Please don’t hate me, ye “modern” interior designers. But I ask, why do you continue to promote these perfectly clean, minimal spaces, free of everything that is human or that suggests a familiar space? Has this not been rehashed in every which way already?
It very simply doesn’t do it for me.
Don’t get me wrong I appreciate simple-living. And I believe that the minimal pieces made in the 60s and 70s are truly inspired, but their contemporary counterparts are deeply inferior. These “modern” minimalistic pieces don’t last, they get dirty easily, and due to their often inferior material make-up inevitably become highly unaesthetic within a couple years (think every sagging IKEA bookshelf). So though the style is supposed to promote a minimalist or simple life style, free of clutter, it is actually a push towards higher consumption. These pieces can often only used on the short-term, thus resulting in more world clutter.
Unfortunately this style is consistently popular year to year. And these modular furniture stores keep popping up all over the place (ex. this Berlin manufacturer). Due to its simplicity, minimal design is a great way for manufacturers to save money. Plain white boards are so easy to press into a mold, and to replicate. The durability and longevity of the materials do not factor in to the companies’ cost calculations. And unfortunately these qualities don’t seem to factor in to those of the buyers either
But I say Minimalism – Be Gone! or at least be modified. I am tired of white surfaces. These spaces make me feel like I am in a clinic. This is not the sensation I want for a living room, nor an office.
Luckily, a few sources suggest tastes are sort of moving away from this. Think of the landhaus (country style) revival from a few years ago, or the current return to textures and natural surfaces. I have on occasion picked up a copy of the Barcelona magazine Apartemento – which, though a tad on the pretentious side, does very nicely capture real inside spaces, homes and offices in use. I got quite a bit of inspiration from their 4th issue when putting together my house.
I realize this rant against minimalism and (not so subtly) IKEA thinking in furniture is looking kinda righteous. But I will explain in a later post a bit more about where this comes from. Obviously furniture won’t change the world. But it is a little piece of the pattern of consumption that I think could use some deconstructing.