Natural materials, graphic accents, reflected light, and a few more ideas.
Designers believe that minimalism in its purest form is an excessively sterile phenomenon for interiors. Grandmother’s caskets travel souvenirs, subscription editions and collected works that parents hunted for are unlikely to leave our apartments in the near future. But the trend towards “reasonable consumption” and the spread of the Internet and gadgets still greatly change people’s perception of the number of items that are really needed in everyday life. There is enough information on the laptop screen, and many people come home only to spend the night, and therefore there is often a need to reduce “visual noise”. Minimalism tells how to make your own interior more concise and life simple.
If a bathrobe thrown on a chair, in your opinion, argues with the interior, and you want to hide extra things in a closet, if you prefer spaces full of air and light, appreciate clear geometry and clean lines, and do not like rooms cluttered with furniture, most likely you — a fan of minimalism. In such a space there is practically nothing but neatly joined surfaces and harmonious combinations of shades and materials. And this is where the main complexity of the style lies because work on the interior requires special care: the junctions of surfaces, seams, and knots – everything must be done neatly and accurately so that nothing, in the end, prevents the eye from glide through the space.
Minimalism doesn’t dictate layout: you can have an apartment with a combined living room and kitchen, a closed dressing room or a large storage room, or something may not be there. In any case, to keep the style clean, you should think about storage areas. Ideally, of course, for items that argue with the interior and accumulate over time in any family, it is better to allocate a separate room. But if the area and layout involve only cabinets, they need to be “dissolved” in the room. Do not make handles on the facades of storage systems: people who come to visit you will not even understand at first that there is a closet in front of them, they will think that it is just a beautiful wall with a mirror or a textured wooden panel.
In a free and concise interior, the eye naturally looks for something to catch on. Therefore, minimalism “recognizes” only natural textures. In finishing it is better to use concrete, stone, wood, metal, glass. Especially often in our projects we use wood: we sew up storage systems, fragments of walls with it, we make many objects according to our own drawings. The texture of wood is always a unique calm “ornament” that cannot get bored and at the same time adds coziness and naturalness to a minimalist interior.
Laconic accents and textiles
- In order for minimalism not to seem sterile and faceless, it needs accents. You can decorate one of the walls with graphic paintings, paintings, or prints. Recently, we often looked at an inexpensive direction in the visual arts: to canvases knocked together from boards with abstract plots applied to them. Such works are both a natural material, an art object, and an element of wall decoration.
- Minimalism prefers large forms in decor: when choosing vases and sculptures, give preference to sizes M, L, and XL.
- Textiles (curtains and bedspreads) must be selected so that they do not stand out, but dissolve in the interior, that is, they correspond to the shades of the walls or furniture. The style is characterized by several ways of decorating windows: blinds; thin, like parchment, roller blinds mounted on the frame itself; traditional “rolls” of denser fabric, rolled over the window, and, of course, curtains. The main advice in decorating with fabrics is to pick them up at the very end of the repair, when the decoration is finished and all the furniture is determined.
White and shades of gray for minimalism seem obvious. However, pure white is too cold and depressing if it covers all the walls. In our projects, we use warm white, similar to milk with a drop of coffee.
When designing lighting, which also affects the perception of color in the interior, we strive so that the lamps are not visible so that the light is reflected, that is, we direct the source to the surface, which, in turn, reflects the rays and gives them a new shade. However, if you want to get an additional element in the room that works as an art object, you should not hide the lamps. Especially if from the existing variety of minimalist devices you have picked up something interesting in design. My advice: don’t install these fixtures too close together, based on your needs (overhead floodlight, local for reading or conversation) and the mood you want to create.
Does style change over time?
For the first time, everyone started talking about minimalism in the mid-60s. The origins of this style lie in constructivism and functionalism, but the main influence on the formation of the style was made by Japanese architecture and design, which penetrated the Western world after the Second World War: objects that did not carry a specific functional load were ruthlessly expelled from the premises. In its original form, the minimalist interior is very strict and ascetic, but the modern concept of minimalism is more democratic: decorative elements, color accents, and textiles are added. The room becomes less strict, and reflects the interests and hobbies of the person who lives in it.
Can bright colors be used?
It is better to think several times before adding a color spot to such an interior. Minimalism is a bright style in itself, usually built on the contrast of shades of white and black. Because of this, many consider it to be devoid of individuality – we do not agree with this position: competent monochrome interiors always evoke vivid emotions in me and are remembered. To prevent minimalism from being boring, you need to work with textures, shapes, and graphics, play on the contrast of matte and glossy surfaces, add wood, glass, and metal, and pay attention to lighting that will set the right atmosphere.
What shouldn’t be in a minimalist interior?
- In our opinion, first of all, the interior should not feel cramped. How do achieve this? Definitely not removing all the furniture. It’s amazing, but even if you remove all the furniture from the room, it will not look more spacious but will become empty – these are different things.
- Again, I would not embody the idea of pure minimalism in a typical small-sized apartment, this is an initially unsuccessful undertaking. In a small apartment, you can make a functional, not overloaded interior; the aesthetics of minimalism asks for air – it needs large windows and spaces.
- In minimalism, there should not be a feeling of darkness: special attention should be paid to working with light. The main focus is on natural light. To enhance it, reflective (glossy) surfaces of furniture, glass and even glossy self-leveling floors are often used. Leave windows open as much as possible. Large windows, I repeat, are an important component of the interior.
- In a minimalist interior, there should not be cheap finishing materials and furniture. In a laconic space, the furniture itself is accentuated and eye-catching. Minimalism is luxurious simplicity.
- And of course, you need to remove all unnecessary items that do not carry a functional load. Decor and visual “garbage” is also minimized.
The sofa can be anything: angular, modular, straight – it all depends on the tasks that the room faces. The only thing is, to give preference to simple forms. When thinking over a place for TV, pay attention to interesting tricks that are used in minimalist interiors: for example, completely cover the wall with facades – they can be made monochromatic glossy, such a system will look like a decorative wall. You can make such a wall more open and in black, fit a black TV in the center – and it will look very organic.
In the bedroom, if possible, make a dressing room to, again, put all things in one secluded place. Best of all with “invisible” doors: they are not striking, they are easy to paint in the color of the walls or any neutral, and they do not have any additional decor that will draw attention to themselves. If there is no space for a dressing room, it is best to make a built-in wardrobe in a niche with a finish that blends with the walls.
A minimalist kitchen should be visually concise, strict, and simple. Smooth facades in this interior, as a rule, are plain or contrasting, without additional decor like chamfers and decorative handles. Often designers use the pushup system. As a rule, in such a kitchen nothing is hung on the apron, therefore, a lot of attention is paid to storage systems – so that everything is at hand and it is convenient for everyone to use. Consider drawers in cabinets, organizers that simplify the cooking process. Another interesting technique is the kitchen in the closet: you open the doors – and in front of you is a full-fledged cooking place, which is hidden if necessary.
Transforming furniture is suitable for a nursery: some manufacturers have interesting models with a bed that retracts into the wall. The desktop can also be put in a closet – this technique will help to hide the creative mess on the children’s table and not visually clutter up the space: open, draw, slap, close – and again in children’s minimalism without unnecessary details.
It is also worth considering a storage system for toys – these can be pull-out cabinets, or boxes on wheels. Make them in different sizes: for little things, designers, puzzles or soft toys. If you have a built-in closet in the nursery, give the bottom part under the roll-out modules for toys: firstly, it is very functional, and secondly, it is pushed in – and there is nothing superfluous in the room.