While I am known for creating rich, layered textural interiors, I try to use restraint with certain design elements. Colour, for example. A richly layered room can be sublime if a sense of order, and control is applied by using a simple monochromatic colour scheme. Similarly, a harmonious result can be achieved in an interior when, a commonality is observed between collections of objects, using style, texture or tone.
The extreme of this aesthetic, of course, is minimalist design and there is a true art to creating the perfect minimal, yet warm and visually interesting interior. It takes skill to create a flawless balance between what is not enough and what is way too much, aka, clutter. We often use the term “less is more” in design, but it isn’t necessarily about going cheap on your furnishings and accessories, it is about attaining better design through simplicity. It is about how you can get the most impact through careful editing and restraint. The less is more theory is more about how the eye visualizes a space, which is all a personal preference.
Most people forget when designing a space to add personality through texture, color, materials and patterns when attempting to add less to a space, which ultimately gives the room an unfinished appearance. It is also about harmonizing and creating a perfect balance of leaving certain spaces in a room void of furnishings and accessories. The key to creating the perfect minimal room is to create a serene and uncluttered atmosphere, not cold and sterile. Be sure to let objects have some breathing room so they are more appreciated. There is an art to creating spaces that do not have excess, but rather exude warmth and attractiveness.
Wolfgang Behnken, the creative director of Young & Rubican, has recently renovated his appartment in Hamburg, using a mix of historical pieces, a perfect off white and authentic timber tones. We love the result.