There are advocates for a particular style of interiors and there are haters too. Modern interior designs can be broadly classified into various types such as contemporary, classic, art deco, retro, urban and minimalist with the older Georgian and Victorian styles still preferred by many. Of all these styles the minimalist approach stands out for its bold simplicity and sophisticated elegance. Some may find such interiors to be monotonous and empty.More is less according to minimalists and less is more. It is a fine fusion and harmony of elements within a space that appeal to the inner aesthete. This is what minimalism is about. With this ideabook, we examine the pros and cons of minimalist style, go ahead and decide for yourself.
This is arguable in that the trend did start in the early 20th century in Europe and USA, long used to the richness and splendid décor of Georgian and Victorian styles. However, to say that it the minimalist style is not trendy is a fallacy as more people are discovering value in being minimal. The spare simplicity and elegance is, in fact, even being applied in offices and industrial environments and not just due to cost reasons. It is not uncommon for people to try and fill up every possible vacant space with knick-knacks only to find they have created clutter and then they get rid of all the stuff until they have the bare minimum, to discover a whole new world of serenity and harmony.
This is a misconception. The origins of minimalist homes can be attributed to the Japanese. Their homes made use of white paper shoji screens, tatami mats and only the barest minimum of accessories in interiors that projected space, light and air. White aids in enhancing the feeling of spaciousness and is the preferred choice for minimalist styles. However, it is not a pre-requisite. One can just as well use beige, ivory, tans or creams for the walls and flooring. In recent times, bright colors are finding their way into interiors with the minimalist approach. White, actually, does not define minimalist. Minimalist means reducing furnishing and accessories to the bare minimum to magnify the impression of light and space. There is order, harmony and balance in this style. It also gives an impression of total simplicity, cleanliness and neatness.
It is not just the Japanese; even the ancient Hindu style of Vaastu emphasised the need to keep living spaces clean, neat and tidy; to allow free flow of air and light and to remove obstructions to the natural channels of energy in order to promote harmony. Tidiness promotes cleanliness and health. It also gives a sense of peace to the mind. Clutter is noticeable by its absence in the minimalist style.
If done right, one certainly cannot say the minimalist style is boring. Clutter can cause confusion in the mind whereas the minimalist is like a musical composition with a few instruments that create harmony by being in perfect sync and complementing each other. At first glance, a minimalist home may seem almost bare but use of straight lines can create geometric harmony and space. This is further reinforced by the use of natural light to create the atmosphere of openness, a delight for the mind. The less there is, the better it is from a cleanliness perspective. The mind can focus in such surroundings.
Again, it is a misconception to assume that the minimalist style requires a lot of money. This is probably because many rich people opt for the minimalist style interiors with expensive furniture and artifacts. Use of simple furniture reduces cost. The walls need not be extensively adorned with picture frames. A simple coffee table with a center piece is sufficient, complemented perhaps by a pot with an artificial plant. Emphasis can be laid on creating harmonies of colour, shapes or textures. The floor itself need not be elaborately patterned. Plain light coloured stone like marble or vitreous tiles go well with light colored walls and create a pleasing aesthetic that is certainly not boring. The minimalist kitchen shown in the picture above has been designed by Astronaut Kawada Architectecture, architects in London.
This is debatable since individual preferences vary so much. Some like the open, free look. Others prefer a cosy, comfortable ambience with plenty of well upholstered furniture, carpets, knick-knacks, pillows and accessories to define their style. Maybe they find solace in such decor. The minimalist style, from one perspective, may be for a different mind, a mind that is more attuned to spirituality and one that exists on a different plane. Creative people, architects, businessmen and top executives prefer the elegant simplicity of minimalism in their home decor and workspaces. For an individual who has grown up in a home where the interiors are cosy, switching to the minimalist style takes some effort and getting used to. Some might say it is an acquired taste. Human beings, when they start out in life want a lot of things. As they mature, they find out that less is more. It is the same with minimalism in homes: a mature mind finds comfort in discovering new pleasures in the simplest of arrangements. In fact, having only a few things in the interior means you can move them around to create fresh arrangements more often.
If you are planning to have a minimalist style home, here are 6 minimalist living room ideas that will start he ball rolling.