Taking a cue from the likes of Phillip Lim's Spring 2012 runway, we're looking to simplify things for the upcoming season. With clean lines and sleek finishes, there's something decidedly fresh about these minimalist finds. Gold jewels feel infinitely cooler and uncomplicated; our timepiece gets a sporty, albeit pared-down makeover; and our footwear gets a sophisticated finish — minus the fuss and flair. Minimalist accessories may seem like a bit of an oxymoron, but these 15 key pieces are all style and substance for the no-frills girl. Click through to shop the minimalist accessories we're loving right now.
With clean lines coming down the Spring '11 runways at Max Mara, Max Azria, and Alexander Wang, we were newly inspired to embrace minimalism with our Summer dresses. Lean silhouettes made fresher with bright palettes and seasonal stripes remind us that sometimes less really is more. We've rounded up our favorite styles — maxi lengths, easy day dresses, and chic cocktail shifts that speak to that perfectly minimalist style sense. Click through to shop our editor's picks.
Last season's heavy sandals with grommets and studs are collecting dust in the back of our closets while we search for a more modern take on the summer flat. Chic, minimalist double-strap sandals to the rescue! The above styles (from Jil Sander, J.Crew, Chloe, and Christian Louboutin) are the perfect anti-gladiator look we need right now.
While minimalism is definitely not my decorating modus operandi, I do envy those who can tightly edit a space to perfection. Such is the case with the Amsterdam apartment of James Webb, a partner, along with Kirstin Gabriëls, in the firm gabriëls webb, a multi-discipline design and architecture office located in Amsterdam.
Although Webb no longer lives in this gorgeous apartment, he writes that having to move out of this space did motivate him to buy his own place, which is, no surprise, lovely as well.
I love the contrasts in Webb's first apartment, from the traditional, wide-planked wood floor with state-of-the-art speakers set upon it to the ornate candelabra set next to an ultra-modern turntable on the mantel. Curious as to what else resides in this modern, minimalist flat? Find out when you read more
Hollywood interior designer Michelle Workman has designed spaces for celebs including John Travolta and Jennifer Lopez, but in my opinion, this Malibu pad deserves a starring role as well.
I was brought onto this job during the construction phase, and I wanted to bring the organic feel of Malibu into the home. My main focus was on the surfaces: flooring, countertops, tile and lighting. We ended up with a home that feels as if you are out of doors at all times; even the kitchen countertops look like swirling tidal pools. In an effort to mirror the many banks of windows that constitute the front of the house, Lucite chairs, occasional tables, and hardware were used in the kitchen. Everywhere you look organic is juxtaposed with steel or man-made materials.
Take a full tour of this wonderful space when you read more
The American Institute of Architects recently recognized this Montecito, CA, home's functional, graceful design when it named it one of 17 winners of its annual Housing Awards Program. Montecito Residence is a single-family home set in the dry, wildfire-prone Toro Canyon. Designed by Seattle-based firm Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects, the Montecito Residence won in the One/Two Family Custom Housing category.
The home's minimalist look is both practical and elegant. Given the fire danger in the area, simple, fire-resistant materials such as steel and concrete reduce the risk of the structure being lost to a wildfire. The architectural firm utilized a raised roof that shields the house from the area's brutal sun. This umbrella-like roof also creates a central hallway that catches off-shore breezes, helping to naturally cool the house.
The minimalism continues on the interior as well, which helps to keep focus on the exterior landscape, and provides open interior spaces for relaxing (as well as for romps for the owner's three dogs). I'm impressed how practical materials, such as steel and glass, showcase the beauty of common-sense architecture and design.
For more photos of this stunning residence, read more
Architect Craig Steely pays close attention to nature when it comes to designing structures. He has to, since his modern home designs on the Big Island in Hawaii share space with lava flow.
Steely, an architect based out of San Francisco and Hawaii whose work has been featured in such publications as Dwell, Sunset, and the New York Times, was awarded recognition by the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Architects for this home. His passion for Hawaii's very particular landscape is apparent in his comment in a New York Times article that "The volcano is so immediate and fresh . . . You're constantly reminded how fragile life is."
While the proximity of lava flow would be a little too jarring for some homeowners' comfort, I recognize the attraction and thrill of living near it. The alien landscape of volcanic rock makes this steel-framed home all the more fascinating in appearance. Hovering on a cliff that overlooks the ocean, this 1,400-square-foot-home is wrapped in glass on all sides, allowing residents to take advantage of the gorgeous, otherworldly views. The interiors take cues from the landscape, with red-and-orange tiling muscularly wrapping a curved wall in the bathroom and limited furnishings echoing the minimalist exterior vegetation. Take a look at the gallery for the big picture on this Big Island beauty.
If you happen to be traveling through the Green Mountains of Vermont, you may be taken off guard by a decidedly modern interpretation of the classic farmhouse. Set on 44 acres of rolling hills and open farmland, this passive solar house, which won the 2008 AIA Vermont Honor Award in Sustainability and Design, manages to successfully marry vernacular architectural traditions with modern sensibilities.
The home, which was designed by Pill-Maharam Architects, has a laundry list of green features, including a LEED platinum rating, a 5+ Energy Star rating, a ground source heat pump, high efficiency lighting and appliances, and a 10KW wind turbine that supplies all of the energy for the home's heating, hot water, lighting, and appliances. Its wind turbine ensures that the home has a net zero energy output, and results in zero carbon emissions — incredibly impressive.
To see what this home looks like on the inside, read more
When the owners of this New Zealand home asked architecture firm Pacific Environments to renovate it, the firm created a stunning, minimalist vision for the 40-year-old house. Taking advantage of shipping rigging, stainless steel tubing, metallic finishes, and diagonal lines, the house has been transformed from its prior incarnation. To get the tour, check out the slideshow. Source
In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, homeowner Karen Justis says that she views her home as a gallery, saying that, "Art is of primary importance and everything else is a backdrop."
While I definitely admire her gorgeous home, I know that it's not a good fit for my personality or lifestyle — a little clutter makes a house a home, in my world. What about you?