For our March “HOT” issue, we asked local design professional to share their opinion on minimalism, the philosophy of paring down interior décor to the beautiful basics.

By Melissa Mauzy

Photography by Anne Matheis



"I firmly believe that minimalist interior design is a classic design concept. It is a timeless aesthetic and when done successfully the home's interior will have a serene and harmonious feeling. The concept is often a blend of textures and materials and the design concept is beautiful in its subtlety. Its sophistication alone makes it timeless." Julie Abner, Julie Abner Interiors.


“I think minimalism is a classic that just happens to also be a craze right now. Minimalism has been a popular way of life since the Bauhaus movement in the early 20th Century. It is hard to call something a craze that has stood the test of time for 100 years! Minimalism is hard to execute well, simple design is anything but. It takes a keen eye for the smallest detail and truly shines when the few selected pieces are of the best quality one can afford. If there is not a lot going on in the space to distract the eye, the few pieces that are there need to be impeccable.” Molly Ballard, Castle Design.


“Minimalist interior design is definitely a classic! While minimalist design has gotten a boost from recent crazes, such as Marie Kondo’s books on the art of decluttering, the roots of this design style have been around for many years, and I think it is here to stay. For me, minimalism is all about functionality and simplicity. In today’s world when we are bombarded by so much noise all day every day, a minimalist design at home can give us an oasis where we can decompress and relax. I, for one, can always use a little more of that in my life!” Jess Mendenhall, Castle Design.


“I think the current popularity of minimalist interior design is leading towards a more thoughtful approach to design and how we look at our homes. This can mean different things for different clients. For some it could be the textbook example of minimalist design with limited items on their surfaces. For other clients, maybe it means only showcasing one category of collectibles or just their absolute favorites. Because anyone can take a popular trend and interpret it in a unique way for how they live and how they use their space, it can become a timeless way to design a home.” Kathleen Grim, Schaub+Srote.

“The fact is we encounter minimalist design every day when we enjoy the use of phones, appliances and public spaces. Since the eons of time, functionality and simplicity have been desired as design elements. From the soshi screen in a traditional Japanese interior, to the less is more philosophy of Mies van der Rohe, minimalist design has portrayed simplicity, comfort, as well as elegance for centuries. The application of essential features, uncomplicated repetitive pattern and clean lines are evident in styles like Shaker, Craftsman, Scandinavian, Modern, Mid-century and Memphis, to name a few. Inclusion of basic geometric shapes, natural materials and attention to functionality create minimalist interiors that present a feeling of organization and serenity. How can minimalism be anything but a classic?” Karen Johnson, Directions In Design Inc.



“I feel it is a craze. I believe there will always be those with minimalist taste. But, overall, clients love their belongings that they will continue to display in their homes. Photographs of places they have been remind them of great times they have experienced. Photographs of family and friends remind us of our connection to those we love.” CJ Knapp, Yours by Design.


“Minimalism seems to be all around us, this new goal of design nirvana where bliss is attained by removing all of the excesses, and certainly not for the faint of heart. However, I think it's a craze and we've reached the tipping point. In part, because we like to have a place to nest with layers of our personality, and having a strong economy supports new, adventurous design with large scale patterns, rich colors with texture and lots of eye candy.” Gigi Lombrano, Gigi Lombrano Interiors.




“I think as we become more plugged in as a society, we need more calm space at home. Clutter can feel mentally chaotic even if it’s kept in order. Because Mid-century Modern has been such a trend in the past several years, what consumers see in magazines and catalogs is a more minimal living space. Interior design, art, and fashion will always circle back to the past for inspiration. We put a fresh spin on the ‘classics’ to create the craze. At the end of the day, in my opinion, what is classic is based on our own personal wiring. Some of us love the feeling-- the history--of the stuff we have accumulated over the years in our homes. Others see minimalism as clarity, leaving room for thought without distraction. If you think about a museum or art gallery, more often than not, there's a white backdrop and maybe a bench. It directs our attention to the most important elements in the room. What is most important is up to us to decide.” Marci Marsh, M Marsh Design.