular showroom. The minimalism style doesn’t need to be boring and certainly with the right minimalist cushions, throws and curtains to accessorise, it can be quite intriguing.
Minimalism creates a safe space to experiment with textures, muted tones and abstract art without looking too busy.
First and foremost, minimalism is about creating functional spaces that soothe. So whether you’re planning on a minimalist bedroom or living room, think about how you use your space and how it can serve those functions. For a bedroom, you might think about a comfortable bed to sleep on paired with neutral bedding, lamps for reading, storage for clothing and a place to do your ablutions – with minimalism, everything has a purpose.
Once you know how to use your space, think about what you can eliminate from it. Decluttering is a necessary step when creating a minimalist space as this is not just about aesthetics, it’s a philosophy for living your life too.
Try the KonMari method of decluttering, where you decide to keep items based on whether they bring you joy. Go through your space by category, starting with things like clothes and books, and ending with miscellaneous and sentimental items.
We’re not forcing you to rid of your childhood memories or favourite pair of jeans, but rather analyse and organise exactly what it is you need. Think ‘spring clean’ but as an all-year-round tidy.
Now that you have created a more functional home, it’s time to introduce neutrals. Minimalist style is all about the beiges and browns, with accents of grey and black to introduce depth to your space. Think clean lines and simple silhouettes, creating a calm and clean space for your mind to relax in. Don’t be fooled into thinking the monochromatic look is simple – the spectrum of neutrals is large, with a huge range of dark and light shades to pair together from latte brown to deep charcoal, oatmeal, olive and stark white.
The experimental side of minimalist interior design begins with texture. Its neutral palette allows room for exploration of textures, layers and very simple patterns such as boucle, waffle, velvet, slub cotton and faux fur. Such textures will offer a new dimension to your minimalist space without going overboard.
With a minimalist interior you’re creating a timeless space that soothes, so there’s no need to be constantly buying or updating it. When buying statement pieces, keep simplicity in mind. Look for classic pieces that will last a lifetime, instead of something that you’ll need to change out in a year’s time.
From furniture to textiles, this rule applies to everything!
Minimalism is the exploration of a neutral palette, paired with beautiful textures such as boucle and waffle to create a serene space. Focus on clean lines, monochromatic colour schemes, and natural textures to achieve this stunning look in your interiors.
For the full minimalist experience, apply the same ‘less is more’ mantra to all of your rooms and don’t forget to declutter, clear those worktops and rid your surroundings of any unnecessary chaos. Shop our minimalist collection today.