Minimalism + Managing Holiday Stress

If your week is anything like mine, then you are also in the weeds with Holiday craziness and scrambling to finish loose ends at work before the end of the year! I'll be traveling to Pittsburgh tomorrow to visit my in-laws and then off to my hometown the following week to celebrate with my side of the family. With so much to do, it's hard to power down enough to really embrace the special moments of the season. Going into this weekend, let's all take a moment to clear our head and think about one of my favorite aesthetic movements - Minimalism. In the art world, the Minimalism movement is defined as:   

/minəməˌlizəm/: an extreme form of abstract art developed in the USA in the 1960s and typified by artworks composed of simple geometric shapes based on the square and the rectangle

"Hang Up" by Eva Hesse (1966). Acrylic paint on cloth over wood; acrylic paint on cord over steel tube. 182.9 x 213.4 x 198.1 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago.

The Minimal aesthetic seeks a highly purified form of beauty in search of order, simplicity and harmony through literal depictions, repeated forms and direct engagement with the space it occupies. There is no display of artist emotion as in Expressionism. In fact, according to the Tate Modern, there was often a "deliberate lack of expression: With no trace of emotion or intuitive decision making, little about the artist is revealed in the work. Minimalist artists rejected the notion of the artwork as a unique creation reflecting the personal expression of a gifted individual, seeing this as a distraction from the art object itself. Instead they created objects that were as impersonal and neutral as possible." 

The movement was criticized by art critics of the day (and my husband any time we go to the museum) as being too cold and novelty. That the lack of standard aesthetic qualities that art should have was lessening the experience of the viewer and undervaluing the art object. 

The movement started to break up by the late 1960s, but the aesthetic marked a turning point in the history of modernism. The roots of the movement still remain hugely influential today for contemporary artists, architects, interior designers and product designers. You might have also heard about the Minimalist lifestyle that is such a buzz word right now.   

“The Marriage of Reason and Squalor, II”, by Frank Stella (1959). Enamel on canvas. 230.5 x 337.2 cm. MoMA.

"Two Open Modular Cubes/Half-Off", by Sol LeWitt (1972). Enamel on aluminum, 1600x3054x2330 mm. Tate Museum.

For us, Minimalism means creating interiors where every element of the design is taken into consideration and distilled into its purest form. All materials selected take into account how it will resolve when meeting other textures and forms. Layouts and furniture frame shapes are kept simple as to not become busy with intersecting and competing lines. Not all Clients want a pure Minimalist room, but every design should take these elements into consideration in order to create visual harmony.

Not sure if you want to go all the way and have your living room look like the Tate yet? One safe place to inject some of the aesthetic is in the bathroom. Take a look at these jaw-dropping bathroom fixtures we are currently gushing over!

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I feel like with bathrooms like these, Holiday stress wouldn't even phase me! They feel so calm and pure, but luxurious through the material selection. I'm especially in love with the Axor Starck Organics faucet in the first photo. Their entire collection is perfection (check it out here);  Let's build your new bathroom around it! Contact us today to get started on injecting a bit of that Minimalist philosophy into your home.