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Studio Blog


Live design: warm minimalism

Architectural design by  Vincent Van Duysen

Architectural design by Vincent Van Duysen

A little while ago, I came across the words 'warm minimalism' to describe a kind of simple, authentic style that I aspire to both for myself and my clients. It's such a lovely concept that I wanted to share it with you, together with a few thoughts on how it can be achieved.

A little bit old, a little bit new; pared back, warm, textural, honest, comfortable. Warm minimalism is all these things. Acknowledging the contemporary yearning not for more, but for less stuff, it's the perfect way to move forward in your home without sacrificing the peace to be found in being nurtured and embraced by it.

Bedroom by  Luft Design

Bedroom by Luft Design

Kitchen by  Brandler London  for Swoon at Home

Kitchen by Brandler London for Swoon at Home

It is, in many ways, a style that feels very familiar to me. I'm not a true minimalist, but I do like simple; I like clutter-free; I like well-made. I also love things, but prefer to have a fewer, better ones that I can look after and cherish than many items that I don't care so much for. I also feel that a simple, uncluttered home can be warm, elegant, inviting – as well as being compatible with children, with real life. The surface textures are one of the key elements of this style that prevent the lack of tangible objects from feeling stark; the polished plaster, soft greys and whites, and warm, wood tones feel robust and liveable.

It's about choosing things that you love and displaying them carefully, beautifully, with space to breathe; about focusing on earthy, natural, tactile materials – wood, marble, jute, stone – and allowing them to be the details that set off a space.

Above: design by  @withloveandwild  Left: bathroom in Pigeon by  Farrow & Ball

Above: design by @withloveandwild
Left: bathroom in Pigeon by Farrow & Ball

I really believe that there is so much joy to be found in simplifying rooms to their essential elements so that they almost become as much about what you leave out as what you put in, and redecorating is the perfect opportunity to do this. It's true that you need impeccably planned storage in order to make this style of decorating work, but the truth is, it's achievable – as long as you allow yourself to let go – and it's incredibly liberating to be completely honest with yourself about what you need.

I think one of my favourite things about this style is that the pared-back aesthetic is quite contemporary but the details are familiar – beautiful paintings, strings of patinated beads, warm grey tones and wood panelling – exuding warmth and cosiness.

Above all, a good room (however you define those words), should be a place that nourishes you and provides respite and inspiration in equal measure – and that has as much to do with how it makes you feel as how it looks.