With the enduring appeal of minimalism post-Millennium, we’re seeing an increasing divergence into more refined and individual sub-styles, both in terms of architecture and interior design.
Amid the bare concrete, stark surfaces and floor-to-ceiling windows favoured by design purists, current trends among a maturing market allow room for a little more comfort, a little cosy clutter, and more meaningful connection with the natural world.
Current minimalist styles and material combinations may be best described as hybrid, or best-of-both. Notably, there’s an increasing trend towards the widespread use of bare wood, rustic fabrics and non-floral houseplants to counteract more austere architecture – dependent on a designer’s keen eye for stylistic balance. The inclusion of antique tiling, beautiful bare-stone bathrooms and ornate feature-furniture are becoming widely sought after, while palettes tend towards muted colours in favour of stark contrasts in texture and tone.
Architecturally, it’s impossible to ignore the cultural appetites for unique identity and diversity, fuelling the move towards no-styles-barred in the rejuvenation of existing builds. While eco-minded tiny-home trends continue on the periphery, arguably the most fascinating shift in architectural taste centres around robot-built structures, emulating cellular and biological forms. Considering the falling costs of 3D printing and the accelerated acceptance of artificial intelligence, themes of digital–material integration and symbiosis continue to fascinate the collective consciousness.
Ever-increasing online channels make the collective state of minimalism difficult to pin down. Overall, the rise of digital production and image-driven social media allows buyers to cherry-pick from a vast array of individual styles and furnishings. Catered to by a global marketplace with high-speed delivery and falling production costs, the trend towards hyper-individualism and highly tailored taste has become the norm. Put simply, consumer choice and customisation have never mattered more in the realms of architecture and interior design.
Informed aesthetic tastes are showing themselves within refined unique or upcycled arts and crafts, digital art and production, and the Church of Health and Fitness. Prestigious fashion brands are giving way to sleek yet affordable athleisure and sophisticated, alt-brand garments delivered by courier. During a time of declining high streets and financial challenge, consumers are increasingly staying indoors, with international dining and subscription entertainment – fuelling a rise in the need for a fuss-free, comfortable home life, and the desire to bring outside textures in.
Minimalism in 2018 resonates with an entire generation of tech-savvy style critics… Though there’s certainly an emerging desire for rustic comfort and the primal reassurances of the natural world.