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The story of minimalistic interior design


" Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art." —Richard Holloway.

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Minimalism is intentionally living with only the things one really needs—those items that support a purpose. It is removing distractions so one can focus more on those things that matter the most. It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intention. At its core, being a minimalist means promoting the things we value the most and removing everything that distracts us from it.

In the minimalistic mode, art was expressed with a language that went beyond social, geographical and political divisions. The depersonalization of artwork was carried through to execution. The artist's personality took a back seat to the working process. "Less is more"- is a phrase that is currently reigning the design world, whether it is interior or architectural design. The phrase, of course, is a direct reflection of the age-old theory of minimalism. It is becoming the foundation for marketing designs that are humble, elegant and most of all – functional.

Form, function, and focus is the prayer and anthem for a simple design. The visuals stay focused and uncluttered. The artist's focus is therefore limited and she works on the primary composition.

As a Western movement, minimalism began early in the 20th century. Influenced by the introduction of modern materials, such as glass and steel, many architects began to employ minimalist designs in their buildings. Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, the German-American architect, was one of the innovators of the minimalist movement. He is the one credited with first applying the phrase "less is more" to architectural design.

The less-is-more attitude quickly moved from architecture to other arts and industries: interior and industrial design, painting, and music. Artists moved toward geometric abstraction in painting and sculpture. The artistic movement found a minimalistic impression in the artwork associated with the Bauhaus school in Germany. One well-known minimalist artist who influenced the movement was Donald Judd, whose artwork is full of simple shapes and color combinations.

 Van Der Rohe’s use of straight lines and right angles, famously his rectangular/box elevation

Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially pictorial art and music, where the work is set out to represent the essence, basics or identity of a subject by eliminating all non-essential forms, structures or concepts. As a specific movement in the arts it is identified with developments in the post–World War II Western Art, and most strongly with American visual arts in the 1960s and early 1970s. Prominent artists associated with this movement include Ad Reinhardt, Tony Smith, Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Larry Bell, Anne Truitt, Yves Klein, and Frank Stella. Minimalism is often interpreted as a reaction against abstract expressionism and a bridge to post-minimal art practices.

 Minimalism emerged in New York in the early 1960s, as new and older artists moved toward geometric abstraction; exploring via painting in the cases of Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, Al Held, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Ryman, and others; and sculpture in the works of various artists including Judd's sculpture showcased in 1964 at Green Gallery in Manhattan, and Flavin's first fluorescent light works, while other leading Manhattan galleries like Leo Castelli Gallery and Pace Gallery also began to showcase artists focused on geometric abstraction.

 Every minimalistic architect and artist had their take-away from the De Stijl Movement, means simply "the style" in Dutch. The movement strived to express universal concepts through elimination, reduction, abstraction, simplification, and the balance of rectangles, planes, verticals, horizontals, primary colors and black, white and gray. Mondrian's painting through cubism is still celebrated today.


Pete Mondrian’s painting inspired by cubism- usage of simple lines and primary colours with black and white. Source:

Pete Mondrian’s painting inspired by cubism- usage of simple lines and primary colours with black and white.




Donald Judd’s minimalistic composition showcasing running angular lines with black and white as distinctions.



Designers formulated a new language and vocabulary for Designers to formulate a new language and vocabulary for architecture. To do this, they took the traditional house, analyzed it like an object, abstracted it to eliminate traditional references, and then reassembled it in a new way.

The new form emphasizes the cube. It wasn't a solid box, but one can imagine each side of the cube opened out, rotated and placed somewhere around the square. There are no decorative motifs; Instead, beauty evolves from simple, unadorned surfaces arranged in geometric relationships and from construction detailing. Decorative Arts are limited in De Stijl houses. The artwork was prohibited because the house itself is a piece of art.

 De Stijl characterized its lines and colors as cardinal features of the design.


Lines are a continuous pattern made by a moving point on a surface.

Lines suggest movement.

Up-and-down movement may be indicated by the vertical, tends to stress strength

Lateral movement may be indicated by the horizontal and tends to stress stability

Diagonal lines express more tension and movement than vertical and horizontal

Curving lines usually appear softer and more flowing.

An axis line is an imaginary line that helps determine the basic visual directions of a painting.

Axis lines are invisible vectors of visual force

The line is usually the main determinant of shapes.

Shapes are usually the main determinant of detail, regional, and structural relationships.

The line is usually fundamental in the overall composition.


Color depends on light.

Sunlight – white light – contains all the colors, the mixture preventing any color from showing.

Hue is simply the name of a color.

Red, yellow, and blue are the primary colors.

Their mixtures produce secondary colors: green, orange, and purple.

Further mixing produces six more, the tertiary colors.

The Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht was built in 1924 by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld. The house is one of the best-known examples of De Stijl-architecture and arguably the only true De Stijl building. The facades are a collage of planes and lines whose components are purposely detached from, and seem to glide past, one another. This enabled the provision of several balconies.

There is little distinction between interior and exterior space. The straight-lined planes flow from outside to inside, with the same color palette and surfaces. Even the windows are hinged so that they can only open 90 degrees to the wall, preserving strict design standards about intersecting planes, and further blurring the delineation of inside and out. It is a listed monument since 1976 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.

Schröder House- A floor plan and elevation that reflects the usage simple longitudinal lines from a cube and then opens out to the exterior. Its features purely marked the De Stijl aesthetic.


Currently, while many cultures practice concepts of aesthetic simplicity, Minimalism draws its greatest influence from Japan. The Zen philosophy, which places value on simplicity as a way to achieve inner freedom, reveals itself in Japanese architecture, which became increasingly influential in Western culture from the 18th century onward.

Minimalist architects here often bring together nature and the interior to achieve a balance between the man-made architecture and the environment. Order and harmony are obtained through the use of geometric forms, bare walls, and simple materials. In this way, "the essence of architecture" shines through in the design.



An example of Japanese modern texture, paired with alternate shifts in the angle. This is a usage of sophisticated yet simple texture that pairs with any design on either wall, furniture, rugs, flooring or even landscape.


Minimalist interior and industrial design pick the lead from art and architecture movements. Minimalism doesn't simply mean white walls. Using clean lines and subtracting clutter, anything of excess is extracted until you have the essence of the product or the interior.

Minimalistic Furniture and decorative arts are conceived as one with the architecture and interior design. Designers similarly emphasize structure, construction, proportion and the balance between gaps and fillers. They carefully place individual parts to develop visual balance and harmony so that all parts are appreciated alone as well as in the context of the whole furniture piece. Chairs and tables are the most important conveyors of concepts. Furniture complements the architectonic character of an interior through its emphasis on straight lines, rectangular planes, and geometric forms.

The adage for furniture "less is more" originated with midcentury German-American master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. His iconic Barcelona Chair (1929) was as sleek as can be but was always rather expensive to produce, and its tufted, leather-clad cushions make generous use of lux materials, like marble, travertine, and richly grained exotic woods. Mies also said, "God is in the details." The number of elements may be limited, but each can contribute to maximal impact.



The minimal-lux Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1945Photo ©


Minimalism with spaces would mean spacious rooms with minimum details. The main element of furniture is attention to shape, color, and texture. Furniture must have streamlined shapes and upholstered with neutral colored leather. Shiny surfaces and straight lines look amazing in this format. Detailing is done in stainless steel or chrome and the number of accessories should be minimal. White is the main color for this style. White should form the basis for walls, floor, and furniture. As an alternative one can choose neutral colors such as beige, grey, and light-green. Accents can use a bright color, such as bright red the most popular choice for highlighting details on a white background.


Challenges of Minimalist Design involve making a space look warm and welcoming. The different textures compliment each other and create a soothing atmosphere. A common belief is that minimalism must be associated with contemporary and modern visions. However, traditional and classic designs can have orderly, uncluttered bends complementing furniture and basic accessories.



Minimalism- usage in semi-public spaces like lift lobbies or waiting areas that are an expression of color and simple lines. The composition takes note of direction of light and play of shadows too.



When applied to home design, the disadvantages of taking on minimalism can manifest itself in any of the following instances:


Maintain the integrity of the interior- In the already developed interior, nothing can be added, except that an old item is replaced with a new one, otherwise minimalism will lose its essence. One can add only some accents, but these possibilities are limited.


Investment in High cost of multifunctional or simple-looking things- You may have to invest in multifunctional furniture items. While this effectively makes for a larger and breathier personal space, these items are often sold on a made-to-order basis and can be expensive.


The psychological complexity of getting rid of things- Minimalism is a natural enemy to hoarding. Not all people are up for something like this. It takes time and perseverance.



Interior Home décor, with limited objects in ambient lighting that highlights a seating arena with a set mood through size and color. It is an example, wherein only elements that are necessary bring out form, focus and function without extravagant accessories.



To Iterate, Working within a space with inherited elements that cannot be altered, such as the existing plumbing chase (a false wall used to conceal plumbing), New full-height upper cabinets, floor-to-ceiling pantry closets, and the utilization of all under-the-counter island spaces which can increase the storage capacity of this kitchen by a noteworthy percent. Simplicity in design and uniqueness in resolution are key to this alteration.

The more concise the design, the more expensive it gets. Without harm to quality and appearance. Many of the items will have to be made to order: for example, storage systems for inconspicuous integration into niches. However, the adherents of minimalism believe that one expensive piece will still be more economical than multiple cheap ones because its quality and design will please for many years. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.

The modern program of minimal design introduced a novel way to live with open floor plans and fresh designs free of unnecessary ornamentation. Our opportunity as designers is to learn how to grip the intricacy and realize that the art of design is to make compound things modest. The pure sensibility any work evolves not from a predetermined architectural style, but rather from the intent to design a functional space that operates as a background to what function is contained within them.

When there are a lot of items, the focus can be all over the place. One worries about working enough to pay for all the items and spends time trying to look for or put away all of the stuff in your home. When the stuff is gone and the bills of the home are lessened, it becomes possible to focus time and energy on the important things such as the people around you and the things you are doing.

To embrace minimalist decor ideas, here's a brief look at some important points:

Since minimalist design is all about bare-boned beauty, celebrate your home's architectural details by designing around your home's architectural details rather than concealing them.

Simplicity and need to go hand in hand. Every item purchased should be justified in terms of its need, and therefore, tighter checks should prevail to preserve this forward.

Declutter as much as possible, invest in stylish storage and devise quick daily cleaning routes to keep with the design styles harmonious and practical spirit.

Practice " less is more" , and live by it as this will always be the most trying yet rewarding aspect in mastering minimalist decor.

Every person is different. What most people will find is once they begin a journey towards minimalism, the experience will grow and the benefits will grow with time. Ideas presented of how to achieve a minimalist lifestyle without adhering to a strict code or an arbitrary set of rules has word of warning, though: it isn't easy to take the first steps, but your journey towards minimalism gets much easier—and more rewarding. The first steps often require radical changes in your mindset, actions, and habits.