While minimalism may have originated in the visual arts and music, its impact on interior design and architecture is perhaps the most keenly felt today. In the busy, “always on” pace of modern life, there’s something deeply fulfilling about minimalist homes; the type that allow you to stop, reflect and recharge. Characterised by extreme simplicity of materials, hues and furnishings, minimalism in interior design is something many seem to strive for but not all get right; so today we take a look through five favourite minimalist homes from the est archives that demonstrate a firm handle on the role of this movement for modern life, each a unique expression of contemporary minimalist design.
In Lisbon’s historic and culture-filled Chiado district, rar. studio transformed an apartment originally built by famed architect Alvaro Siza Vieira to a light, bright, modern abode. With its canvas of soft tiling topped with bold stone baths and masonry, the inside gently mirrors the exterior facade, while the furnishings are a reflection of the pastel from the old-style buildings that dot Lisbon’s hilly outcrop, soft and gentle. White walls, old gold metallics and rounded edges have created a warm and dreamy atmosphere in an entirely minimal aesthetic – one that has us instantly calmed with one look.
Photography by Fernando Guerra
Transforming an industrial space into a home of playful yet restrained style was a task fit for one of our favourite Berlin-based design studios, Loft Kolasinski. The studio tactfully stripped back an interior back to the bare minimum before adding personalised touches like custom furniture and one-of-a-kind artworks and design objects, bringing in much-needed light and space to the home. In fact, sunlight is a design feature in itself, moving like angular spotlights through windows and across the whitewashed floors.
Photography by Karolina Bak
This restored 1960’s villa is a masterclass in Belgian minimalism from Bruges-based architects LMS Vermeersch and Belgian property developers Elbeko. The contemporary, light filled home draws on rich natural materials like timber, steel and stone, creating a soft and tactile palette across the spaces. This timeless material palette has ensured this home’s new redesign has longevity in both style and function for the family that live here.
Photography by Annick Vernimmen
Minimalist homes aren’t solely defined by material selection; the happy little House T+M is a stripped-back confluence of the storage-filled and subdued. Plantea Studio create interior depth and dynamic with the milkiest of tones, punctuated by a collection of integrated or simply-formed furnishings. Using soft hues like these works to add warmth – an element often sorely lacking in traditionally minimalist spaces. Here, the absence of things doesn’t come at the absence of personality.
Photography by Alicia Marcias
British firm McLaren Excell display a mastery of minimalism across their extensive portfolio, but the beautifully restraint of this London home make it a firm favourite. Materials are simple yet impactful, balancing industrial style with traditional British characteristics. Polished concrete, warm timbers and brass finishes lend the kitchen and dining area a signature style that flows out to the entertaining courtyard outside, while the upper levels of the home favour a deeper timber with parquet floors, white walls and steel window frames.
This is all the things modern minimalist homes can be; rich in texture, material and tone, yet refreshingly restrained in combined impact.
Photography by Richard Leeney