Most of us, if not all, must have encountered or even have used the word minimalism in our life. Even life itself can be sometimes associated or described using the adjective form of the particular word being discussed. Minimalism has found its way through music, art and even in home design. The word itself carved its own essence on how we see and set the place we wanted to be called our home.
However, some of us may unknowingly replace the word minimalism and its essence with another almost similar word. Yup, the word simple or simplicity is sometimes being interchanged with word minimalism as it is being applied to describe a home design. Though it may sound the same, but there is still a thin gray line which separates both words from each other.
Merriam- Webster Dictionary suggests three definitions of the word minimalism.
1. Minimalism: A school of abstract painting and sculpture that emphasizes extreme simplification of form, as by the use of basic shapes and monochromatic palettes of primary colors, objectivity, and anonymity of style. Also called ABC art, minimal art, reductivism, rejective art.
2. Minimalism: Use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature, or design.
3. Minimalism: Music A school or mode of contemporary music marked by extreme simplification of rhythms, patterns, and harmonies, prolonged chordal or melodic repetitions, and often a trancelike effect.
All three definitions would simply be funneled into one concept, which would imply that minimalism is the extreme simplification or the use of fewest and barest essentials or elements. In simple form, minimalism would mean as the stripping off the ornamental layer until the core parts remain. And by acknowledging such lexical entry, minimalism therefore is the reduction in quantity.
Having the essential idea of minimalism in mind, it would be easy for us to distinguish it from simplicity or being plainly simple. As to the common usage of the term, simplicity would mean as the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do. Just like what we did with the term minimalism, we made its meaning simple and easy to understand, so to speak. Simplicity now in simple words would mean the reduction of complexity.
I know the concept is not that simple to understand and the discussion is not even a minimalist in its way. But to capsulate what is being discussed in this article, minimalism can be simplistic, but not all that is simplistic can always be considered as a minimalist.
Having these ideas in mind, it would be safe to say that minimalist home designs are aimed towards simplicity and objectivity; decorations which became so intense that it undermines the functionality of the house would soon be stripped away until the essential or necessary parts remain.
Now that the basic concept of minimalism is somehow generally understood as it is applied to home design, it would be wise to somehow consider these words of Exupery as you pattern your design on the concept of minimalism.
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away"
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery