Tendencies in the decoration of modern living room are associated with the change of common view to the purpose of this room. More and more seldom it serves for parties and big noisy crews. Today it is a common occurrence to celebrate holidays outdoors. A living room is considered as a certain oasis after hard working day, that is why its interior shall calm and create conditions for maximum relaxation. This can be achieved by means of
- creating an atmosphere of spaciousness, full of air,
- maintaining aspect ratio,
- space zoning,
- getting rid of excessive items, leaving an essential functional furniture,
- avoidance of annoying color palette disharmony,
- regulated light flux,
- strict order and harmony.
The notion of minimalist style contains all the mentioned above.
Minimalism as a trend in design was formed at the end of the 60s in New York City, but its origins can be traced back to Europe, to the ideas, formulated by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the most significant creative individuals of the XXth century. Namely, he began to develop the concept of purity of forms underlain in minimalism. His laconic statement made a massive impact on the designer idea:
Less is more
All his life he devoted to the creation of universal and simple architecture. His works are notable for rigid geometrical compositions and complete absence of decorative components, but the poetry of the buildings and interior design items created by him consists in delicate workmanship of maintaining aspect ratio, in use of graceful elegant materials (for example, marble, onyx, travertine, chromized steel, bronze, or hardwoods) in carefully and accurately specified details.
In 70s minimalism achieved its maturity and became a peculiar response to the so-called Pop art.
Set of furniture of rigid geometric forms with preservation of natural color of the wood.
Facade of the capacious cabinet is closed.
The decoration reconstructs the atmosphere of the country house of the middle 50s.
Designer James Cowen
The eastern traditions of interior designing, in particular, Japanese, had a great impact on the style formation.
Features of minimalism, borrowed from the traditional Japanese systems of decoration are as follows: –
low tables and sofas, use of surfaces made of artificial stone,
symmetry in the arrangement of decorative components, color scheme close to natural shades,
foldaway doors, wood floor, and use of panoramic view as an integral part of the interior,
red and green color accents, ornamental dwarf indoor plants.
Peculiarities of Minimalism
Minimalism is characterized by extremely simple forms, pure lines, neutral shades, free space, where harmony and balance. First of all, big, high, open spaces are preferred.
Spacious premises are visually extended by means of window walls, panoramic view, set of luxurious furniture of rigid geometric forms.
White color scheme visually extends space.
The environment created is functional and free of any excess, saturation, visual pollution, disbalance of repetitions. Minimalism can be considered as aesthetic anti-baroque. Everything is subject to softness, calmness, and order therein, there is nothing extra.
In leisure zone, organized by means of partition,
there is only the most necessary for relaxation upholstered furniture in beige shades.
A decoration of the naked wall of partition is qualitative reproductions (or, may be, originals?)
in the manner of the French impressionists.
Philosophy of minimalism tends to design any space by means of a few components, which, in turn, shall make together composition unity, not shadowed by any decorative components. In this context pure and low lines are preferred, almost at the level of the floor, with an absolutely single color scheme of ceilings, walls, floor, and carefully chosen French furniture.
One of the main peculiarities of minimalism is the use of pure colors, surfaces, or monochrome layers, white and beige are dominating among the soft colors.
The addition to the interior of dark shades of brown color is used in leisure zone for a creation of atmosphere, facilitating relaxation and meditation.
Wide modular sofas and designer’s rocking chairs by spouses Eams pursue the same aim.
When it comes down to white color, it should be borne in mind, that it has a wide range of shades, able to shine or reflect multiply. Contrast is provided by some decorative details, which in no case shall be abused. Painted detail can be red or pistachio and be present in carpet, cushions, or any object.
Materials are one more key aspect of minimalism. In the minimalist design people use wood (mainly, as furnishings, flooring) and natural materials (underwent the most necessary processing), namely, smooth cement, glass, steel wire, stone, mirrors and big areas of polished surfaces. Minimalism is not materials saving; people opt for the most qualitative, and, correspondingly, expensive materials.
You should avoid aggressive, baroque, or floral patterns when choosing textiles for a decoration of the minimalist design living room. Fabrics shall add freshness, coziness and invite to have rest and relax, and it is better to be self-colored. For curtains, cushions, and upholstery people give the preference over natural expensive fabrics made of cotton and flax, dependent on the style integrity and basic concept of decoration.
Furniture upholstery and carpet colors are subject to the general color scheme of the interior.
Textiles in the interior are combined or contrast with basic white scheme of decoration
(curtains, sofas upholstery),
refresh achromatic palette with floral pink patterns
(carpet, cases for cushions).
Furniture also depends on the concept of simplicity and functionality. Furniture is not always visually fixed, hidden shelves and cabinet in contemporary or oriental (Japanese) style are widely used.
Shelves and cabinets in leisure zone are behind the closed facades.
Designer’s table with the top made of glass by Isamu Noguchi is very functional, decorative, expensive, and exclusive.
Other items of furniture, for example, sofa, armchairs, coffee table, except for the designated purpose, play a role of the fashionable decorative component, if the choice is made in favor of the designers’ pieces of furniture.
Distinctive tendency of minimalism is use of console furniture,
as if outgrowing the walls and making maximum space available.
Shelves (made of glass), table, television stand, seat, a decorative panel of rigid geometrical forms blend with the carpet pattern.
Color scheme of achromatic shades is completed with contrasting chromatic shade, namely, red.
Walls shall be free of ornamentals, although the use of author’s picture is allowed. An excellent solution will be a flat plasma screen. Smooth light walls or with a stone surface as a decorative component.
The purity of style is achieved by means of color scheme of light brown shades
(color accent is created by means of decorative design element, namely, a red vase),
floor covering made of expensive wood, floor-to-ceiling window
(natural light flux is regulated by means of window blinds), home theater system,
laconic long shelve of simple geometrical form,
and a set of furniture (chaise lounge and d-end table) by the iconic American designers Charles and Ray Eames.
Space zoning (area of cooking and leisure zone)
is reached by means of smooth high (from floor to ceiling) partitions.
The basic color scheme is achromatic (gray color shades).
Decorative elements, such as pictures, are made in shades of the basic palette.
Shelves and cabinets are hidden behind the closed facades.
One of the main tools in the creation of minimalist interior is light. Complicated lighting systems are installed: curtain-rod light, lamps in the floor, side light, tubular lamps, rotating lamp with ability to regulate light flux, warm halogen directional light (to emphasize some details of interior), light-emitting-diode (only for ornamental purposes, not as main light), natural light by means of big windows and glassed parts of the roof.
Some of the Finer Points
Minimalism is a good combination with the modern architecture buildings, although, if handled properly, it can be used in the older buildings.
Modern architecture building is designed, using techniques, peculiar for minimalism
white and beige colors (color accent is turquoise decorative figurine), big surfaces made of glass, functional fashionable furniture.
Minimalism blends with the furnishings in the oriental style, although, as a result, the design will get eclectic features.
Minimalism is suitable for very tidy people, able not to break esthetic order, accumulating unnecessaries, which can destroy the design developed. That is why, it is said, that minimalism is not designed for disorderly individuals.
Minimalism is new esthetic, a choice of those people, who look forward and are brave enough to get rid of old traditions.
Space, full of air, light from various sources,
the calm color scheme, cabinet closed facades,
monochrome colors of curtains, furniture upholstery, and soft carpet,
all this is romantic minimalism for the modern family.