06
Oct

Interior Design and You: Minimalism | #Blog Post #26

Many homeowners who have considered a minimalist design for their homes often don’t know where to begin. Today, we explore the roots of minimalism, the reasons behind its widespread appeal, and the best way to begin your journey with minimalist design.

Minimalism and Art

Minimalism began as an artistic counter-revolution against the rich and decadent art of the mid-20th century. In the same way that a slice of cucumber cleanses the palate during a heavy meal, a minimalistic home design soothes mind and soul after the blaring noise and dizzying colours of busy city life. But what entails building a home around the concept of minimalism?

Minimalism in the art world inspired paintings that stripped ideas and themes down to their essentials. This oil painting by Kazimiar Malevich, titled Black Suprematic Square, depicts such a concept. (Image © Wikicommons)
No. 5 by Jackson Pollock is a prime example of the art form that the minimalist movement rebelled against. (Image © Wikicommons)

Minimalism and Interior Design

Being reductive, clean, and monochromatic are some of the strongest characteristics of minimalist design that give it contrast against decadent convention. Home décor is usually subtle and unimposing, while furniture is simple and functional. The greatest challenge in minimalist design, as with most things, is the matter of balance.

Too much emphasis on the simplicity and reductivity of minimalism can often bring you into the territory of being spartan – living in a severe and utilitarian manner, much like the famed Spartans. While perfect for training the fiercest soldiers, your family or houseguests may not appreciate living in a simulated barrack.

Minimalist design can be applied in a variety of ways depending on the function of the room and the amount of space you have to work with. Here’s how you can be minimalistic in different parts of your home.

Minimalist interior design is popular in professional settings since it can convey a sense of crisp professionalism and clear purpose without being stifling.

Living Room

The living room is the face and body of your home. It greets guests as they arrive and provides the living space for bonding and relaxing.

The most important attribute of a living room is space. Many minimalist living rooms employ an open floor concept to imply unrestricted movement and breathing room. For this, your focus should be on floors and walls that meet in a clean fashion, without overhanging or jutting shelves. The best type of furnishing involves clean lines without additional decoration and monochromatic colours. Warm earth tones such as that of wood provide good accents to break the monotony without being jarring.

On that note, your floor should strive to look either seamless or have the same warm tones as your accent colours. Parquet or hardwood floors work well, while dark coloured tiles with minimal grout lines are passable. One of the best options here is an epoxy flooring that provides a seamless surface while allowing the freedom of choice for colours.

Minimalist interior designs can free up a surprising amount of space in smaller living rooms and avoid the constricting atmosphere of a cluttered set-up.

Bedroom

Bedrooms are a private and restful place. In a minimalist home, the bedroom is one of the few places where décor is given more free reign. The usual rules for clean lines and simplicity apply for furniture like wardrobes, dressers, and bedframes, but feel free to add just a little more in the way of personal effects such as photo frames.

Since most bedrooms don’t have that much exposed floor, your flooring choice here is less important. A tastefully simple rug could cover much of your floor, if you choose to leave it pre-minimalist. Otherwise, your best bets are either hardwood or epoxy.

Minimalism does not have to be boring. Using a combination of earth tones and different orientations allows you to break up the monotony that threatens many minimalist designs. (Image © jinkazamah/Flickr)

Bathroom

Despite bathrooms not seeing as much usage time as other places in the house, no one can deny the simple pleasure of having a clean and restful space to cleanse oneself after a long day or take a leisurely ‘business meeting’ on a slow weekend afternoon.

Glass is a minimalist’s best friend in the bathroom, providing a seamless and easily cleaned surface that meets all the aesthetic demands of minimalist design. From clear shower partitions to small, unimposing shelfs, glass can be used in many ways. Mirrors are also a must in any bathroom – the ideal minimalist mirror is a frameless one, perhaps concealing a useful cabinet behind it for toiletries.

Ceramics like tiles and toilet bowls should be in monochrome. Flooring is an easy choice between epoxy and ceramic tiles, though those with more practical concerns may seek further reading.

Honestly, the bathroom is one of the easiest spaces for a minimalist design, considering the small amount of space and the fixed functions it requires.

Warmer tones in this bathroom give a cosier feel while the straight lines and simplicity of the set-up keep things feeling light and neat.
This minimalist bathroom design uses cooler tones to achieve a neutral and clean feel. (Image © Jean van der Meulen)

Kitchen

Besides the living room, the kitchen is one of the most versatile spaces of the house. While the same basic rules of minimalist design still apply, the form your kitchen takes can vary wildly depending on a few factors.

If you have a large family or frequently have guests over, an open concept kitchen-living-room combination with a simple counter separating the two is a classic and tasteful form. Suitable countertop materials include epoxy and more uniform marble, although marble has some major drawbacks in the kitchen.

If you’re not an aspiring socialite with house parties, minimalism still does wonders for kitchen organisation and hygiene. Floor to ceiling shelves make it a trivial matter to store and arrange crockery, dishes, and sundry goods. Aligned shelves above and below your sink give a cleaner look and straighter lines, while a set of monochrome colours and earth tones pull it all together.

Aligned shelves provide a smooth continuous surface that adds to the façade of clean lines in minimalism. (Image © Rooey202/Flickr)

Me-nimalist Design

Minimalist design exists on a spectrum from near-spartan to a casual reductivity – the simplicity of a near-spartan theme may appeal to those who prioritise utility and organisation, while putting off others who need a more personal touch that would tend towards casual reductivity.

How far you choose to take minimalism at home and your selection of interior design media is truly up to you. Hardwood provides a much needed source of earth tones to soften the edge, while monochrome colours in ceramic tiles or marble will help to set the main stage.

Yet, it is without doubt that an epoxy floor or countertop is the best way to achieve both the mix of colours and clean lines that minimalism demands, while serving the utility that is a core part of a minimalist design. An epoxy coating allows you to choose any colour imaginable, though you should go with monochrome for minimalism, while giving your floors and counters quite literally the best protection commercially available. To find out more about how metallic epoxy coatings perform against other conventional materials, read this post.

We hope that you now have a better idea of how to approach a minimalist design at home. Stay tuned for the rest of this month’s posts on interior design themes!