What Is Minimalist Interior Design Style?

A guiding principle of the minimalist movement, which began in the 1960s, is based on architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe statement that "less is more." The Japanese traditions of Zen and Feng Shui, which shun clutter, have also influenced minimalist design. The idea is to take things down to their bare essentials, with their forms dictated by function. There is an essential purity to minimalism that is soothing, but it's not for everyone.


The Geometry of Minimalism
Minimalist interior design is also defined by simple geometry. Rectangles and squares are juxtaposed or intersected. Right angles prevail. However, there may be some curved lines or circles, like the semi-circular curve of an occasional chair or a round light fixture. The layouts of most minimalist interiors are based on an imagined grid that allows greater spatial proportions to give a feeling of exaggerated space.

The Colors of Minimalist Interiors
Color, or the lack of it, is a unifying theme in minimalist interior design. Your walls, floors and ceilings are viewed as only the backdrop, so the most dominant colors are black and white, and gradations of gray. Primary colors are used as accents. Splashes of the same or two different colors are placed strategically on the walls or shelving or tables.

Common Materials Used in the Minimalist Interior
The main materials used for construction of minimalist architecture are steel and concrete, which often are used and exposed in the interiors. Minimalist furniture generally is constructed of basic materials such as glass, Plexiglas, plastic, leather, wood, high-tech composites and other metals, such as stainless steel, chrome, nickel and brass .

The Livability Factor
Looking through a modern architecture magazine, you may swoon over the interior of a minimalist house, thinking "I could live there." However, there are things to consider before going ahead with such design. Minimalism is the absolute absence of clutter. There are cubes and blocks and built-ins for all your stuff, but even these require order. You need to be a rather organized person to live this way. Also, the lack of soft colors and lines may, over time, begin to be jarring.

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