Minimalism is a concept originated in the early 1960s referring to “minimal art.” Back in those days, the concept pertains to art forms especially visual arts and music styles that have simple content and fewer elements, resulting in a sophisticated outcome. Today, the concept is still used not only by artists and interior designer but by ordinary individuals who philosophically categorize themselves as mere mortals living a life of simplicity and freedom. The concept has become a virtue for some and they implement it through their views, their forms of clothing, and even their personal spaces- their homes.Plain, dull, and boring are some of the misconceptions of minimalism since it is always associated with being simple. “Less is more,” as people often say but the point of minimalism is to focus on essential details, leave them, and take out the things that do not belong. Minimalism is all about the balance, symmetry, and proportion, as well as the quality of the elements as a whole.
Take a look at your place. Does it look cluttered? Are the books, magazines, and office stuff all over the place? Do the colors and textures contradict one another? Is the area on your right look heavier than the one on your left due to its unnecessary furniture? If your answer to all of these is “yes,” then your space really has to go through a makeover.
If you’re planning to have a minimal interior design in your place, whether you’re decorating a new home or renovating an old one, there are three questions you must ask yourself.
The first question is, “is it balanced?” Think about the color palette, the textures, the lines and shapes, and the symmetric relationship between your pieces and the walls, ceilings, and floors of your home. In terms of color, neutral and earth tones are known to promote a calm and relaxing vibe in the area but this does not mean you should always stick to this all-time proven solution. Expand the realms of your creativity. You may use other colors as long as these follow the same range or color family, not necessarily monochromatic. For instance, if you choose to paint your walls light blue, you may use darker shades of blue or purple in your figurines, vases, pillows, and other elements. Just remember that using too many colors that are contradicting one another may result in a busy and cluttered look.
Keep your colors plain and simple while your textures speak. We’re talking about wovens, woods, wools, linens, rattan, pottery, textiles, and porcelain, and more. These textures accent some personality to your quiet space, keeping the area inviting. If you have a plain wall or a plain couch, it is nice to compliment them using decors and accessories such as pillows, carpets, vases, and lamps that have a rough texture.
Relating to textures are the simple lines and shapes that you may also consider bringing in. Pieces that have simple lines in their designs or structures allow the eye to move easily. Decors with a variety of variety of shapes and sizes such as bowls or vases but have same or monochromatic colors are also pleasing to look at. Since you’re aiming for a minimalist design, you might want to set aside decors with lavish ornaments such as your grandma’s floral lamp and invest on a simple, yet chic pottery lamp or a simple, modern chandelier.
The next question is, “is it necessary?” Remember the concept of “quality over quantity.” Invest on a few high-quality, highly functional, and long-lasting pieces rather than buying more cheap decors, accessories, and furniture that will soon serve as clutter in your space. Since every detail counts, try to focus on the best pieces that you will decide to keep. You may also highlight specific furniture by its size or color. For instance, you may put a loud, red sofa in your living room, painted in black, white, and gray.
Detail is the core of minimalism, and you should be very specific of what to include and what to remove. Roam around and rethink. Is that figurine worth keeping? Does it complement the overall look of the living room? How about that wooden, antique centerpiece? Does it give justice to the interior’s contemporary approach? In a minimal interior design, there are no big or small roles, pertaining to a piece of furniture or decor. Everything, from the smallest figurine, vases, and frames, to the huge sofa set and center table, has to have a purpose and these elements should complement one another, creating a beautiful harmony and proportion to the overall look of the area.
Another important thing to consider is the necessity of space and lighting. Space, even if it’s often underestimated, communicates a significant yet implied message- freedom. Leaving a large space to roam around affects the aura of a person in a positive way, allowing him and his senses to breathe. Lighting also serves as a huge factor. The Proper lighting gives an illusion of space. Aside from artificial light, you should also know when the natural light or sunlight comes, how it positions itself, and how you can treat your windows using blinds or curtains if the heat is too intense.
The last yet another important question is, “is it alive?” After considering all these proportions and details, at the end of the day, the room has to become a living, breathing entity that you must be proud to dwell in. Being a minimalist and a detail-oriented person does not mean you’re a robot, following a highly conventional trend. Add a simple, indoor plant to bring life to your home. You may place a tall plant with leaves beside your main couch or put a small potted plant in the middle of your centerpiece or dining table. If you are fond of artworks, you may display a great painting or sculpture made by your favorite artist or handcrafted by you. Let these art forms speak for your personality by highlighting their existence in your space.
“There’s no place like home,” says John Howard Payne, for a home is not just considered as a basic need, a shelter to dwell in, or a place to rest at the end of the day. Home is a place where personalities unfold, a lovely place to reunite with companions, and an undeniably quiet paradise that one can proudly call their own.
AUTHOR BIO: Carmina Natividad is an all-around artist, writer, and interior designer. She shares her deep interest in interior design by writing informative blogs for Bay Gallery, an Australian-based company that has been offering a wide range of high-quality indoor and outdoor furniture since 2006.