Minimalism has been on the rise throughout the new millennium, but why? Here to explain is Homepolish contributor Helen Bower, along with tips on how to get the look in your home.
Millennials, that segment of the population that’s 18-35 years old and of constant media attention, are turning increasingly to a de-cluttered, minimalist lifestyle. Naturally, this has a fairly major impact on interior design for this generation. Gone are maximalist ornament-bearing shelves, fussy decoration, and accent pieces. In their place are tidy and clean expanses of wall and floor. Why are millennials turning to this trend? And, more importantly, how can you make the most out of a minimalist design aesthetic?
Hoarder Parents: Millennials are largely the offspring of the baby-boomer generation, who are notorious for their acquisitive nature, aka they never get rid of anything. As these parents grow older, millennials are increasingly finding themselves having to deal with the mountains of ‘stuff’ their parents and grandparents have acquired. Minimalist lifestyles are then seen as a way to counteract this.
Economic Uncertainty: Millennials have come into their working lives in an increasingly uncertain economic environment. Furthermore, housing prices are higher than ever before compared to cost of living. Naturally, one has less money to spend on the things that contribute to “clutter.” It’s also worth noting that many millennials can’t afford to live in large spaces, making minimalism a practical as well as aesthetic choice.
Frequent Moving: Millennials move home more frequently than any other generation. This is partly because of the rental market, and partly because millennials tend to switch jobs more often than previous generations. Millennials avoid acquiring anything they don’t actually need to avoid unnecessary headaches when moving.
Trendiness: Tied in to all of these reasons for going minimalist is the idea of ‘trendiness.’ An uncluttered, minimalist apartment is fashionable among millennials right now… just check out the Homepolish Instagram feed!
Making Minimalism Work for You
If you like the idea of clean, uncluttered spaces, but also like to flex your interior design muscles, don’t worry! Minimalism doesn’t have to be limiting. Here’s a basic primer on how minimalism works at its best, and some tips on achieving that cool, on-trend look.
Stripping Back: At its essence, minimalism is about stripping a room back to its bare essentials. Start by removing everything in your room that does not serve an essential purpose. When you’re left with those necessary elements, you can start accessorizing a bit to bring the room back to life.
Simple, Functional, Tasteful: Minimalist design is simple and clean. It’s fit for purpose, with few curlicues or furbelows. It’s the polar opposite of baroque! However, this doesn’t mean that it has to be utilitarian or institutional-looking. It also doesn’t mean cheap so it’s still worth investing in a robust contents policy in case the worst happens. The clean, simple concept of minimalism allows for a strong aesthetic, expressed through color schemes, furniture styles, and clever design. Simple, uncluttered, minimal rooms can, when done well, give an impression of light, airiness, and order which is unmatched in more complicated design styles.
Color Schemes: It’s worth noting that the lack of clutter in a minimalist room means that your color scheme plays a larger part in the overall aesthetic than may be the case in other aesthetics. With big, clean expanses of wall and floor, you can go bold and creative with your paintwork. Alternatively, enhance the feeling of simplicity with a monochromatic scheme. Either way, it’s worth noting that the lack of ornamentation will make whatever color scheme you choose really stand out!
Simple Furniture: Any furniture in a minimalist room should be simple, functional, and essential. However, this doesn’t mean that it can’t also be attractive and comfortable. As mentioned above, any variations to a chosen color scheme will stick out like a sore thumb, so make sure to weigh your choices in relation to the rest of your room.
For examples of Minimalist Homepolish homes, check out:
This New York bachelor pad by Homepolish’s
Homepolish designer Joy Rondello’s work for a Seattle loft.
A Texas home by Homepolish’s
The LA workspace of Homepolish designer