Simplicity. It’s something we hear in reference to many aspects of our lives. But what does it mean for home design? First, let’s discuss what it does not mean. A common misconception is that simplicity is synonymous to boring, modern, cold, plain, or sterile. Simplicity should not be confused with these descriptors. So what does it mean? Simplicity is timeless and unfussy. It is effortless. It puts emphasis on quality materials, functionality, and efficiency rather than ornate details and expansive floor plans. How does one achieve simplicity? Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource explores the “how” in this article.
Although order and repetition can be used to achieve simplicity, there are many opportunities to add detail and character to a simple space. Include “imperfect,” yet soft, elements such as distressed woodwork or hand-hewn beams. Consider a monochromatic color scheme. Create contrast with a mix of old and new items. Add texture or pattern to your home. Reclaimed materials, hand-scraped floors, honed countertops, a herringbone backsplash or floor, tin ceilings, brick – the options are endless to add charm and showcase your style in an understated manner.
Cool neutrals, soothing earth tones, natural textures – simplicity is warm and adaptable to changing styles and trends. Many homeowners opt for tone-on-tone grays, beiges, and off-whites. For an organic feel, weathered wood, natural stone, and various metals are just a few ideas. These elements can add a calmness to your space.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
This quote is a great example of simplicity. For a simple, uncluttered space, homeowners need to learn how to “edit.” They must choose what’s important to include and what is not necessary. This is the “less is more” or “quality over quantity” idea we’ve discussed in the past. Instead of a huge, open floor plan or elaborate design details, opt for efficient space planning and quiet elements.
Simplicity and less “stuff” can connect you more to your surroundings by emphasizing natural light and showcasing views of your home’s backdrop. It also focuses on establishing a better flow and seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors such as a sunroom with a patio door or accordion glass door that creates easy access to an outdoor entertaining space.