When architectural master Mies van der Rohe coined the term ‘less is more’ he was referring to the concept of minimalism. In a nutshell, minimalism is the stripping away of any unnecessary elements and focusing only on what is needed. While minimalism is technically the opposite of decoration, it has become quite popular in the past two decades as the world around us has become increasingly chaotic.
A very good friend of mine is a wildly creative force in the fashion industry and can only live in a minimalist environment. Nearly everything in his home and office is white and you can count on one—or at most two hands—the amount of objects in each room. When I began studying interior design, I asked him what was with the all white theme. He explained that because he is constantly being bombarded with images, color, and ‘noise’, that he finds comfort in a clean (and white!) slate.
Are you a minimalist at heart? Find out by answering these three easy questions:
1) Do you like the look of clean surfaces and monochromatic environments with very few objects?
2) Can you count the number of objects in each room and is every object functional and necessary?
3) What is the color story?
It is true that a minimalist would prefer mostly white, or white and black, or grey, but this doesn’t dictate whether the room is minimalist or not. You can still use one color or just one object of color as a pop—this aesthetic is more avant-garde but still qualifies as minimal.
It’s important to note that minimalism doesn’t necessarily mean cold. Nowadays, designers use wood and other natural stone elements from the period of the home as a base, the result is warmth and a certain degree of coziness.
Read on for a few examples of minimalism that will help you decide whether it’s the right aesthetic for you.