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A Delightful Contrast: Minimalist Homes with a Touch of Playfulness

18 July 2022

When discussing minimalist interiors, imagery of clean lines, monochromatic palettes, austere backdrops, and uncluttered design immediately comes to mind. This is why terms like playful minimalism seem very much like an oxymoron. 

And yet, here we are, with four completely different projects which make this unique concept work for them in their respective ways – each with its special take on how “fun” and “play” can manifest in a minimalist space.

The Arch House by Bing

In keeping with the spirit of simplicity, modern minimalist interiors embrace the “less is more” philosophy, going with neutral palettes, and functional and uncluttered design.

With The Arch House project, designer Bing had an unenviable task to strike a balance between modern minimalism sensibilities and the homeowners’ fun-loving personalities – which he achieved to great success.

To help create a clean, and unified look across the property, the designer settled on a deliberate choice of a neutral colour palette of predominantly whites and oak wood. To help keep the spacious home visually uncluttered, large custom shelving and cabinets were created to give every item its special place for display or storage.

To avoid the trappings of modern minimalist interiors that end up too sterile, and soulless, the designer cleverly incorporated many playful details of colour and geometric shapes that break the mold. From vibrant furnishings like the plush yellow sofa to the distinctive arches that gave the house its moniker, these small details make for a playful contrast and uniqueness to the home.

The arch glass wall is the main feature to allow more natural light into the space, while connecting both the living and dining space together.

With no television, a built-in settee bench is built in the living hall for guests to sit and have conversations.

The use of 70’s design elements such as the terrazzo flooring was added to complement the homeowner’s porcelain collection. 

A large kitchen island table with a customised floor to ceiling storage cabinet at the back functions as an ideal preparation area for the homeowner who loves to bake. 

Full length windows and doors surround the large dining table to allow natural light to enter.

20 Ceylon by Hace

For many, the appeal of a minimalist interior is in creating a space that fosters an emphasis on appreciating the beauty and function of the space and objects in it. In terms of design, this usually means, paring down to the essentials, and rejecting excess in design and ornamentation.

In this 20 Ceylon project by Hace, it is obvious that the designer and homeowners drew inspiration from this design philosophy, in developing the home’s ultimate timeless aesthetic.

Every room in the house has just the perfect composition of essential furniture and fixtures, with clean and sleek lines, and of course, minimal ornamentation, save for the pops of greenery that adds a breath of fresh air.

In a bid to add some interest and character to the space, the designer made some creative choices in terms of materials and textures to give the space some much-needed dimension. From subtle choices like the marble backsplash in the kitchen, geometric tiles in the bathroom, the white-washed brick wall accent in the bedroom, and wooden fluted panel walls, these design elements worked well to create an element of surprise in every corner of the home.

Casa Merah by Eddie & Serene

While many can appreciate the theoretical appeal of a minimalist interior, not many can live day in and day out with the sparse décor, a muted colour palette, and empty spaces galore that are typical of the conventional minimalist interior.

In this Casa Merah project by Eddie and Serene, the designers took the design to the next level by incorporating many fun and playful elements to make the space a whole lot more enjoyable to live in.  

In the shared spaces, like the living room, kitchen, and dining room, furniture, and fixtures double up as both functional and aesthetic items. Instead of conventional fittings, the designers effectively integrated playful curved designs like the standalone kitchen island, living room stool, wall arches, and more to soften up the space while tapping on fun geometric patterns and tiling to add visual interest. 

In contrast, private spaces like the bedrooms, are kept purposefully clean and uncluttered in design, evoking a tranquil and soothing ambiance for rest and relaxation.

Joo Chiat by Jo

The beauty in minimalist interiors lies in their simplicity and functionality which provide a sanctuary for homeowners away from the chaotic world outside. However, for many, the challenge lies in creating a minimalist space without leaving it dull and unwelcoming.

In this Joo Chiat project by Jo, the designer takes on the challenge by the horns and comes up with a unique solution – the smart application of a variety of tactile textures to add visual weight and immersive dimension to the space.

Textures, in all shapes and forms, provide the much-needed contrast in a predominantly monochromatic space as such. In the living space, the white-washed brick walls paired with the cement screeded walls give off subtle industrial vibes, while the kitchen space dials up the fun factor with vintage geometric tiling and pops of colours on the walls.

Interested in combining playful sensibilities with a modern minimalist aesthetic for your home? Head over to our designer page for more inspirational home designs. 

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