STYLE FILE: Clean Minimalism
Clean and simple interiors make you feel at ease. You may not have mountains of books piled on your shelves and chances are you wont find a lot of stuff shoved in your closets. The art and furniture that you choose to decorate your home with means quite a bit to you, since clutter doesn't stand a chance with your eye for simplicity.
A Little History
Minimalism became popular in the 1960's, but had been gaining momentum for around 40 years. The Dutch art movement De Stijl was created by a group of designers, architects and artists in backlash to the over-decoration of the Art Deco movement. Those practicing De Stijl focused less on ornamentation and more on the essential theories of design when creating. Traditional Japanese design inspired the Minimalist style, as well. Functionality, clean lines, and natural colors were important to shaping the rising Minimalist style. Architect Mies van der Rohe popularized the phrase "less is more." He became a father of Modern architecture with his stripped back designs which relied less on ornamentation and more on materials and space. Buckminster Fuller and Dieter Rams are also regarded as founders of the minimalist movement.
Color is used sparingly in this style. Whites and neutrals encourage openness and serve as a backdrop to accent colors in the space. The use of bold, bright colors should be limited and used to accentuate where you want your eye drawn to in the space.
Pattern + Material
Similar to the color palette, patterns should be used occasionally and used to draw your eye to important features of your space. Restricting patterns to the materials used in the room itself (flooring, shower tile, etc) is a great way to achieve functionality and beauty in a space. Choose patterns with a refined, geometric form over those organic in nature.
With little color and pattern used in Minimalist design, these spaces rely heavily on finishes to create a cohesive space. Use finishes natural in color and simple in form. Materials should range from natural woods and stone to slick chromes and stainless steel. Carry finishes from room to room to tie spaces together.
Working off architectural features and finishes is important to a cohesive design. Pair back furniture and select only the best for your space. Here, more furniture does no good in a space if each piece has bold silhouettes and are battling for top spot. Pick a statement piece (or two) to anchor your eye in your space and keep the rest of your pieces low-profile and streamlined.
Decor + Details
Strength in Numbers
Repetition is key in minimalist design. Furniture groupings of the same piece can make for a bold statement without adding embellishments to a space. Think a grouping of chairs with strong, geometric silhouettes in a sitting area or around a dining room table.
To create the lofty look minimalist spaces are known for, cut out bulky pieces. Translucent materials like glass and acrylic are a popular choice to help keep a space from looking cluttered. Another way to achieve this idea is by adding workhorse furniture. Case goods with simple, closed profiles and plenty of storage inside are a must to keep your space clean and tidy.
When choosing accents and decor, always ask yourself "is it necessary?" Choose art that is large in scale and will have a greater impact on your space over smaller pieces which you will need more of. Window treatments should be removed or refined. Opt for shades or blinds over flowy fabric curtains and draperies.