The complex art of being deceptively simple is not lost on those with a penchant for this pared down style. Designer Minimalism exemplifies what restraint can achieve. From the choice of a harmonious neutral or monochrome color palette, to the thoughtful placement of furniture. The elegance of the lighting and the overarching contemporary styling. The absence of clutter and excess. The aesthetic appeal of a Designer Minimalist home is undeniable, making it a modern classic that is likely to endure in the years to come.
Designer Minimalism: Simple. Contemporary. Stylish.
Simple, clean, and unfussy. There's no room for excess in the Designer Minimalism ethos. It's everything you wouldn't expect from a conventional view of a "designed" space. Nothing is too loud. Nothing screams for attention. Instead, there's harmony. It all looks deceptively simple. Yet you never find yourself wanting for anything in this minimalist space. All you could ever need is right there at your fingertips, when you need it. Underlining how clever and thought through the design really is. The Designer Minimalist space is an ode to what a combination of thought, care, and creativity can accomplish. Those who love the style might even say Designer Minimalism is arguably one of the best things the 20th century has given us.
The work of pioneers like American architect "Bucky" Buckminster Fuller and German industrial designer Dieter Rams set the stage for the minimalist movement that was to follow. Rams' "Less, but better" philosophy put innovation and function alongside aesthetic appeal, ensuring Braun produced easy-to-use, thoughtfully designed products. The genius of the form and function that is the minimalist geodesic dome Bucky designed half a century ago has ensured it endures even today. The minimalist adaptation of these domes have made their way to many a bucket list, thanks to the Arctic "glass igloo" villages that have cropped up to cater to Northern Light seekers in Lapland. In an almost poetic demonstration of the power of Designer Minimalism, these bare bones structures manage to provide all that you'd need and then some. A clear unobstructed view of the Arctic sky waiting to be splashed in technicolor hues, while you're sheltered in the warmest of cubby holes, steaming cup of hot chocolate in hand, with the promise of a warm shower inches away should you need one.
Early flag bearers of the style were influenced by this pared down ethos that the Japanese got so right. Pioneers like Alberto Campo Baeza built remarkable minimalist homes like Casa Guerrero. This stylish space in CÃ¡diz, Spain makes the white cube its theme, using a play of light and shadow to create many shades of white.
The minimalist approach applied to architecture has trickled down to graphic design, user interface design in software, and even website design. With this sensibility, the focus is on "you". The user of the space - homeowner, residents, guests, visitors. It isn't about showcasing a designer or letting one piece take centerstage. Instead, beauty and perfection reveal themselves quietly.
An unspoken theme that ties together many Designer Minimalist spaces is a commitment to being green. And like the style, it isn't forced. Instead, the conscious use of only what is needed, the stripping down to basics, and the focus on being innovative and harmonious ensures a space where conservation happens naturally.
Designer Minimalism: Contemporary Elegance For Your Home
While there's a sweeping sense of space and calm to the Designer Minimalist home, the form this takes leaves plenty of room for creativity. A home near the woods might catch your eye with its stark dark wood walls broken only by strategically located floor to ceiling glass windows, designed to allow nature to paint a canvas for you to wake up to. One in a spacious suburb may allow room for a single storeyed home that stretches out in an unusual shape marked by clean geometric lines, making the most of the vast grounds it is afforded. Or with flat terraces and an infinity pool, unfettered by any boundary walls. A city apartment on the other hand could translate the style to creating vastness in the smallest of spaces by keeping furniture and embellishments to the minimum. The walls are distinctive in their bareness. Wardrobes and shelving is cleverly concealed, perpetuating the illusion. The colors are overarchingly neutral and monochromatic. The absence of drapery on the bare windows means natural light can fill the room, opening it up even more. Besides creating an awe-inspiring canvas, this symmetry, order, and lack of clutter makes the home impressively easy to maintain. Testament to the thought that goes into planning the Designer Minimalism look that some mistakenly assume comes easy. In fact, so legendary is the neatness of a minimalist space, that when a journalist visited the home of renowned architect John Pawson, he writes of how Pawson's wife apologized for the mess. Except to the visitor's eye, there seemed to be none! To the couple, a stray teacup left at the sink qualified as being "not tidy". Pawson's home, with a nigh invisible well concealed doorbell that had the same writer baffled for a bit, reflected the same kind of simplicity and elegance of his other creations. Like the cricket pavilion of the St Edward's School in Oxford. Or his more recent work on the London Design Museum at its new home in Kensington.
State of the art gadgets with sleek polished surfaces in black or pearly white double up as decor points. Your home has sheen, never shine. And that ever-so-subtle difference is what distinguishes a Designer Minimalist home from other more ornamental ones. That isn't to say your home shies away from purchases like that black Gubi Grasshopper Floor Lamp that brings a Scandinavian flair to a corner of the living room. Greta Magnusson Grossman, the Swedish architect and designer created this gorgeous lithe frame with conical light to get the light to hit exactly where you want it to as opposed to one that floods the room with light. Something that is irresistible to the minimalist in you. Just as alluring is the intriguingly named "Tip of the Tongue" lighting by Michael Anastassiade. The illuminated hand blown orb glows with warm light as it perches precariously on a cylinder of nickel plated brass. Lighting becomes important in a Designer Minimalist home, shorn as it is of any other visible signs of adornment. And Align by Antje Pesel does that with a subtle style that's also surprisingly versatile. The white hemisphere can be installed to be a standard light, a table light, or even a pendant light.
The clever functionality and subtle yet attractive designs from Italian brand Fimar are right at home with your sensibilities. The concealed "Ghost" swivel retractable TV cabinet allows you to indulge in some binge watching when you want to, without having to deal with a television on permanent display in your room. The Alce chair by Missana with its antler inspired legs and simple clean design is effortlessly sophisticated and makes the perfect understated seating. An Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair in a neutral beige, white, or black brings an element of interest. Rugs too, are in harmonious colors, not unlike what you'd expect in a peaceful haven away from the hubbub of Tokyo. You may even makes room for some texture by way of the smooth wooden creations of award winning British designer Liam Treanor. The Dessau dining table, its name hinting at its design inspiration from the famous Bauhaus campus, fits like a glove in your smart dining area.
A Reflection Of You
Your interests, like your home, reflect your passion for creative, innovative ideas and are contemporary on many levels. Which is why you make it a point to head to the Tate to see the work of contemporary artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize each year. And also why you can't pass up a chance to go to the Frieze London, a showcase of exciting new art. Even when these events aren't on, your appetite for appreciating remarkable minimalist art is satiated with a little while in front of Carl Andre sculptures "Equivalent VIII" or "Last Ladder" at the Tate. To the uninitiated, it might seem odd to find beauty in 120 variously arranged fire bricks or what seems like an ordinary wooden beam. But you know there's so much more beneath the surface. The "ladder" was crafted from a beam found at construction site in New York city by the sculptor's friends filmmaker Hollis Frampton and Frank Stella, a painter. The rusty nails, holes, and cracks remain. Intended to hint at its origins and draw you into its tale. And the bricks are part of a larger "equivalent" series, named as such because an identical number of bricks are used in the artworks. But each installation sees them organized differently. Laid out on the floor. Not on a table or in a box. Intended to change how you interact with the space because of it.
Your wardrobe holds staples in neutral colors that are both versatile and elegant. Whether you're at a pop up store by a new designer on the block, or shopping from eternal minimalist favorite Buddy from Japan, you gravitate towards clean silhouettes that come as a breath of fresh air. Even when you stray away from navy, black, and white, you are partial to single solid color designs. Whether it's the evocatively named Bull Terrier, Dachshund, or German Shepherd colored sneakers from Buddy, or a Ring Fastening Pique Cardigan in Winter Plum from Jigsaw. You'd make an exception for a quintessential Orla Kiely printed clothing and accessory line, after all who could resist the whimsy of those stem print bags? But it is genius like the YUL Carryalls that you live for. Created by designer and architect Cece, the clean flat lines of the handmade folding shoulder bag called the Enveloppe and other creations in the Carryall collection were born when she found no smart bags that could accommodate her drawings and renders without damaging them. Now, these bags have a following both in the architect and designer community, as well as among lovers of inventive minimalist style.
Talking Heads and Franz Ferdinand play from your Bang & Olufsen Beolab speakers, the sound crystal clear, almost as if the music were being performed right there in your living room - you wouldn't settle for less. Outside in your garage, sits that ultimate set of wheels for the Designer Minimalist, an Audi T8. Perfect for doing that road trip to Aberdeen where you can ensconce yourself in the contemporary fuss-free environs of the boutique Bauhaus hotel. A getaway to places like Copenhagen or Helsinki always brings you back refreshed. And for those times when you can't travel, your latest issue of Wallpaper will do nicely.
Like the places you seek inspiration from, your home reflects a space for the conscious citizen of the world, one who is very much in their element in the 21st century, who thrives in this space that is a backdrop for reflection. A home uncluttered of excess. Where ideas are born. Where inspiration is always waiting to happen.