An Introduction to Minimalism

An Introduction to Minimalism - Pod Furniture Ireland
When it comes to minimalism with regards to interior design, the simple necessities become forefront as the room is stripped to its core functions. Often associated with the minimalist movement – a lifestyle which strips itself down to living as material-free as possible – as well as the broader minimalist art movement, when it comes to interior design this style brings an effortless freshness and relaxation to any room.

ethnicraft x leg dining table


The art movement of minimalism was born after World War II, and with regards to interior design, it really came into its own. The architecture was influenced by newly-popular modern materials such as glass and steel, and popularised by the likes of Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, a German-American architect who coined the phrase “less is more” with regards to architectural design.

Bleeding from architecture to other art forms, minimalism found its footing within interior design in the 1960s and 70s, following much innovation from the New York school and German designer Dieter Rams, who essentially created a blueprint for minimalist furniture and electronics. Further innovation throughout the 80s and 90s by minimalist designers such as Shiro Kuramata and Maarten Van Severen firmly form what we visualise of minimalist interior design today.

Key Features

Open Plan Layouts – as minimalist design frequently emphasises the utilisation of natural light, open plan layouts are the best method of ensuring its optimum usage. Open plan layouts also ensure unessential building materials aren’t included in the design.

Essentials Only - when it comes to actual furniture structure materials are kept light and uncomplicated, lacking any unnecessary features. Decorations are kept to a minimum, if any are used at all – frequently a singular piece of artwork may be employed to tie other features of the room together. Mood lighting in place of decoration is a popular fixture.
Clean Lines – every piece of furniture in the room serves a practical purpose when it comes to minimalist design. Every surface is flat and smooth with clean, bold lines at the forefront. Patterns are practically non-existent. Work surfaces are clean and clear, and all spaces should be free of clutter. Storage is integrated seamlessly into furnishings/walls.

Monochromatic Palettes – while not an essential feature to minimalism, monochromatic colour palettes are immensely popular within the design choice. Simple, inoffensive colours such as whites, “greiges” and greys are popular. Even if the designated palette is not monochromatic, it will always be somewhat limited.
Craftsmanship – handcrafted furniture – often wooden – is an immensely popular feature within minimalist design.
Strategic use of texture – with so little going on, a drawback of minimalist design is that it may run the risk of looking soulless. By cleverly implementing interesting and unique textures amongst the simplistic colours and clear spaces, personality and form is implemented in the room’s design.

Notable Minimalist Designers

Shiro Kuramata – one of the most famous designers of Japanese origin, Kuramata was an influential postmodernist artist in the 70s and 80s who became well known due to his more limited palette of materials than his contemporaries. Kuramata is mainly noted for his preferences for transparent materials as well as floating furniture and decoration.
John Pawson – John Pawson is a British architect and interior designer whose work majorly focuses on minimalism. Pawson famously stated “Minimalism is not an architecture of self-denial, deprivation, or absence; it is defined not by what is not there, but by the rightness of what is there and by the richness with which this is experienced.” Pawson’s work pays attention heavily to the utilisation of light and space.

ethnicraft ligna sideboard

Norm Architects – based in Copenhagen, Norm Architects were founded in 2008. Paying heavy attention to Scandinavian design and natural materials, the company aims to “[eliminate] the irrelevant in order to emphasise what is important in life through tactile designs and interiors that invite you to engage with them.”

Ula Burgiel – a London-based luxury interior designer who specialises in a loft style of minimalism. Burgiel has worked on minimalist homes in many major cities such as Hong Kong and New York, and believes minimalist homes to be beneficial to the environment and individual wellbeing.

ethnicraft aged console

Minimalism and Your Home

If you’re curious to test out minimalism in your own home, there are some small steps you can take to see if it’s the right style for you.
Decluttering – cleanliness and tidiness are at the forefront of minimalism. A clear living space means a clear mind. Ensure desktops and workspaces are clear.
Less ornamentation – the beauty of minimalism is in its simplicity. Try seeing how your living space fares with nethermost décor – or even none entirely.
Simple colours – try out some monochromatic looks in your planned space, or pair interesting combinations but with plain colours together.
Textiles – in the absence of decoration, textiles such as blankets, throws and rugs can add a lot of character to minimalist spaces.

Minimalism Subtypes

  • Industrial minimalism
  • Eco minimalism
  • Japanese minimalism
  • Contemporary minimalism

Minimalism at Pod Furniture


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published