Having started as a description of an art style (works of art that are reduced to their essential elements), minimalism is now more than just that and has seeped into all aspects of our lifestyle, from fashion, design, homeware and architecture to cuisine and, most importantly, our mindset.
Are you a minimalist?
Jess Binns of the Durban-based interior and exterior design company Hector & Bailey believes the term “minimalist” speaks “more of the person than … of a home”. Binns advises that once you’ve adopted a minimalist mindset, it will be easier to head down this route.
How to get started
As the saying goes, “less is more”, but where do you start when you have already accumulated a house full of furniture, décor and homeware? Joburg-based interior decorator Debbie Luke of Designed by Debbie agrees with Binns that some home owners are naturally attracted to minimalist interiors and therefore have a deeper need to declutter their lives. To these home owners, Luke advises: “The first step is always to start sorting out your stuff. Be ruthless and keep only the items that you absolutely love and need. That is a very important skill to develop and is much harder than it sounds.”
TIP: “Pack things you are unsure about away and if you miss an item then go and get it out. If you forget about other pieces then there’s your answer. Similarly with furniture, if you are keeping a couch because it used to belong to your great-grandmother but you don’t ever sit on it and you don’t like the way it looks, you don’t actually need it.” – Debbie Luke of Designed by Debbie
How to select your interior fixtures, furniture and decor
When it comes to your interiors, keep things simple. Binns suggests you can achieve this by ensuring that most of your furnishings are understated and unfussy. “Function should always come first when considering a piece,” advises Luke. “Don’t buy something if you don’t need it and if it won’t add value or enjoyment to your experience of your home.”
TIP: “Opt for hidden storage wherever you can, such as blanking off alcoves and under-stair areas. Invest in one or two timeless pieces that you truly love such as a designer couch or a standing lamp and let them provide the accent aesthetic rather than small decor items” – Jess Binns of Hector & Bailey
How to prevent your minimalist home from appearing sterile
Often home owners who want an inviting and comfortable space are worried that a minimalist interior style can be sterile and therefore off-putting. However, it all depends on what you select for your home and where it’s placed. Binns recommends that you choose your hard surfaces wisely, and try to bring in an element of texture … scrutinise the hue of each sample to ensure it all ties in well.
TIP: “A key that I use to avoid making a space sterile is to remember all the natural elements: wood, fire, earth, water, metal. If you have a balance of elements you can never go wrong. Fire is associated with including candles, animal prints or skins if that’s something you’re into, or an actual fireplace.” – Debbie Luke of Designed by Debbie