In Minimalism, we trust
Updated: Mar 1, 2021
“When your room is clean and uncluttered you have no choice but to examine your inner state.” ~ Marie Kondo, author of ‘The life changing magic of tidying up’
We all sat there watching our screens in awe as Marie Kondo swooped in to people’s homes picking up the things they owned and asking if they ‘sparked joy’ in the hit Netflix show, ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’. While she doesn’t necessarily talk about minimalism it still brings to the forefront these fault lines in how we all have been living in the ‘more is better’ kind of society. The ills of mindless consumerism seem to have finally caught up with us and it is about time we understand the long term repercussions of it. The concept of minimalism in its vast, layered sense may have been around for a while, but it is only in the recent times that we have consciously taken a note of it and moved towards the minimalist lifestyle.
As Indians we are big on hoarding. There are lofts brimming with generations’ worth of stuff and even then we fall short of storage space. But there is a difference between living resourcefully and hoarding. Reusing the cookie box as a sowing kit is being resourceful, but keeping stacks of these boxes filled with stuff that we haven’t seen or used in years amounts to hoarding. We first have to start by identifying these markers; as Joshua Becker, author of ‘The More of Less’ rightly points out “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”
Just like everywhere around us, from the design of the iPhone to the logo of your favourite burger brand, Minimalism as a philosophy has invaded the interior design industry as well. Even though minimalism cut down to its bare shell won’t work for the everyday Indian household, after all we do enjoy the family heirlooms and take pleasure in them, what would work is knowing that the design of our homes can at least start by embracing some of these principles.
In simpler terms minimalism isn’t the absence of something, rather the completeness to the optimum level of everything. The ideas of minimalism are based on functionality and ask for us to value quality over quantity. It reinforces the notion that devil is in the detail and not in the opulent, decorative elements that we have grown up to seek.
Straight lines, basic geometric shapes and simple patterns are some of the characteristics of a minimalist interior design. Monochromatic colours and white walls with natural finishes are the pulse of these homes. Sleek light fittings, simple furnishings coupled with profuse natural light if possible and comfortable seating option would complete the aesthetic. A highlight texture wall or an oversized canvas can bring in the drama, all of which done while of course sticking to the set palette and playing in it to the fullest.
Minimalism doesn’t mean rendering your home cold or unwelcoming because of the stark openness and absence of ‘stuff’. Rather they let you open up the floor space and concentrate on creating nuanced corners for spending quality time. Minimalism is a timeless concept in itself and would always hold true in any age, because of the honesty and simplicity that it stems from.
What mainly sets the minimalist homes aside is that the emphasis is on the user and not on the furniture. Because when the furniture takes the backstage is when your life can focus on the more intangible values of living. Because as Francine Jay, the author of ‘The joy of Less: A minimalist guide to declutter, organize and simplify’ says, “What is minimalism then? It’s living lightly and gracefully on the earth – it’s uncovering who you are.” And she could not be more right.