PRINCIPLE - On the trail of Marie Kondo: how less became more in interior design

“Fasting is the new feasting”, said trendsetting British food experience designers Bompas & Parr. Meat-free days or even alcohol-free months are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. In our world of abundance and constant temptation, saying "no" has become a powerful sign of willpower. This philosophy has also conquered our interiors. With Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo as our coach, we are moving towards purer aesthetics, but not less beautiful.

Understated design doesn’t have to be dull. The challenge lies in the right combination of elements. Cooler-toned materials such as metal, glass and stone counterweigh perfectly with warmer shades like brown and copper. The result is simply stunning.

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Idle hands are the devil's playground

In Greek and Roman times, architectural design had more features than the merely functional ones: grand temples with stately columns were built to showcase power and wealth or to express gratitude to the deities. Sculptors allowed their imaginations to run wild, which resulted in richly ornamented pediments and capitals.

Yet, the fascination for abundant embellishments had another good reason. As Greeks and Romans believed that evil spirits would nest in empty spaces, nothing was left to chance. This superstition also inspired the exuberant 16th century Baroque and Rococo styles, recognisable by their lush forms and curves. No space was left undecorated.

Design is brought back to its very essence. Within this lies an elegant beauty.

The power of less

The late 19th century marked the beginning of the modernist building trend. Minimalism entered the design landscape in the early 1960s, bringing design back to its essence. The strength of minimalism lies in the expression of simplicity, in clean lines and cubic or cylindrical shapes. The result? Elegant beauty.

Minimalism also lies at the basis of the Chinese feng shui interior trend, where space is optimised to allow positive energy to flow freely. So, when it comes to design elements in the home, it’s not the more the merrier, per se.

Play it cool

Cold colours do not automatically result in a cool atmosphere. Combined with the right materials, they can help create a truly cosy interior. The bluish table in pleated metal gives this room a clean, yet relaxing glow.

Floors on top

Want to turn elegant furniture and design objects into ultimate eyecatchers in any room? Opt for subtle flooring to make all the pieces in the room stand out.

Picture perfect

Flooring and furniture make for a true passe-partout, giving the room a subtle retro touch, while the whole breathes an unmistakable contemporary vibe. What do you think?

3 principle design tips:

  • Pair cold colours with cool metal, you'll be surprised by the stunning result of this equation.
  • Draw attention to the interior by choosing subtle flooring
  • Skilfully combined, furniture "oldies" can create a super trendy look.

Want to experiment with minimalist design?

Go for Isafe 70 Odin Battleship 575, for a raw yet elegant look.