The term ‘minimalist’ was coined in the mid-60s, and was initially used to describe the sculptures of Robert Morris and Donald Judd. Since then, however, the term has moved into our everyday vernacular to describe everything from fashion and music to design and architecture; it works on the principle that less is more. Interiors that are described as minimal are stripped down to their bare essentials with the remaining space being the design statement. The fundamentals of minimalist interiors were sharp lines, solid surfaces, low furniture, and neutral shades; these remain, but have evolved to include softer shapes, alternative textures, and more colors albeit primary ones. How do you get and maintain the minimalist look in your home?
1. Choose a neutral base
The dictionary defines neutral as having no strongly marked features or positive characteristics. Yet, there is an abundance of neutral colors that range from stone to beige and every linen-inspired tone and tint in between. Your neutral base does not have to be pure white; a white with yellow undertones can feel warmer, and a white with blue undertones can feel crisper. Should your room have an abundance of natural light, you can choose a cooler shade to balance the room, alternatively to avoid artificially lit rooms feeling cold choose a warmer hue.
2. Clear all surfaces
Before you start painting, clear all the surfaces of clutter: the junk mail, the paid invoices, the letters for appointments that have already been attended, old invitations, old shopping lists, etc. Do not attempt to organize clutter. Take this opportunity to prioritize what is important and what is not. Do not put your clutter in neat piles to sort out later, take the bull by the horns and remove all non-essentials. Repeat this once a month and remember that minimalism is not a new word for organizing, it is a lifestyle.
3. Change your spending habit
Living in a throwaway society we are accustomed to buying for the sake of buying. Minimalism commands you to buy less but better: quality over quantity. Thankfully there are a vast range of items in the marketplace that support you to choose anything from ceiling fans with lights to answer machines that provide great function but not at the expense of the aesthetic. You will find that you invest in classic pieces that will withstand the test of time and provide you with a thoughtful and considered interior.
4. Commit to the one in one out philosophy
It is easy to say that you are going to do something once, but committing to a new way of living is a little harder (and will occasionally require you to have a quiet word with yourself). Every time a new item comes into your house, an old equivalent has to leave. For example, if you buy a new pair of shoes, an old pair has to go; if you are lacking in skirts but have an abundance of trousers, you can buy a skirt but remove a pair of trousers.