Common Misconceptions About Minimalism, According to an Interior Designer
A minimalist home can most definitely still have splashes of color, and as long as it's done with restraint, those well-placed hues can actually be the highlight of your home.
Minimalism, both as a lifestyle and a design philosophy, has been gaining traction in recent years. Despite its popularity, though, there are still some misconceptions about minimalism.
Let's debunk the common myths and delve deeper into the true essence of minimalism in your home.
Myth: Minimalism is boring
Truth: It's a symphony of simplicity, not boredom
Some people believe that a minimalist space lacks personality and warmth—but this is far from the truth. "The simpler the space and the pieces [in it] are, the more intricate [the design actually] is," says Rae Abigael Caacbay, co-founder, creative director, and head designer of made by arc interior design studio.
Minimalism is about creating a space that is curated and intentional, where each item serves a purpose and contributes to the overall look and feel of your space. By eliminating clutter, minimalism creates a sense of calm and tranquility.
Myth: Minimalism is one size fits all
Truth: It's a personalized approach to living
Many people associate minimalism with sleek white rooms, streamlined furniture, and sparse décor. However, this is a narrow interpretation of the design concept. "You can actually play around and still maintain that minimal style," Caacbay says.
The truth is minimalism is not about adhering to a specific aesthetic, but rather about simplifying and decluttering your living space.
Minimalism can take various forms depending on individual preferences and lifestyles. Some people may prefer a more rustic or bohemian minimalism, while others may lean towards a more contemporary or industrial style.
Myth: You can't own many things
Truth: Minimalism not a numbers game
Another common misconception about minimalism is the belief that minimalists cannot own more than 100 items or should buy only second-hand items. While some may choose to limit their possessions, there is no set rule or item count that defines minimalism. It is a personal choice.
Minimalism is about intentional living and mindful consumption. It is about surrounding yourself with items that serve a purpose and bring you joy, rather than accumulating unnecessary objects. Whether you own 50 or 500 items, the key is to be intentional and mindful about what you bring into your space.
Caacbay advises using artwork or photographs to add visual interest. "You can play around with colors, shapes, and forms." Display your prized mementos in a wooden shadow box, available on Shopee.
Myth: Minimalism means sticking to just one color
Truth: It goes beyond black and white
Must minimalists adhere to a strict black-and-white color scheme? While going monochromatic may be a personal style choice for some of them, it is not a requirement. "You can do a monochromatic palette," Caacbay says, "and then to add a bit of personality to that palette, you can use your favorite color, but just splashes [of it].
"For example, [if] your room is neutral, the walls [can be] beige or green, and then you can use throw pillows that are pink." Or if you prefer a Nordic print, get one of these pillow cases, available on Shopee.
Minimalism in interior design is not about limiting yourself to a specific color palette, but rather about creating a space that is free from visual clutter. It cannot be said enough: Minimalism is about creating a serene and uncluttered environment that allows you to focus on what truly matters. It is about choosing quality over quantity and surrounding yourself with items that bring you joy and reflect your personal style, regardless of color.
For some visual inspo, watch this:
Read more: 5 Design Ideas For A Minimalist Home
The Essence of Minimalism in Interior Design
Having debunked the most common misconceptions about minimalism, let's delve into the true essence of minimalism in interior design. Here are some key principles to keep in mind:
Minimalist spaces are characterized by clean lines, uncluttered surfaces, and a focus on functionality. Each item in the space should have a purpose and contribute to the overall look.
Neutral Color Palette
While minimalism is not limited to a specific color palette, neutral colors such as white, beige, and gray are often used to create a sense of calm and serenity. Pops of color can also be incorporated to add visual interest and personality.
Minimalist spaces often incorporate natural materials such as wood, stone, and metal. These materials add warmth and texture to the space.
Decluttering is a fundamental aspect of minimalism. Eliminate unnecessary items and organize the remaining ones in a thoughtful and intentional manner. This creates a sense of order and allows the space to "breathe."
Negative space, also known as empty space, is an essential element of minimalism. It provides visual relief and allows the eye to rest, enhancing the overall sense of calm and simplicity.
Quality over Quantity
Minimalism is about choosing quality over quantity. Instead of filling your space with cheap and disposable items, focus on investing in high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time.
Minimalist spaces can be vibrant and full of personality. You can play around and still maintain that minimalist style. For example, a monochromatic palette can be livened up with splashes of your favorite color. Neutral walls can be complemented with colored throw pillows or artwork. By playing around with colors, shapes, and forms, minimalist spaces can be anything but boring.
What is minimalism in interior design?
Minimalism in interior design is about creating a space that is free from excess and clutter, where each item serves a purpose and contributes to the overall aesthetic.
Does minimalism mean having less than 100 items?
No, there is no set rule or item count that defines minimalism. It is about intentional living and mindful consumption, not about the number of items you own.
Does minimalism mean sticking to a black-and-white color palette?
No, minimalism in interior design is not about limiting oneself to a specific color palette. It is about creating a space that is free from visual clutter.
Is minimalism boring?
No, minimalism is about creating a space that is curated and intentional. It allows for greater focus and appreciation of your possessions and the memories attached to them.
How can I add personality to a minimalist space?
Incorporate splashes of your favorite color, using different shapes and forms, and display artwork or photographs that reflect your personal style.
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