Minimalist Design: Let’s Talk Through It

There are other articles on Minimalist Living Today about some aspects of minimalist design, but really, all you have to do is keep things simple and you’re well on your way to understanding minimalist design.

The concept really isn’t that hard to understand or carry out.

Before we discuss this idea more, however, let’s make sure you’re reading the right article. There is another article on this site that’s focused on minimalist interior design. I also have you covered if you want to consider a minimalist living room specifically. I even wrote a piece about the minimalist art movement of the last century.

If you want to consider the idea of minimalist design more generally, however, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started.

Minimalist Design Basics

An iPad is an example of functional minimalist design and is available from Amazon.
An iPad is an example of functional minimalist design and is available from Amazon.

Although there have always been people who prefer to keep things simple, the real trend toward minimalism in interior design, graphic design and product design started in the middle and late 20th century.

Minimalist design is simply design that is stripped down to its basics — to its most essential elements. Think about the products available at IKEA home furnishing stores and the consumer electronics made by Apple and you start to get the idea. The idea is both Japanese and European. It’s both modern and as simple as a prairie or pioneer lifestyle.

As far as minimalism is concerned, less is more.

Here are few key characteristics that most minimal design sensibilities include:

  • Clean geometry
  • Simple finishes
  • Neutral or at least solid colors
  • Streamlined forms

Getting rid of frills, tassels and dangling bits is key.

Even more generally, minimalism is a way of looking at the world. Minimalists are people who avoid and cut clutter in all its forms, so it’s no wonder that minimalist design is uncluttered while still being visually appealing and interesting whenever possible.

Today’s minimalist design seems to focus around the color white. White is viewed as clean and sterile, but splashes of color and complex textures can be minimalist too — as long as things don’t get overwhelming, complex or cluttered in any way.

That’s all you really need to know. The concept couldn’t be simpler, yet it is so often complicated with more discussion than necessary.

Closing Thoughts

Minimalist design is very much whatever the designer wants to make it. If you’ve been asked to create a minimalist home design plan or a minimalist newspaper ad, simply strip your project down to its most essential elements and you’ll be fine.

If you’re wanting to better understand minimalist design and the motivations behind it, consider this: Complexity leads to chaos of mind and chaos in the world too. Those who prefer to keep things simple do so because they want to find a clean, unadorned peace in the things they do, the things they design and the things they own.

Peacefulness in our surroundings… It’s a lofty goal, but minimalist design is a tool that can help you accomplish just that.

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