It seems that lately, no matter where you look, people are buzzing about minimalist architecture. The word minimal has become synonymous with clean, luxurious, and clutter-free aesthetics, so it’s a no-brainer as to why designers and home-owners alike are falling in love with this “less is more” mentality. Having the ability to carefully select design elements in order to reach an optimal outcome is a rewarding challenge in and of itself. It’s all about achieving more with less. By being more mindful of and strategic about our choices, we have the ability to breathe life into spaces in a simple yet powerful way. Unfortunately, it’s easy to lose focus of our big picture when trying to follow the mainstream. Instead of using mindful decision-making, we can find ourselves blindly copying what everyone else is doing out of fear of deviating from what’s already been established. Below are three examples of ways you can inject more personality into your design choices in order to elevate minimalist architecture design and express its true essence in a way that’s unique to you.
1. Less is more (but make mindful choices that matter to you)
Since contemporary minimalism is about removing as much excess clutter as possible, it can be easy to go overboard with over-simplification. A common misconception is that minimalism is stark and lifeless, composed of as few materials as possible. This way of thinking can easily lead us to wonder exactly how much is “too much” and whether we are making the “right” choices when adding new design elements. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Minimalism isn’t a formula. There is no magic number that dictates exactly how much you should include in your overall architecture. Minimalism does, however, evoke strong feelings of sheer calmness and a pure sense of contentment. That’s why every good designer’s minimalist work is going to make a statement in a way that cannot be easily rationalized or replicated. You can’t just pare a space down to its bones and call it minimalism. It’s a very personal experience that requires you to look inwards. Each piece of the puzzle has to speak to you in a way that will make it impossible for you to ignore. When you mindfully curate pieces with a strong intent, you’ll know exactly what belongs and what doesn’t.
2. Be curious
It’s dangerously easy to lose sight of ourselves in today’s technological era. No matter where you look, it can feel as though you’re bombarded with an overload of information about what you should or shouldn’t be doing. This can instill a sense of fear in us that is so profound, it prevents us from being curious about new things just for curiosity’s sake. Sure, it’s tempting to take the safe path in your creative endeavors. But safeness isn’t sustainable for many of us—especially if it forces us to lose a piece of ourselves. Minimalism can sometimes get a bad rap because it is seen by some as a passing, brainwashing trend that lacks any depth or substance. This negative connotation alone is enough to turn even the most curious person away from minimalism before giving it a chance. Of course, minimalism, like many things, isn’t for everyone. But if you find that you are dismissing it prematurely because of external influences, then it warrants a second look. Sure, it can seem even more impossible to explore new concepts, brands, and ways of thinking if your place of work is especially resistant to change, but you shouldn’t accept this as defeat. If you allow your innate sense of curiosity (we all have it) to be the driving force behind your actions, you’ll be surprised to discover a newfound sense of creativity buried deep within yourself.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Personal
Part of minimalist architecture’s popularity has to do with its tendency to require very uncomplicated and efficient plans that avoid unnecessary complexity. This efficiency is, quite frankly, a breath of fresh air as it eliminates a host of issues that tend to accompany larger and more complex buildings. A simple, yet well thought-out floor plan saves time and money on excess materials in the early stages. It also saves time and money on maintenance in the long run. For advocates of minimalism, it’s upsides are a no-brainer. While this is all well and good, you should never lose sight of the emotional and physical needs of the people who will inevitably inhabit the space. Minimalist architecture should certainly evoke a sense of beauty, but not at the expense of functionality. Homes and offices should ultimately be designed to bend to our everyday needs—not the other way around. Minimalism is an invitation to make highly personal and thoughtful design decisions that will ultimately elevate the human experience.