MINIMALISTIC DESIGNS - AN URBAN SINE QUA NON

Updated: May 5


In today’s times, almost all of us somehow manage to buy our dream home, even if it means a stooped back with a heavy burden of EMIs. And then next comes the challenge to make it dreamlike, nuancing up the interiors according to our sensibilities and resources available. Our urban lives today are so fast-paced that even if we hire the best of designers for this job, the challenge to maintain and sustain it is huge. It literally becomes a burden later on. Here the concept of ‘Minimalistic designs’ comes handy, it is the need of the hour. Also, the urban spaces are getting relatively smaller, so the traditional designs make it look cluttered and claustrophobic. In addition to that, there is a huge wave of minimalistic lifestyle being adopted by people in the wake of a heavy burden we are putting on our mother earth.


The Japanese way of minimalistic uncluttered way of life is very much in. This concept of being rooted in the basics brought in the concept of minimalism. Of being one with nature as well as pleasing all the senses.


The idea of going minimalistic touched all the spheres around us including the spaces that we inhabited and called “our piece of heaven”, “our homes”. These spaces were more open and more basic in their approach to please our senses. It meant more open spaces around us, a simpler and more basic color palette, straight lines, free flow of air and light. This was a welcome change from the clutter and the heavy gathering of furniture pieces randomly picked up.


The idea of going minimalistic is a matter of personal choice with lesser division in the space. Glass, fabric or maybe even the furniture pieces can play dividers or separators. “Less is more” becomes the keyword for these designs which exude a general feel of being uncluttered and very basic, without being any hindrance to the functionality. These designs are a crash course in restraint with a demand to rip everything down to the very basic, leaving only the most dominant pieces to take over. Being austere is the key here.


All this can be achieved by having function based furniture and objects of interest with a very basic color spread of maximum two. Going with off whites or greys as the overall underlying color does the magic. It also gives you the illusion of a bigger space. Throw in a little dash of color with a couple of cushions, a throw, or maybe one colored upholstered chair in the room and it will lift up the mood of the room giving it the semblance of neater wider space. Striking a balance with this design in mind can be a tight rope to walk on. Minimalism should never mean stark and lifeless spaces. Another important aspect is flooring with only the essentials left in the space. The surfaces should also be cleared of clutter and the stuff neatly stowed away out of sight. Decluttering should also be a good way to start. The lesser baggage we carry easier will be the journey.


People are thriving on this age-old concept and are in a naturally happier zone. This concept helps in creating a very warm and inviting ambiance and carries a no-nonsense vibe to it. It need not be boring so to say. A smart eye can easily achieve a successful marriage between need and want. People whose personal style is simple are more likely to gravitate towards this concept. Just give each room a curated highlighted piece, it can be an antique or a painting that stands out or maybe a patterned rug which breaks the monochromatic monotony of the room. Come in one, go out one should be the way to go. The clean and sleek look also brings in a sense of peace and being in control. The natural light flow helps in building up positive vibes in general. The balance of natural light can be achieved by infusing white color on the surfaces. Leave the windows unfrilled or if need be drape it with light-colored sheer curtains or blinds, so the natural light has its way into the room. Another option to achieve this should lie in the usage of smart storage solutions. Here you do have everything you need but it is stored in smartly designed pieces of furniture. The pieces can store the world yet look chic. That’s the key.


Different texture in similar color tones also adds to a fuller feel in the space without being overbearing.The light fixtures should also not be ignored here and should retain the original flavor of the design. The walls should be used as an open canvas to be the focal point which can also be used as a distraction from the otherwise plain and simple (not necessarily boring) layout.


In the end, it all boils down to playing around with the space available as it is our own vision of “our piece of heaven on earth”. “Our own home”.


QUESTIONS & ANSWERS


Q How can you design small spaces?


While designing small spaces a few essential tips should be kept in mind:


  • The space should be kept as clutter free as possible especially the floors.

  • Use of lighter colours is recommended and one single wall can be highlighted to break the monotony. (Though it is advised to stick to the same colour palette.)

  • Sheer curtains and upholstery will help in giving a more open feel.

  • Darker colours in cushions and throws can be used to add colour.

  • Free flow of light and air should be allowed.


Q When designing a room what is the most important factor for you?

In my opinion the most important factor, to be kept in mind,while designing a space is balance. It can be loosely classified into symmetrical and asymmetrical balance. The visual weight of objects should be balanced so as not to create a visual conflict.

lIn order to achieve a symmetrical look same or similar looking objects should be used so as to create a visual balance.

lFor an asymmetrical look the objects need not be the same but might be close in terms of visual weight or colour.

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