The Art of Interior Design: Minimalism

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We’ve teamed up with Artfinder – the online affordable art marketplace – to suggest some contemporary artists whose paintings and photographs would fit perfectly in different design styles. First up in our series: ideal wall art for a minimalist decorative scheme...

Minimalism was born in the middle of the 20th Century, and its ethos spread through architecture, art, music and even literature and theatre. It took the reductionist elements of the Modernist movement and focused on paring everything down to its essence: simple geometric shapes in design; monochrome paintings; repeated phrases in music.

Image credit

Image credit

In interior design, ‘minimalism’ is really all about creating a simple, beautiful, calming space. The basic principles include: – Reducing the number of pieces of furniture in a room to the bare essentials. – Eliminating clutter completely – which generally means coming up with crafty storage solutions. – Simple colour schemes – usually using muted tones as the main colours, with one or two solid accent colours. – Clear floors – perhaps with a single rug as a central focal point. Any objects, ornaments or artworks should be there for a purpose or to make a statement. And because there are so few objects in a minimalist scheme, selecting the right ones becomes all the more important.

Pooky Iris glass table lamp with black silk shade - perfect for a minimalist interior

Pooky Iris glass table lamp with black silk shade - perfect for a minimalist interior

What kind of art works well in a minimalist interior design scheme?

Of course, any artwork you buy should be something that you like for itself – but to look good on a particular wall it needs to harmonise with the other elements in your room and with your design scheme as a whole. In a minimalist scheme you’ll generally want a single, large artwork on an otherwise bare wall to provide a focal point for the room. There are various different approaches you can take for the artwork itself, from an abstract painting in muted colours to a bold, monochromatic photographic piece. Here are four Artfinder artists whose works we think are striking, original, very affordable – and perfect for a minimalist interior design…

1) Fintan Whelan

Fintan Whelan - 'Universal Flow'

Fintan Whelan - 'Universal Flow'

Fintan Whelan is a Dublin-born artist living in Germany, who has exhibited his abstract paintings all over Europe. We love the fluid, natural flow of his works, suggesting oceans or ice floes or perhaps even volcanic lava. Fintan blends colours and materials – pigments, oils and varnish – meaning that the light and texture changes as your eye moves across the canvas.

Fintan whelan sinuous

Fintan Whelan - 'Sinuous'

His larger canvases would look absolutely stunning on otherwise bare wall and in a muted grey or white colour scheme. View Fintan Whelan’s Artfinder shop here.

2) Nadia Attura

Nadia Attura - 'Desert Love'

Nadia Attura - 'Desert Love'

London-based fine art photographer Nadia Attura’s makes stunning images by layering together multiple photographs, creating a sense of dreamy hyperrealism. Her landscapes, such as the desert pictures, would be brilliant for adding accent colour to a minimalist room, and we also love her gorgeous, unusual still life works.

Nadia Attura - 'Fern'

Nadia Attura - 'Ancient Fern Closer to Cold' View Nadia Attura’s Artfinder shop here.

3) Don Bishop

Don Bishop Aqua Horizon

Don Bishop - 'Aqua Horizon'

Don Bishop is an artist from Portland, Oregon who creates en plein air paintings of the landscapes around his native country. His works seem to reduce the Northwest American scenery to their essences of light and colours, resulting in works that are impressionist, bordering on abstract. They are layered yet simple, and would work superbly in a minimal interior design.

don bishop bronze horizon

Don Bishop - 'Bronze Horizon' Visit Don Bishop’s Artfinder shop here.

4) Ellie Cryer

Ellie Cryer bluebird

Ellie Cryer - 'Bluebird'

Bristol-based artist Ellie Cryer has all sorts of idiosyncratic drawings and typographical wonders in her Art finder shop, but we particularly love these original acrylic paintings of birds (available for a snip at £40!). Again, her blue or rose birds would be a perfect way to add a dash of accent colour into a minimalist décor.

ellie cryer rose bird

Ellie Cryer - 'Rose Bird'

Those are just four suggestions for Artfinder artists whose works could bring your minimalist interior to life – but there are many more. Have a browse through Artfinder’s Minimalist Interiors collection for more inspiration.

Feeling inspired?

Find the perfect lamp and shade combination for your interior scheme at Pooky…

Pictured top of post: 'Placid Notion' by Fintan Whelan.