Minimalism is not a new concept, but it has gained a lot of traction recently. The popular book and show featuring Japanese organizer Marie Kondo has propelled minimalism into the homes of everyday people.

Minimalism has been around for a while, and most people take to one extreme or the other. They love the concept or they hate it, with little gray area between. Many people don’t realize that minimalism is not as easy as designers make it look. Here’s why.

Misconceptions About Minimalist Design

Many people have a misconception about what minimalism is in general, and in particular when it comes to interior design. They often think that minimalism means a void, emptiness or nothingness. One author, Stuart Trolley noted that when they told others they were writing a book about minimalist design, those people joked and assumed that the pages would be blank.

Minimalism in Design Is Complicated

Those comments to Trolley made them wonder why what appears to be a simple concept is actually complicated. One of the biggest misconceptions around minimalism in design is that it is easy. People tend to think that anyone could make the design because of its simplicity. At its best, a simplified interior design is so perfect and balanced that it just looks like it was easy to accomplish. This is what gives rise to the misconception. Observers see the lack of texture or ornamentation as a type of laziness, but to get the design right, the creator often goes through hundreds of iterations.

Benefits of Minimalist Design

A minimalist design facilitates production. When there is less ornamentation you have less things that may take your attention away from whatever it is your focused on doing. Some benefits of minimalist design include:

  • Encourages creativity – Creativity comes when you have a clear mind. Minimalist design promotes less clutter for increased clarity.
  • Money savings – Minimalist design can save you a ton of money since you aren’t buying all the accent decorations you would purchase in normal design styles.
  • More space – Less furniture and decor means more space in your home.

Light Theory

One of the biggest parts of minimalism in design is the use of light. Creating shadows and using light for outlines and visual interest is a way to create aesthetic appeal without visual clutter. In minimalist interior design, light has a purpose. It is part of the design element without being obtrusive or overbearing. This element of light theory can also be seen in real life as the right use of light can improve sleeping habits. In design, the use of light in minimalist design creates drama and develops a focal point.

Examples of Minimalist Design

“Minimalism allows something other than the space to be the focus. For example, the people in the space or the view from the window might be more important than the room’s decoration,” says Robert Brown of Robert Brown Interior Design. A great examples of minimalist interior design is this Central Park kitchen by Lilian H. Weinreich Architects.