In the UK a lot of money is spent on decorating. What with the weather being less than glorious a lot of the year, it is no surprise many of us like to make the most of our own private little indoor haven, a place we can rely on to be comfortable and beautiful whatever the weather. According to statistics, the average Brit redecorates their home a massive 36 times over their entire life, which costs on average a huge £36,000 pounds.
The ever-changing fads and trends for different patterns, colours and styles on top of a society obsessed with consumption make for a constant desire for many to stay ‘on trend’ and keep their home stylish. However, for some, a more classic long-term design is a much more effortless, easy and chic option. One such example of this kind of interior design is minimalist which is seeing a huge resurgence in popularity at the moment. The recently released documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things by Matt D’Avella sits nicely atop this recent surge of love for the bare and basic form of interior design. The documentary examines how as a society we have become obsessed with almost an almost constant stream of purchases and how little most things really matter in the end. The way of living a minimalist lifestyle is examined and by the end of the film you can’t help but feel almost disgusted by literally any clutter near you in your home. If you need some motivation to have a clear out, this documentary will certainly push you to get the job done.
Minimalism is becoming more and more popular by the week it seems, but it has always had a strong place in the world of interior design, and its history reaches back further than you might think.
Where Minimalism Began
There is no specific start to minimalism as such because many places in the world practised it in some way or another at some time. Japan particularly held extremely minimalist values with interior design and many of the core values of minimalism stem from Japanese interiors. However, the actual term minimalism is thought to have been brought about in the mid 60’s as a way to describe the innovative sculptures of Donald Judd and Robert Morris. Since that time, the words used was broadened to encompass many different elements of design and art, from paintings to fashion.
Since this time, minimalism has really just increased in popularity, although different times were more accommodating than others. For example, the 80’s was a time of excess and everything was big and bold and loud, so minimalism didn’t have as much of a place as say in 2000 when everything went a bit millennial and stripped back.
In the past, you were more likely to see minimalism as a monochrome, cold, empty trend that was less accessible. Whereas today it is interpreted in a much softer, and livelier way.
The Fundamental Principles Of Minimalism
Within minimalism, there are some fundamental ‘rules’ that shape the design style. These are:
- No clutter
- Sharp lines
- Furniture that tends to be closer to the ground
- Any surfaces are solid
- Softer shades of colour as per Scandinavian-design
More recently softer additions have come into minimalism to make it more accessible and modern. But the general core value of minimalism is simplicity and nature.
Minimalism & Interior Design
Minimalism within interior design can be taken literally in that it means more space and less everything. Minimal furniture, accessories and clutter. With this in mind, attention to detail is key. One may pay particular attention to the key features of the home before any furnishings are considered. Lots of elements letting light in are included such as bifold doors, wide glass windows, glass separating partitions between rooms and roof lights. Exposed brickwork may be used, or fireplaces may be restored. Original vintage tile floors are repaired, or thick, classic wooden tiled surfaces are maintained and appreciated. Light switches, taps and other essentials are made from high-quality metals. These bare bones are entirely and utterly important before anything else when it comes to minimalism because they will not be overshadowed by anything else. They are key features and have to be perfect before anything else.
When it comes to adding furniture or painting or adding wallpaper, practicality does play a part because anything high maintenance is fussy and therefore doesn’t apply to minimalism. When choosing accessories and furniture you should think about:
- Easy maintenance materials
- Streamline shapes
- Excellent upholstering
- Neutral tones and colours
- Geometric shapes
- Only practical accessories that are also beautiful
- Practical pieces that provide ample storage
When it comes to colour the focus really is on neutral tones all the way. White is a big part of minimalism and without a lot of white surfaces, the effect will not be as strong visually. Complimentary neutrals like pastel blues or greys will work well. Beige can work but it is a little less fresh and modern than other tone choices. Accent colours have been a big feature of minimalism recently, but usually, there is only one chosen bright bold colour which can be splashed in a pattern, or in accessories like books or even large pieces of artwork.
Minimalism And Emotion
Minimalism is not just an aesthetic and provides a truly simple lifestyle for many. It is an organised, clear and concise design style that works well for people who may wish to have a clear and simple space to enjoy. Whilst some find the look sophisticated and beautiful, others simply find it extremely practical for them. If a tidy home is a tidy mind then minimalism certainly offers an amazing way to unwind and declutter thoughts. Unsure where to start? This ‘How to make your space feel simple YouTube video by Allison Anderson is a really good introduction to minimalism and interior design.
*This is a collaborative post*