'It's Minimalism 2.0' – Love it or hate it, this designer's "starker" take on minimalism is satisfying my need to declutter

New and improved in the eyes of some, a bit too much (or rather too little) for others - this minimalist style is definitely a look to keep an eye on

minimalist dining room with wood table with black top, wood chairs and white shelves
(Image credit: Alex Lesage. Design: Vives St-Laurent. Appartement Saint-Gérard)

Whether you’re into minimalist decor or not, it can’t be denied that the style is here to stay. The beauty of it is that it manages to easily hold an impactful presence through its very simplicity. It’s striking while using less, and that’s not an easy thing to achieve. 

Minimalism in interior design appeals to many precisely because it creates a calming environment. With less to distract the eye and constantly stimulate the brain, it gives a moment of pause and presents the opportunity just to be. Which, in today’s hectic world, is very welcomed. 

Recently my attention’s been caught by the work of interior design studio Vives St-Laurent - their use of minimalism takes the concept of ‘less is more’ to a new level, and yet still manages to feel warm and inviting. 

Here are some of my favorite examples from their work, and inspiration to translate into your home. 

Minimalism 2.0 is here and is having an impact 

minimalist living room with white walls and fireplace, white carpet and wooden rocking chair

(Image credit: Alex Lesage. Design: Vives St-Laurent. Querbes Residence)

I’m not quite sure if the reason is psychological, if it’s capitalism that’s just had us tired of too many ‘things’, or if it’s just a design trend, but I’ve noticed the balance starting to lean in favor of minimalism recently. And it’s being pushed even further than before in the best minimalist houses. People seem to be more focused on decluttering their lives both mentally and physically and a streamlined, very simple design seems to be just what’s needed for the home. In theory, at least, it results in a calmer mind.  

The projects of interior design studio Vives St-Laurent are minimalism at its best. The spaces only feature that which is necessary, softened by beautifully simple fabric, texture, material, or art. Everything seems mindfully chosen so that one has all the necessary amenities, with nothing unnecessary cluttering the space, and that might just be why minimalism is a better way of life. Some might think it all looks too empty. The interiors created by the studio challenge the notion of what it is that we actually need in a home, and it’s a powerful reflection topic when designing your interior.  

The studio’s Querbes Residence project caters to a family and it’s proof that minimalism can be a solution for a home of multiple occupancies. The kitchen, previously partitioned, now opens onto the dining room, as well as to other living spaces on the ground floor, and becomes a key element of the open structure. Open vs closed kitchens encourage interaction and allow occupants to engage with each other without feeling confined to one area. 

Why it works 

minimalist living room with white walls, wood chairs and grey marble coffee table

(Image credit: Alex Lesage. Design: Vives St-Laurent. De Vimy Residence)

The great thing about minimalism is that it encourages a certain type of mindful living. Attention to detail is extremely important to get right because, with so little clutter in the way, everything is visible. One can’t help but start noticing the grain in the wood floors, the smooth surface of the stone table, and the lightness of the furniture. 

This is something Vives St-Laurent have got just right. In their De Vimy residence, you will notice the wood of the floor matches that of the furniture just right, with details such as a grey stone coffee table, and a welcoming white on the walls that are interrupted by the natural green of plants. The windows have no curtains, which allows for the view outside to be showcased almost like art framed by the window frames.

In the Querbes residence materials play such an important part in how one experiences the space. In the minimalist kitchen, the use of grey hues enhances the countertop stone’s natural texture. The dark-colored, American walnut floor was restored to its original state in order to contrast with customized white oak furniture pieces.

How you can make your home more minimalist  

minimalist dining room in white with wooden table and chairs and minimalist art

(Image credit: Alex Lesage. Design: Vives St-Laurent. Querbes Residence)

The work of Vives St-Laurent is a great inspiration source if you’re looking for ideas to remove unnecessary items but still achieve an inviting space. 

Firstly, think about what you actually need in your home, and let that inform the decision of what furniture and accessories to bring into the space and how to consume consciously. Secondly, think of quality materials. If investing in fewer pieces, invest more in their quality. Wooden floors, natural stone surfaces, and quality fabrics for your furnishings are the details that you will very much notice in a minimalist space, so making sure you like how they look and feel is vital. Judging by Vives St-Laurent’s designs, think light, bright, open spaces that allow movement and a continuous flow from one room to the next. 

Pure minimalism is not for everyone, granted. But as a philosophy of design and life, in today’s overly busy world, it’s definitely worth at least considering and taking inspiration from, if only just to experience how it feels and how that affects your state of being. 

Raluca Racasan
News writer

Raluca is Digital News Writer for Livingetc.com and passionate about all things interior and living beautifully. Coming from a background writing and styling shoots for fashion magazines such as Marie Claire Raluca’s love for design started at a very young age when her family’s favourite weekend activity was moving the furniture around the house ‘for fun’. Always happiest in creative environments in her spare time she loves designing mindful spaces and doing colour consultations. She finds the best inspiration in art, nature, and the way we live, and thinks that a home should serve our mental and emotional wellbeing as well as our lifestyle.