Minimalism decor doesn’t have to mean cold and clinical but make it warm for winter
MORE OR LESS characterised by its foundational maxim “Less is more”, minimalism’s reach extends into all manner of realms: architecture, art, furniture, interior design . . . even low-impact lifestyles.
In all areas, the aesthetic preaches the virtues of utility, clean lines, quality over quantity, physical and mental breathing space, and elegance plain and simple.
In a minimalist interior, the absence of unnecessary bits and pieces can really make the heart grow fonder, and it’s a look often associated with white on white. But how do you make that work in winter when you want more “comfortable and calming” than “cold and clinical”?
All whitey then
The ultimate in pared back, with clear connotations of cleanliness, white is the cornerstone of classic minimalist de´ cor schemes, and hallmark hues such as greybased Resene Black White are a pleasingly cool prospect in the height of summer. What to do in cool climates, south-facing spaces or those with little natural light? Opt for a white with warm undertones instead
Popular Resene paints with a warm, yellow base include sharp-white Resene Rice Cake, fleecy white Resene Half Bianca, quiet white Resene Quarter Albescent White, bleached off-white Resene Eighth Fossil, dusty beige Resene Eighth Parchment and milky beige Resene Eighth Tea. Crossover whites are those with a green base that reads warm or cool according to factors such as the light and other colours in the room; serene Resene Half Thorndon Cream, pale bone Resene Half Titania, limed stone Resene Quarter Ash and creamy off-white Resene Cararra all fall into this category.
You’ll find these paints and more minimalist contenders in the Resene
Whites & Neutrals fandeck. For extra assistance, ask a Resene expert at your local Resene ColorShop, submit a query online at www.resene.co.nz/ colourexpert or book a Resene colour consultation, www.resene.co.nz/ colourconsultation. Then use Resene testpots or A4 drawdown paint swatches to trial your colour choices at home in all lights.
Even for an aesthetic that knows its limits, you’re limiting yourself if you think white’s the be all and end all. In fact, minimalism in its purest form is actually about a monochromatic palette, and that could mean any colour you like. Bathe your bathroom in a single shade of sunset pink, say, to turn a colour like Resene Cornflower away from cute towards truly chic. A tonal palette also creates a minimalist effect; get this look by selecting a base shade, then hues lighter and darker than it, such as warm French beige Resene Canterbury Clay and its Half, Quarter and Eighth counterparts.
The trick when taking a more colourful tack with paint is to reduce your fittings, fixtures, furniture and frivolities to a bare — you guessed it — minimum.
A touch of texture
Texture’s your next tool for making a minimalist colour scheme more welcoming. You can create it in a literal sense by going for a matte rather than a gloss paint finish; the less glossy, the less light is reflected, resulting in a cosier feel. Tint Resene SpaceCote Flat to your preferred colour (its durability makes it ideal for living areas, and wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms) or up the ante with silky Resene Room Velvet.
Wallpaper is another understated way to add texture. Check out the Resene
Anaglypta 2020 Wallpaper Collection, which offers a striking range of tactile options you can paint with your favourite Resene colour.
Incorporate furniture, soft furnishings and decorative objects in textural materials; blond timber also works well with white for a Scandinavian vibe. Avoid introducing prints and patterns unless they’re graphic, uncomplicated and the hero of the room — a striking large-scale artwork, for instance.
Minimum clutter, maximum effectiveness
Think streamlined not empty, peaceful but personality-plus by taking a thoughtful yet practical approach to your de´ cor. Champion pieces that tick both the form and function boxes, favouring those that are meaningful to you to avoid this aesthetic feeling impersonal.
When arranging, pay attention to balance and the spaces between things.
Move away from the cold glass, angular forms and straight lines of too-cool-forschool minimalism and embrace organic shapes and simple furniture that’s also inviting and comfortable. Items that do double duty can be helpful in reducing everyday excess — stools that are both seating and side tables, a lidded coffee table or ottoman you can stash stuff in, built-in storage below a window seat, a bedside table with built-in electrical jacks so your wall can stay plug-free or a ledge behind your bed that’s both headboard and shelf, eliminating the need for a nightstand. Visit op shops for pieces you can customise with paint. Resene testpots make upcycling second-hand finds from chairs to lamps inexpensive and easy to achieve as a fun weekend creative project.
Speaking of lamps, lighting is crucial to a minimalist interior feeling warm when it’s cold outside. Combine overhead, wall, table and floor lighting with candles to add a golden glow.
For more ideas and inspiration for decorating your home, visit your Resene ColorShop, www.resene.co.nz/ colorshops, and view the latest looks online, www.resene.co.nz/latestlooks.
In a minimalist interior, the absence of unnecessary bits and pieces can really make the heart grow fonder.