There are many reasons why minimalism is so popular these days.
If you’re like me, you’ve watched at least one home improvement show at some point in your life, so you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that there’s nothing like the “big reveal” when the designer/host shows the owners what they did with the place. No matter what show it is or what space in the house was renovated, the end result is always the same: the new design makes everything look bigger, lighter, and ten times more beautiful. Now, these shows give designers thousands of dollars to transform these people’s houses, so of course they’re going to look better than they did at the beginning. However, if you watch more of these shows, you’ll discover that what makes these makeovers so dramatic isn’t the expensive pieces of furniture or ultra-modern appliances. No, the key is the design, minimalist design, to be precise.
Minimalism is everywhere right now, from fashion and beauty, to poetry. The reason why it’s become so popular is because it promises happiness. Yes, minimalism is a philosophy that believes that the fewer things we have, the more beautiful our lives will become, and the happier we will be. Or, basically, to put it more briefly: less is more. But what exactly is minimalism? How does it work? And why is everyone so into it now? That’s what we’ll explore in this article.
One of the main elements of minimalism (if not the main one) is simplicity. That means having as little as possible in a space, keeping pieces of furniture, decorations, and even colors to a minimum. For many people, this is an incredibly hard to thing to do because not only does it involve limiting the number of personal belongings you display in your space (for instance, books and photos), but also making sure that the things you have to keep are as invisible as possible (for example, cords, kitchen appliances, clothes, toiletries, etc.) The idea is to eliminate clutter and to prioritize quality over quantity. Just thinking about this is stressful, but take one look at the picture above, and you’ll see why it’s worth it.
In the same vein as simplicity, functionality means that every object and element in a space has to have a purpose. When you remove all unnecessary elements, you end up with far fewer things, which will make you feel freer, happier, and more peaceful. This aspect of minimalism is also hard to adopt, but it is just as important as simplicity. In fact, it makes “achieving” simplicity much easier. For example, if you look at architecture and design blogs, you’ll see how some bedrooms only have a bed and a lamp, and a dining room can be just a table and four chairs. Why? Because that is the essence of that room. You don’t need anything else. For many people, though, this approach to design can seem boring or even unnatural, but for true minimalists, it is a recipe for beauty and happiness.
As I mentioned before, minimalism extends to colors as well. The idea is to keep the colors in a space simple and neutral, which is why so many minimalist houses and buildings are all white, black-and-white, or in light shades of neutral colors. It’s actually one of the most easily recognizable and memorable aspects of minimalism, but most people wouldn’t know just how essential it is to the design. By keeping colors neutral or using only white, you let the eye “breathe” and reduce the number of distractions, so, depending on the room, you feel more relaxed or more focused on what you have to do. Interestingly, over the years, some architects and designers have broken the mold and chosen bright colors for their minimalist designs, but white, black, and neutral still reign supreme.
Finally, the most underappreciated element of minimalist design: light. In more ways than one, it can make or break a space. A good designer will find the perfect balance between natural and artificial light, making the most of the former and complementing it with just the right amount of the latter, but only where it is needed. In minimalist design, light can go all the way from off-white and cold, to warm, yellow tones, depending on what works best for the space, but the final effect is always light that makes the room feel spacious, airy, and calm. Elements like big, wide windows that open out to the outdoors and skylights are very common in minimalist design, but simple and subtle lamps can also help bring a room together.
Are you feeling inspired to get rid of some of your clutter and adopt these principles in your place? It's not as hard as it looks, and the final result will be incredibly rewarding.
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