Minimalism, the trend that has taken over the world currently has spent decades in the making. Minimalism began as an art movement in the 1960s and gained traction in architecture and interiors around the 1980s.
Borrowing greatly from the Japanese way of living, the style focused on building around the essentials. It was also influenced by the simplicity and functionality of Bauhaus and the clean lines and use of primary colors in De Stijl.
The objective of minimalism as with many other styles that evolved around that time was to cast off the values of excess consumerism and bring back the focus on what is most important. One of the early adopters of the minimalist style, Mies Van der Rohe summed it up with his now iconic words ‘Less is More’.
While it feels simple enough to create a minimalistic home, it requires careful curation of items to become a well-balanced space that inspires the zen in you. Here are the basics of the style to help understand and create a minimalist space.
Minimalism uses neutral colors as the starting point. Rooms in shades of white, greys and browns are seen often here taking up the majority of the space, with other colors used in smaller amounts. The color palettes contain a maximum of three colors to avoid the appearance of being too crowded. Colors that are analogous or just a few shades apart can be used to create a pleasing arrangement.
As the name implies, minimalism requires the space to be minimal. That means decluttering and removing the unnecessary elements in the house. This does not mean that it should be a clean, sterile place. Keep any items that have significance, and the functional pieces. Even eccentric pieces work in short measures, as long as they don’t draw excess attention.
For the use of furniture to be minimal, it needs to be function-oriented and simple. Look for multifunctional pieces and furniture with straight lines and smooth fluidity. Multifunctional furniture helps reduce the number of items in the space, and straight lines give a clean look to the room.
For minimalist design, the devil is in the details. Plants pair well with these interiors and work with most of the colors used. Paintings and graphic prints make excellent decor, up on the wall or shelves, or even set on the floor casually leaning against the wall. Mirrors with simple edges are also used as decor, often with a plant by the side.
Form a balance of elements by creating symmetry. Compose your items to be symmetrical in layout or color, and to balance each other out to ensure that one item does not take up the spotlight.
Minimalism is a lifestyle as much as a design style. It is about focusing on the things that matter and eliminating the superfluous. It isn’t about creating a plain and uniform environment, but about bringing out the beauty in simplicity. So to create a minimal design is to not mimic existing looks but to understand personal needs and adapt accordingly.