Are We Ready To Be Minimalists?



We’ve all had several years of being heavily introduced to the concept of minimalism.  It’s hard to surf the internet, read a magazine, or even watch some of the HGTV shows without hearing the word tossed around.  As always, when a new idea comes up, there are people who have written “how to” books on the subject. Nearly everyone thinks they “need this” in their lives now.  But what exactly is it…and can we really do it?

The word minimalism seems to have a definition that will morph into whatever form it is needed.  From what I can find, it originally related to the arts and music.


Regarding Art – a trend in sculpture and painting that arose in the 1950s and used simple, typically massive, forms.

Regarding Music – an avant-garde movement in music characterized by the repetition of very short phrases that change gradually, producing a hypnotic effect.
Neither of these seems to fit the concept of today.
This definition seems to be more suited for the trend we see today – a person who favors a moderate approach to the achievement of a set of goals or who holds minimal expectations for the success of a program.
 What we do know is that many of our clients are under the impression that minimalism means throwing everything out and living an almost monk like existence.  This week we will share how we view the many interpretations of the art of minimalism.  Here are the 5 things we think are important when considering using a more minimal approach to your home’s decor.
  • Comfort
  • Storage
  • Architecture and Lighting
  • Defined Use of Space
  • Ease of Maintenance
With fewer pieces of furniture, the ones selected should be of ultra comfort.  Creating deliberate areas of retreat is important.
Storage of all necessary things is essential.  Many people associate minimal design with clean, clear spaces.  This happens not because others have no possessions, it is due to careful and adequate planned storage.
When planning a decor with the less is more concept, architecture and lighting take an even more important role.  This example has beautiful, centuries old architecture that beckons all of us into this space.  We are not all blessed with these assets, however, with some careful planning of finishes and furnishings, a very welcoming decor can be achieved.


Many examples of minimal design will portray large open spaces.  In these cases, defining the space is of the utmost importance.  In structures, like this one, a series of rooms is more defined but can still benefit from a clear plan for how the rooms will be utilized.  Furnishings planned correctly for scale and balance will make the spaces feel like a home.



When we asked our clients what they thought of when thinking about a minimalist decor they often said “white”.  Yes, many of the decor photos that are appealing to us use a light color palette.  Finishes of paints, selection of flooring, cabinets and counters will work best in a light palette if they are of easy to care for materials.  More importantly, one of the basic concepts of minimalism is to live life more simply.  Spending hours caring for materials that do not work with your lifestyle defeat the purpose.


In closing, we’d like to thank Coco Lapine who featured this home on her blog recently.  We like that this home shows how to use our five “must haves” to successfully create an inviting minimalist decor.  It is not void of comfort and  creates interest.  This is a true example that we can have more by having less.

Look Here at Another Way to Make Minimalism Work

4 thoughts on “Are We Ready To Be Minimalists?

  1. Really enjoyable read Laurel – I agree that the term minimalism can be confusing at times and this is a really helpful breakdown. The images you’ve selected are great too (big fan of Sarah’s blog).


    1. Both our homes will also be featured this week. Everyone has our own view on minimalism. Being older we have a lifetime of the nice things collected for years. Anyone younger who can figure this out from the start is so far ahead we were when staring out!


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