The all white scheme. Simple right? I mean, it’s just… white. In theory that may well be true, but in practice a minimal scheme is a very delicate and difficult style to pull off really well. It takes a keen eye and lots of attention to detail. When done too strictly, it can feel clinical and thoroughly uninviting but if the scheme is too weak, it becomes bland and ordinary. Basically, what you need for a well-balanced all-white minimalist interior is a designer who happens to moonlight as a tight rope walker and has 20:20 vision! I guess I better fetch my leotard and specs!
While minimalist style has developed and evolved during its lifetime and is now just as rich and varied as its more traditional counterparts, there are a few things that most minimal styled homes have in common:
What? Yes I know it would appear to be very contradictory to talk the use of colour in an all white scheme but it is in fact a very important element in preventing rooms in a minimal home from lacking focus. A bright accent colour used fleetingly in the shape of a rug, a throw or even just some cheap cushions will lead the eye around the room, helping to show off its best features. I’ve always found that orange, brilliant green or red work best when set against white. Though minimal fans find it difficult to digest, you should never fear colour, when used correctly it is a fantastic design tool and if anything, in the words of that great man Shane Ritchie, will actually make your whites seem even whiter!
Shiny metal, polished wood and cool tiles are the textures you’ll most often find in the modern home. Floors are most often wood or tile, although rugs are often used to add both warmth and colour to a room. Chrome finishing on furniture and fixtures – particularly in bathrooms and kitchens – also help create a very modern look, as does glass, which is used to great effect by many contemporary interior designers. To soften up this rather hard textural feel in your home, try adding some different textures: a faux-fur cushion, a velvet throw, or a set of silk tab top curtains will make an interesting contrast to the rest of the look. Shadow-play is also an essential part of adding texture and interest to an all white scheme. Look for wall art that has semi 3D qualities or include some rough faced stone in your scheme to create high contrast shadows.
Surfaces in the contemporary home are clear and uncluttered. Resist the temptation to litter your surfaces with pictures in frames, ornaments or other clutter: instead, a few, well chosen ornaments in striking colours will make the most impact against the clean walls and smooth lines of the modern home. Flooring surfaces are also best left as simple as possible. Due to their high sheen and cool feel, both resin and polished concrete have become huge favourites among minimal devotees but if this is too industrial for your tastes, look to tiles for a little more of a homely feel.