Minimalism is all about a lack of clutter, and that’s why selecting your pieces of furniture carefully is so important – because that’s what’s going to be doing all of the talking.
We’ll accept that it IS easy to go a little too bland, though. Beige on beige on beige isn’t inspiring at all. That’s why we’ve asked expert interior designer Aida Bratovic to speak with us and give us her top tips for keeping minimalist interiors interesting.
Here’s what we asked…
1. Where do you source your inspiration?
Art is a constant source of inspiration; I also love subtle historical references. One of our current clients is Turkish and I find huge inspiration in Ottoman textiles – we try to have a contemporary take on historical elements.
Every project is different. I try to get the know the client well to tailor designs to them. Many clients have become friends in the process.
Although there is a recognisable streak in all our of designs, we do not have one particular style; I do not believe in ‘one bill fits all’ approach.
2. If our readers have just moved into a new home or want to completely start over, what would be your suggested first steps?
Live in your new home for a bit first to see what works and what does not, then call an architect or interior designer. Building work is a complex process, so it is best to seek professional help, be it just for some initial ideas or for the entire project.
Also it can be good to work in stages; we find that undertaking a massive building project is too overwhelming for some private clients.
3. What are your top tips for introducing colour while maintaining a clean and minimalist feel to the interior?
My favourite at the moment are two tone walls, a contemporary take on traditional panelling. It works particularly well in spaces with high ceilings, where you can hang the artwork so it slightly overlaps the bottom colour.
We have just completed a project in the Middle East where we have various shades of grey on the walls and ceiling and it worked so well with the harsh bright light that one gets there.
4. What are your favourite ways to add texture to a minimalist space?
I love using wallpaper. The wallpaper industry has come a long way from the daft floral patterns of the past. We are currently using Zuber hand painted wallpaper in an apartment project and it looks dreamy.
On another recent project, we used a metallic textured wallpaper on the bed wall instead of the headboard. Also adding subtle texture like linen imprint will give a plain cupboard door a special feel.
5. What are your favourite ways to add a bit of excitement to a space?
Playful art like neon signs or quirky lighting. We decided to use oversized black tubes to light the artwork in a recent project to add dramatic effect. Pops of colour can also help liven dark blues and greens or burnt orange.
6. What mistakes do you see over and over again in interior design?
Everything matching perfectly with beige on beige. Taupe and mauve is my pet hate.
Don’t be afraid to mix different textures and styles, putting together colours that you would not normally think will work together. Fashion designer Roksanda Ilincic’s dresses are particularly good inspiration for that. Having everything matching looks like you bought all your furniture in the same shop.
A bit of humour is very important to avoid a look that is too ‘done up’.
7. What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on and why?
The project that I am currently working on is always my favourite, the excitement of having a blank canvas and seeing it slowly take shape.
Thanks very much to Aida for giving us such brilliant and easy-to-incorporate tips for keeping minimalist spaces interesting. I think there’s something in there for everyone to use, no matter what size your home is.
All of the imagery included belongs to StudioAIDA, Aida’s interior design agency, so if you’d like to see more of their gorgeous work, visit studioaida.co.uk