When a person hears the phrase “less is more” – especially regarding art and design – they might imagine a scene with sparse decorations, monotone surfaces with flat lines, and very little clutter or embellishment. In interior design, this would be called minimalism. It’s an aesthetic that’s widely known today, with its roots appearing fairly recently in American visual art of the 1960s and 70s.
Minimalism in art is often seen as a reaction against anything that’s unnecessarily elaborate. Minimalists believe art shouldn’t “symbolize” anything; instead, it should represent only the materials at hand, providing the viewer with an immediate, pure visual experience.
Living minimally creates an incentive to buy only quality items that are built to last, which runs counter to the ideal of working more, earning more, and thus spending more to accumulate more belongings only for the sake of owning them. Conversely, by uncluttering and buy only quality items that you truly want and are essential, you feed your soul and the benefits of living with less will be immediately apparent. You will start to view meaningless “stuff” as an obligation, debt and stress – so look for treasures that truly enhance your life and don’t just fill it up.
To read more about the origins of minimalism, as well as how widespread its influence is today, see the infographic below.