While there are no hard and fast rules when categorising an interior design style (or any aesthetic style for that matter), it helps home owners put their preferences themes and likes into a labelled box. This not only helps their designer to stay consistent within the design or decoration theme, it also highlights other sets of must-haves or must-dos.
For example, in a modern French interior, mouldings at ceiling and walnut herringbone flooring is almost a must-have to achieve the desirable theme.
In this region (Malaysia, Singapore) and over the past couple of years, minimalist interior trends has been popular and it seems that this preference is growing. In a survey by interior design platform Qanvast, 3 out of 5 homeowners in Malaysia and Singapore prefers minimalist/ Scandinavian interior. While trends for bold coloured interiors and quirky furnishings are gaining popularity, I do wonder why a clean and neutral home finishings are still desirable;
Is it because clean and uncluttered looks more affordable?
Is it because the space and the colour scheme looks future-proof?
Is it because it looks easier to maintain?
Different minimalist interior design have different styles, origin, furnishings, traits and most important different interpretations. Even though some of these styles have evolved according to region, local furnishings and preferences, below are some of my interpretations;
Clean, bright interiors with minimal built-in carpentry.
Selective pop of texture and colours from loose furnishings.
Playful mix of photo frames, paintings and fabric (pillows, throws).
2. Japanese/ Zen Minimalism
More in touch with nature and pockets of greeneries filling the color in the room, sometimes loose pebbles too.
Persistent use of light oak timber texture on flooring and finishings (think Muji).
Some ornamental elements in decoration/ wall partition.
3. Contemporary Minimalism
Evolve year to year by adopting trends (gold, copper accents).
Incorporation raw materials like metal or raw concrete finishes, which could leads to the 'cold' ambience.
Not always having white as the backdrop to the space.
I think the individual pieces that goes into these spaces (does it spark joy?) and it's usage far outweighs the need to conform to a particular style. This is the only way, I feel, that makes an interior space timeless.