OK, OK… so it’s hard to keep up with what’s in and what’s out, but one style that remains perennially popular — no matter what the decorating climate — is ‘minimalism.’


Our take, however, is rather different from other designers who create this style. And of course we know best.


What frustrates us most about ‘ADAM’ (Another Designer Attempting Minimalism) is the fact that results can be so hard on the eye. Sure that concrete floor is gorgeous, that Minotti sofa looks wonderfully hip and those pure white walls promote a crisp clean art gallery aesthetic, but try living in a space that’s more sterile than a vet’s surgery and you’ll soon feel decoratively neutered.


Take our advice: warm things up. This week’s Home Show demonstrates how homes are for living in. Yup, finding that elusive balance between paring back and adding more is our raison d’etre. If you crave a slick tailored feel, simply remove unnecessary elements and ensure every item serves a useful purpose. Sure, that Minotti sofa is gorgeous, but wouldn’t it be better to have something custom made to suit your scheme? Try Silva Upholstery (www.silva4home.com) and be amazed at how affordable ‘bespoke’ furniture actually is — often no more than mass produced stock.


Next, break minimalist ‘rules’ and dress with a selection of throws and cushions. Controversial! Sure, that concrete floor is super sexy but for God’s sake warm things up a little with a sexy rug by Millenia (www.milleniacarpet.com), Canada’s best custom flooring manufacturer. Don’t go overboard but at least allow yourself some comfort!

C and J’s top six minimalist style tips:

Ditch that bulky TV — opt for a wall hung flat screen that makes a serious statement without cluttering floor space

Unify flooring choices as you move from room to room — an easy way to make space feel bigger.

Low slung sofas, clean-lined cabinetry and unfussy ‘pot lights’ will help keep mood ‘low key.’

White walls are achingly cool but don’t be too austere — opt instead for softer ‘off white’ tones such as ‘Pale Shadow’ by Dulux. Gentler on the eye by miles.

Store CDs and DVDs in inexpensive boxes from Ikea — you don’t need to break the bank to look organised.

Be selective — one good statement sculpture or art work is WAY better than an assembly of ill-conceived clutter.