Minimalistic Design Style

We received this guest post that talks about minimalistic design style.  Clean lines, uncluttered spaces, neutral color schemes and more can define this style of design.  In today’s cluttered world of non-stop media, wouldn’t it be nice to come home to a home with a soothing minimalistic design style?  Not sterile or super modern, but calm in nature, a respite from a busy life.


The Elegance And Practicality Of Minimalism

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Photo credit: Flickr

For those who wish to make a statement with clean lines, interesting furniture and a clutter free environment, minimalism is the way to go. Minimalist interior design became quite popular in the 1960s, with its focus on straight lines, and geometric contrast which resulted in clean and coherent homes.

Surfaces in a minimalist interior are often light coloured, combining to create organised spaces and a sense of airiness. If there are shelves, they usually float in the air; every item having its own space. Storage is hidden and the basic principle is simplicity, inevitably leading to elegance.

Focal point. When decorating in a minimalistic manner, your aim is to create balance between the space, surfaces, and objects, making it all as functional and unobtrusive as possible. Often, there is just one thing in the room that grabs the attention: a piece of furniture, the view from the window, a work of art or just colour. The attention and skill comes in when balancing other objects with it.

Colours of minimalism. There should be a single colour on the walls; two different colours would be a tolerable maximum. The interior itself is organised in a way that no more than three shades of similar colours are present. When choosing colour for walls, white or shades of white are always the right choice for the “clean” impression minimalism aims at. The colour is added to the room with accessories. Favourite colours are accentuated through vases, picture frames, cushions and curtains. These should evoke visual interest in the space and insert the character of the person using the space. As these objects are usually small and not too distracting, their colours and designs should be bolder. Of course, the amount of accessories should be brought to a minimum so as to avoid clutter.

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Photo Credit: Boutique Homes

Use of materials and texture. Sustainable and eco-friendly materials are the ones you wish to use in minimalism, as well as elements such as glass, mirrors, polished cement, architectural fabric, stone and wire. Also, minimalism wants to draw nature into the room and that is usually the one seen through the windows of the apartment or the house. Windows here are very important and are tended to be big, without curtains, blinds or shades, or anything for that matter that blocks the view. If going for a “clean” look then steel and chrome are the right choice, but do not overdo it and create a sterile space. Finishes in minimalism are supposed to be simple, while textures are rough, such as brick, concrete, wood or plaster.

Storage. Minimalism is characteristic for the maximum use of space. Everyday items are to be hidden from sight. Storage is hidden in the walls or furniture itself. Even if there are some cupboards, they are designed to have flat facades made of plastic which can sometimes simulate materials such as wood. In cases where real wood is used, surfaces are textured subtly, but keep in mind that using wood is always more expensive.

Lighting. Some say that lighting is the most important thing when effectively using space and composition in minimalist design. You will often find pendant lights, hidden lighting, or large overhang floor lamps in such homes. The option to dim the lights is a must since minimalist homes can sometimes be harsh during the night. Again, lights are used for making the focal point stand out, whether this is a specific object, angle or part of the room.

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Photo Credit: Flickr

Objects and furniture. Large pieces of furniture should be avoided. The only large piece can be the sofa, if the aim is for the sofa to be the central part of the room. Anything you do not need or use should not be in the room – and that goes both for furniture and decoration. The accent is on spatial freedom, but with interest in details. The colour of the furniture should contrast with the walls or be simply white. Patterns on the textiles are also to be avoided, while fabrics should be cotton or flax in a solid colour. Similarly to other minimalistic furniture, cabinets, sofas, chairs and armchairs are of simple geometrical forms and shapes.

Minimalism has become an art of balancing the living space with the living utilities and our busy lives. Somewhere in between, elegance has found its way in trying to make it simple. It is not always easy to accomplish but it is worthwhile.

Televisions and Open Spaces

For some unknown reason I get a magazine called Home Theater delivered to me.  As an Interior Designer I am frequently challenged to incorporate audio-visual components into my room designs.  As I looked through the latest issue of Home Theater magazine a unique and functional option was revealed.

When you have a large open space (think loft spaces or combination living and dining spaces) that needs some visual and functional division, you can achieve that while concurrently housing your audio-visual components.  The side without the flat screen TV can be used to display books and decorative objects.  It is from Contempo Wall.  You get to customize your unit choosing from a wide range of finishes (wood tones, colors, mirrors, matte, glossy)

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5 Forward-Thinking Contemporary Furniture Designs

Homeowners seeking modern interior designs for their living areas are constantly searching for a way to make their space look unique and cutting edge. This has pushed furniture designers to come up with ever more creative ways of reinventing existing pieces, ranging from anything between foot stools and electric radiators

In terms of storage, it doesn’t get much better than this Stack 8 Drawer Veneer from New York based company Matter. Designed by Shay Alkay this really is a striking piece of furniture. The draws sit in a tower arrangement but can be pulled either way, which gives an incredibly interesting form to the set and really catches the eye. (source: mattermatters.com)

Next up is this amazing Drift Bench designed by Amanda Levete, again for Matter. This piece was inspired by a piece of driftwood apparently, which must have been an incredible find, as the bench is stunning and has an equally stunning price tag. However, with its smooth lines and gloss finish it would create a beautiful focal point in any room. (source: mattermatters.com)

Staying with seating for a moment, designed by Singapore based Ministry of Design and built by Italian furniture company Saporiti Italia, the Woofer Chair, is quite something to behold. Inspired by a simple speaker, the chair allows user to feel the music around them as well as just listen to it and creates a “fully immersive soundscape”. The body of the chair is made of fibreglass with a soft canvas covering. Although it looks great in a minimal rectangular shape, the main body of the chair around the seat is designed to be reformed in order to create any number of aesthetics. (source: zillamag.com)\

Designed to examine the basic connection between human and fire, Moscow MA graduate Alexandra Mazur-Knyazeva created the Essence of Flame. This is a series of bio inserts that can be fitted to transform a normal dull looking fireplace into something that really excites the imagination and actively shapes how the fire acts, as opposed to merely framing it. (source: essenceofflame.co.uk)

Last up is the BotoxLamp. Now, this is not strictly a piece of furniture so much as an installation. However, it is a brilliant piece of design and creativity, as it is a light feature that can interact with the users in its close proximity. Bent, plasma cut aluminium geometrically houses a set of LEDs, which are attached to a sensor designed to pick up the movements of users around the fitting and alter the lighting pattern accordingly. See it in action here http://vimeo.com/27123472.