Less Is More: 45 Stunning Spaces Where Simplicity Reigns Supreme

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

The idea of minimalism can get a bit of a bad rap. Often associated with elitist design snobbery, the term brings to mind cold, calculated spaces—barren concrete fortresses where concept takes precedence over comfort. This oft-parodied notion, however, fails to encapsulate the true ethos of minimalism: the idea of getting more from less; applying consideration rather than overconsumption. We’ve been enamored with the idea of minimalism and all of its facets in recent months (from the Minimalists’ Minimalism Game to trying to make more mindful purchases) and have noticed a similar current in the design world. More and more it seems, homeowners and designers alike are taking steps to reduce visual and emotional baggage—by choosing quality over quantity, focus over cacophony. This new minimalism is a far cry from the aforementioned unattainable Modernism. It is accessible to most budgets and attainable with practically any style, with simplicity being the guiding principle. From modern apartments where statement pieces come to the fore to elegant prewar homes where architectural details get their due, these stunning spaces prove that sometimes less really is more. —Max

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

1. Andreas Uebele. Stuttgart, Germany.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

2. Amanda Bupp. Phoenicia, New York.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

3. Rob Brinson & Jill Sharp. Atlanta, Georgia.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

4. Lotta Nieminen. New York, New York.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

5. Philip Newton. Seattle, Washington.

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6. Han Starnes. Nashville, Tennessee.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

7. Nina Gotlieb. Clinton Corners, New York.

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8. Robert Kristiansen. Nesodden, Norway.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

9. Yves of I Love Deer. Belgium.

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10. Yumiko Sekine. Tokyo, Japan.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

11. Tara Mangini & Percy Bright. Brooklyn, New York.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

12. Alice Flynn, Avalon NSW, Australia.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

13. Travis & Maike McNeill. Cape Town, South Africa.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

14. Rigetta Klint. Sweden.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

15. Mary Jo & Steve Hoffman. Minnesota.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

16. Josh Vogel. Hudson Valley, New York.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

17. Joel Holland. Brooklyn, New York.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

18. Laura Aviva. New York, New York.

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19. Jill Malek. Brooklyn, New York.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

20. Jess Loraas. Calgary, Canada.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

21. Tara Mangini & Percy Bright. Hudson Valley, New York.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

22. Jennifer Hagler. Boise, Idaho.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

23. Jason Roskey & Maggie Goudsmit. Brooklyn, New York.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

24. Jason Gnewikow & Jeff Madalena. Phoenicia, New York.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

25. Jane Cumberbatch. London, England.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

26. Nikole Herriott. Toronto, Canada.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

27. Jane Cameron. Adelaide, South Australia.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

28. Greg & Grey of Antler & Co. Portland, Oregon.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

29. Glen Garriock. Uetze, Germany.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

30. Emma Reddington. Toronto, Canada.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

31. Drift Hotel, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

32. Jag Nagra & Agata Matyszczuk. Vancouver, Canada.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

33. Claire Ferrante. Boston, Massachusetts.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

34. Claire Cottrell. Los Angeles, California.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

35. Camilla Engman. Gothenburg, Sweden.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

36. Belinda Love Lee. Cardiff, Wales.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

37. Asia Gwis. Warsaw, Poland.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

38. Ashley Helvey & Miles Pederson. Seattle, Washington.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

39. Annie Coggan. Starksville, Mississippi.

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40. Amanda Happé. Toronto, Canada.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

41. Robert Kristiansen. Oslo, Norway.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

42. Vessa & Riikka Sammalisto. Helsinki, Finland.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

43. Shaun Moore & Todd Caldwell. Toronto, Canada.

Design*Sponge / Minimal Spaces

44. Tara Mangini & Percy Bright. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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45. Sarah Hicks Malone. Nashville, Tennessee.

 

Emma

The cat posing on the bed in photo number 10 is adorable.

Also really digging the way the geometric yellow lamp in example 32 mirrors the shape of the print on the wall behind it!

Great photos–thanks for sharing. They’re kind of relaxing to look at in a way.

Erin

FYI, the last link goes to Jill Malek’s Brooklyn Heights apartment instead of Sarah Hicks Malone’s Nashville house.

Lauren

The link to Sarah Hicks home is to Jill Malek’s home. I’d love to see Sarah’s if you can correct the link. Thanks!

Trisha Toelstedt on behalf of Thos. Baker

I appreciated the distinction between modernism and minimalism in the post (“applying consideration rather than overconsumption”, as the author so aptly put it). We can all apply minimalist (simplicity) principles to our design/decorating/curating work and achieve beautiful results. Great minimalist photos examples, too. Here is one more to consider:
http://www.thosbaker.com/cole-collection-walnut-two-panel-bed.html?sc=70&category=297195

Anni

Love these! Minimal can be so beautiful. I adore Claire’s bed & bedside table especially.

Melissa

Hi! FYI, the last link is pointing to Jill Malek rather than Sara. Thanks! Great stuff!

Gillianne

A more minimal approach tends to track with economic downturns. Not surprising that stories about frugality, thrifting, DIY, and paring down have been appearing with growing frequency for quite a few years (even high-end designs now seem to focus more on luxe materials in more minimal decor). This is NOT intended as any negative comment on Max’s beautiful collection of homes here! Just an unoriginal observation about one way that strong external forces are reflected in personal spaces.

Laurel Anderson

Some people just like less stuff. Many people suggest to rid their lives of clutter to create a calm space for reflection. I found these photos very soothing. I loved #3, the bare wood floors, the one bold throw on the bed. It felt clean and light. Makes me want to “un-decorate”!

Gillianne

I totally agree with Laurel. It feels great to declutter. It’s just interesting to me that we see “how to declutter” and “undecorate” features, posts, and books everywhere now. I don’t recall seeing anything even hinting that “less is more” during the ’80s era of excess. That was all about more is more, inside the home, inside the closet, and pretty much everywhere.

Emmy

I love these roundups because of how they direct to entire house tours- clicking on some of the links, I am reminded of some of my favorite sneak peeks from the past. Such great spaces here!

George.C

i adore the simplicity and the purpose it serves in picture no 37.

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