When you think about minimalism in interior design, maybe you think about big empty spaces that are cold and sterile and uninviting. Maybe you think hospital rooms or hotel lobbies, void of personality, warmth or style. But maybe it’s time to take another look at what minimalist design really means, and the wide range of options available when taking a space and making it your own, adding beauty plus elegance, minus the clutter.
The saying “less is more” is thrown around a lot, but it doesn’t have to mean bare and unappealing. The majority of us can admit that we simply own too many things that tend to clutter up our spaces on a daily basis. For some people, de-cluttering is the best and most desired definition of minimalism, while for others, it can go even deeper. “I think everyone can appreciate a fresh, clean minimalist living space, and the trend is still going strong,” says Anita Puls of House of Hues in Burlington. “I stick with this acronym ‘KIS’ (Keep it Simple) when working on a minimalist interior.”
A great way to Keep it Simple includes organizing and finding creative, stylish ways to store items that tend to collect on surfaces like dining tables and kitchen counters. “I love using decorative canisters or rustic bowls to house items that typically occupy countertop surfaces,” she explains. “Something as simple as replacing a bar of soap with liquid soap in a sleek container can be the beginning of a cleaner look.”
If you want to do more than just kick clutter to the road, you may want to consider overhauling a floor in your home — or your entire house — to a modern, sleek environment with an emphasis on larger elements that take centre stage and catch the eye. “Minimalism also means using the application of feature walls and textures, by bringing the organic inside and creating tension with a modern look,” says Tania Parkyn of Oakville’s Parkyn Design. “The trend means different things to different people, but I find it appeals to clients of all ages across the board, whether they simply want more space and less clutter, or if they want to redesign their entire home.”
Less is More and simplicity in design doesn’t mean compromising quality, though. “It’s the quantity that makes it simple,” explains Puls. “I prefer to incorporate custom pieces that will easily transition and have longevity. A custom ottoman is a stylish storage option for any occasional items like blankets or seasonal decor that need to be stored away, and for decorative accents using a wood and metal combination adds a natural warmth to the lighter colour palettes typically used in a minimalist design.”
Minimalism also doesn’t mean sacrificing colour for bland monotones throughout, as it can be achieved with any colour palette, says Parkyn. The idea is to streamline, and use high-quality material and let it stand on its own. “The notion of paring back has been a popular one for many years,” says Parkyn, and it’s easy to see why. “Who doesn’t want more room at home? Furnishings that are simple and beautifully designed are soothing and pleasing to the eye and can go a long way to creating a sense of peace around you, and who couldn’t use more peace in their lives?”
“Minimalism means a very pared down look but each piece showcased is stronger in itself,” says Parkyn. “But while trends are fine, at the end of the day for me it’s about what the client desires, and what is right for the client.” In this case, less really can mean more.
by Allison Dempsey
Parkyn Design, Oakville
House of Hues, Burlington
Joshua Creek Furniture, Oakville
Fairhome Interiors, Burlington
Anderson’s Carpet and Home, Burlington