The ideas of rational unitarity were first visited by representatives of the creative community in the 20s of the last century. At first, they were expressed in a timid desire to get rid of excessive decorativeness and a desire to simplify without disturbing general comfort. Over time, this turned into a design trend, and later into a fashion trend. Today it is in demand on all continents for the design of any commercial and residential premises, but most often living rooms are created in a minimalist style. You will learn how professional designers do this by reading this article.
One of the main tasks of a designer is to increase the usable area and volume in all available ways. This is done by creating the right lighting (both daylight and artificial), using light colors when decorating walls and ceilings, minimizing furniture and zoning the space. Often, when creating a living room in the style of minimalism, preference is given to the “studio” format, combining it with the kitchen, hallway or dining room.
Minimalism is a design direction that perfectly combines innovative and classic finishing materials. Namely:
- stone (artificial and natural);
- polymeric materials;
- brushed and polished metals;
- glass and painted fillers;
- wood of all kinds of processing and decoration.
They can be used alone or in various combinations – the possibilities for personalization are almost endless.
A characteristic feature is the minimal presence (or complete absence) of paths, rugs and other carpets. The most common materials are:
- parquet and solid board;
- laminate (less often – linoleum);
- tiles and porcelain stoneware;
- Self-leveling floors.
When it comes to wood, oil or wax is almost always chosen as a coating, avoiding varnish. For other variations, calm and restrained tones are chosen, which are not always close to natural ones.
The minimalist trend assumes a dual wall decoration. This means that most of the surfaces are refined with one material, and the second is used to create a design accent. Usually differs from the main one not only in color, but also in texture / texture, contrasting with it. In this context, designers give preference to:
- Various variations of decorative panels. Products made of polymeric materials, laminated and veneered wood boards, corks, elements draped with fabric are in demand.
- Drywall. In this case, the surfaces are perfectly leveled, preparing for painting or decorative coatings.
- Imitation of brick walls. Analogues of classic brickwork and more modern (including tinted) variations are in demand.
Having familiarized themselves with the catalogs of ready-made solutions, customers often prefer to simply paint perfectly flat walls or cover them with a micro fur coat, liquid wallpaper, or decorative plaster. The main task of wall coverings is to create a visually spacious space and convey the general stylistic mood, embodying the owner’s idea of the ideal.
The most common are fabric and polyvinyl chloride suspended structures. This is due to their high technical qualities, excellent aesthetic properties, and the ability to fit perfectly into any minimalist concept. Another feature of suspended ceilings is that they are optimal for installing spot lighting, which is inherently present in this kind of style. In the overwhelming majority of cases, experts choose white with a matte or glossy texture. Sometimes discreet accents in the form of contrasting or metal edging are allowed.
Minimalists appreciate every square meter of living space more than anyone else, therefore they prefer multifunctional and practical furniture. We are talking about products used in several variations. These include:
- Tables and chairs-transformers. When folded, they take up a minimum of space, but when unfolded they are capable of performing additional / other functions.
- Multi-section sofas. The arrangement of their elements can be changed arbitrarily.
- Built-in wardrobes, mezzanines and dressers. They do not take up much space, but they are spacious and functional.
- Niches equipped with shelves. Used for storing household items or decorative items.
Despite the simplicity and uncomplicated forms, the furniture used in minimalist concepts is made of expensive materials. Leather, high-quality textiles, valuable wood (or various kinds of panels veneered with it), frosted aluminum, glass (often tinted or printed) are some of the most popular.
Space decoration is carried out by using in a minimum amount:
- decorative lamps,
- copyright installations,
- design tables that carry not only a functional load, but also an aesthetic one.
To enliven the space, designers allow the use of living plants. We are talking about flowers or bonsai. Like everything in minimalism, their number is limited to one or two copies. Black and white reproductions and photographs, fashionable paintings in the style of city landscapes or abstract drawings are always appropriate.
Monotone and monochrome surfaces are the foundation of minimalism. The main palette includes:
- the black,
- all shades of gray.
When decorating a living room, it is allowed to use bright accents in the form of contrasting wall panels, colored pillows on the sofa or furniture of original colors, but subject to harmony with the general design ensemble and very moderate use.
The living room, decorated in a minimalist style, is always light and airy (including with a minimum number of square meters). This is largely achieved by arranging the correct lighting. Includes the following varieties:
- Suspended. Ball-shaped chandeliers are one of the most favorite options for minimalist designers; they carry a decorative load at the same time.
- Spot. Optimal LED lamps of various wattage and color temperature.
- Lateral. Overhead and built-in lamps are in demand.
- Outdoor. The use of floor lamps is appropriate.
Often complemented by tubular lights, swivel variations, LED strips. The leading role is always assigned to daylight, which freely penetrates through the windows, but well-equipped artificial lighting is one of the main components of the minimalist concept.
Electronics And Hvac Technology
An LCD TV is an essential feature of any minimalist living room. When developing a project for a room, designers always focus on it as a significant part of the interior, taking into account the size of the diagonal and the thickness of the panel in their calculations. Other electrical appliances, such as ozonizers, components of home theaters and music centers, others, are chosen taking into account the general concept, trying not only to fit them into the design idea, but also to make them part of the interior.
They are carefully covered with false panels or decorative nets. In the case of the arrangement of self-leveling floors, use water or electric heating built into the floor. When choosing an air conditioner, they give preference to split systems with a flat internal block, which carries an additional decorative load and can be personalized in accordance with the general concept.
Features Of The Direction
Summarizing the above aspects, we can conclude that a living room in a minimalist style is:
- freedom from unnecessary things on the area of any square;
- multi-component (sometimes multi-level) artificial lighting;
- comfortable multifunctional furniture;
- complete absence of pretentious decor, luxury goods, a minimum amount of appropriate decorations;
- abundance of daylight;
- space zoning;
- strict lines, clear geometry, rarely diluted with smooth, barely noticeable bends;
- calm and restrained colors in decoration and furnishings;
- expensive finishing materials;
- high-end home appliances and electronics, in harmony with the overall design concept.
Within the framework of the direction, you can create an infinite number of design solutions, pre-personalizing each and adapting it to the needs and wishes of residents. Some of the more popular concept designs are:
- “Snowy Rhapsody”. White walls with rare light gray accents, coupled with glossy milky furnishings, look spectacular in combination with solid bog oak planks on the floor. Chrome-plated ball-shaped shades, fabric upholstery of the modular sofa and cubic armchairs complete the design idea. A black LCD TV on the wall and a small coffee table with a frosted glass top and nickel-plated legs complete the ensemble.
- “Italian extravaganza”. The composition proves that a minimalist living room can be warm and cozy. This is achieved by using light-colored walnut veneered wall panels. They look very advantageous against the background of gray-white decorative plaster in the “bark beetle” style, which, in turn, is in harmony with the Canadian cedar-like laminate. The brown curtains and the gray upholstery of the pull-out sofa create a contrast that makes the setting comfortable. A black lacquered table and a white bedside table in glossy snow-white MDF add accents to complete the composition.
- “Cherry blossoms”. A prime example of how minimalist design can be lively and distinctive. The color concept is a combination of white in the base and red as an accentuating contrast. A white vinyl leather sofa, a reproduction of the iconic Japanese wood on the wall, pale red curtains and a long-pile oval rug casually laid on a laminate in natural beech make the space light and airy. The interior is laconic, devoid of any pomp, but at the same time it is original and charismatic.
These examples show that the minimalist concept in the interior is not soulless angular spaces created in a boring black and white palette. Square meters, decorated in this style, can be no less attractive in appearance than loft studios, cheerful and warm Provence-style rooms or mind-blowing high-tech living rooms.
To create the perfect minimalist living room design, you do not need to have artistic talent and special design knowledge. After thoroughly studying the subject and making a lot of effort, you can embody your ideas about the ideal. But it is more expedient to entrust this to professionals. Specialized companies constantly follow fashion trends, monitor the building materials market, have practical experience, so they can guarantee a positive result.