Minimalissimo


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I have long been a reader of Thisispaper Magazine, and when in late 2012 they decided to expand to the analogue world, selling a range of stunning and simplistic products, I for one, was thrilled to explore the designs. Initially launching a series of bags and rucksacks, Thisispaper Shop also recently introduced a beautiful range of kitchenware. It is however, one of their bag designs that I find to be something our Minimalissimo readers will appreciate most. The Natural Irma Bag is incredibly basic with a light linen material. Measuring 25 x 42cm, the bottom is made of nubuck leather. Other leather elements are made of vegetable-tanned natural leather. The lining is 100% cotton and features two small interior pockets and a thick cotton string. Beauty, we believe, lies in the simple objects we use everyday, without even acknowledging it.


Nestled in a suburban neighborhood in Toronto, Canada is the delightfully modern Blantyre House. Completed in 2011 by Williamson Chong Architects, this house was designed with a focus on incorporating light into long and narrow spaces. Tall windows cover both ends of the thin house. Using windows of this height brings light deeper into the dwelling. The interior features a great room with an impressive kitchen unit. Floor to ceiling cabinetry provides storage and a clean, bright aesthetic. The dining table is incorporated with the kitchen island to save space in the shallow room. The second floor also features large windows which illuminate a small living area. The uppermost level of the home holds the master bedroom. Smaller windows and white walls provide a quiet sanctuary for sleeping. My favorite feature of Blantyre House are the windows. I love how every window is unique to the wall and room it hangs. The windows provide the home with a plethora of natural light and are also angled so as to provide the best views of the trees and sky. Photography by Bob Gundu.


Cliff House is a simple yet stunning residence on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Scotland’s own Dualchas Architects designed the structure to maximize the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The home is a single story with two bedrooms, two baths, and a great room for the kitchen and living areas. Every room, even the bathrooms, feature floor to ceiling windows. The windows flood the home with natural light and gorgeous views. Cliff House’s facade is clad in a silvery-brown lumber and warm gray stone, both of which were sourced locally. The low-lying structure, as well as the use of natural materials, allows Cliff House to integrate seamlessly into its environment. I love the view of the home from afar, it almost looks like it grew from the earth itself! Photography by Andrew Lee and Alistair Nicholls.


Beam armchair is a minimalist design created by the Netherlands based studio Oato in collaboration with woodworking company Kuperus & Gardenier. The piece has been inspired by stacked beam structures used in many cultures. Designers explain their process: All the structural elements are squared, like wooden construction beams. All parts that involve sitting or touching are rounded and have different profiles accenting their own character and role. The price of the chair is quite approachable, especially considering the fact that it is mostly handmade. Another important achievement by the designers… The piece is made of oak with natural oil finish.


Hampus Hoh — @hampushoh — is a Swedish student and blogger at online magazine, Radar. Besides studying, Hampus works at a clothing store in his home town. He is also very passionate about arts and photography. And it is Hampus’s photography that we are excited to introduce to you today, gaining an interesting insight into how his stylish collection materialised. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? Minimalism is not only about what is essential, it is also about what is natural and untouched. I’m drawn to things that are raw and unedited by humans. This might not always seem the most minimal, but it is a significant part of my photography. I believe the common definition in most of my photos would be effortless and slightly off. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? Having lived in Scandinavia my whole life, I am by nature drawn to tranquil surroundings. A clear space often equals a clear mind to me, which is what I want when I really need focus. On the other hand, people, movement and noise can be very inspirational. When and how do you decide to take a photo? Whenever I see something that I...


International Royal Architecture, or I.R.A., have designed this bright and modern dwelling in a residential neighborhood in Japan. The home is called House of KKZ, a name derived from its proximity to the Kamikitazawa Railway Station in Tokyo. The structure is a straightforward white cube with cut outs for the windows and doors. KKZ is by no means large, only 110 square meters, but the thoughtful design results in a lovely living space for a family. House of KKZ is a spilt level with several loft spaces. The varying levels allow the space to feel large and open despite the building’s small urban footprint. Small, narrow windows are placed close to the ceiling on each level. These windows bring natural light inside while maintaing the residents’ privacy. White walls and light-colored wood contribute to the sunny feel of the interior. Built in furniture and storage keeps the home free of clutter.


Mathias Hahn as part of London’s Clerkenwell Design Week has introduced the Runcible Collection. Made from solid hard maple, the collection represents a familiar archetype, that is not limited to one specific task and are blanks that stand for a type of application but allow for individual use. Each piece is an implement for use in the home, but the exact functionality is diffused by experimenting with the expected aesthetic and form of such products, leaving them highly interpretive by the user. Hahn is an industrial designer, originally from Germany, and currently working in London where he started up his studio OKAYStudio in 2006. He studied both Industrial Design and Product Design, which has brought him to a body of work involving furniture, lighting and products. He has a natural desire for designing towards use and functionality and introduces me experimental curiosity to his way of working. Through his collaborations, commissioned and individual work, Hahn has remained dedicated to the minimalist principles and themes. The resulting Runcible Collection is testament to his dedication. There is a sophisticated simplicity to the way that he approaches materiality and the production process of remaining true to the materials core beauty. Photography courtesy of...


In 1958 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni designed the Babela Chair for the Milan Chamber of Commerce. The brothers created a light-weight chair with minimal clearance. One can easily move the chair, stack it and create long, straight, rows. The Italian contemporary furniture brand Tacchini adopted the 1950′s design in 2010. Unlike the original chair the frame is not made of iron but of Ash timber, available with a white, black, grey, walnut or natural finish. The seat features a removable cover and may be upholstered with fabric and leather. The Castiglioni brothers playfully explored new possibilities for form and created highly functional objects that are as aesthetically satisfying as they were practical. A timeless classic!


Casa Spodsbjerg is a family summer home on a rocky beach in Denmark. Completed in 2010 by Arkitema Architects, this house is designed to take advantage of the views and characteristics of its site. The structure is composed of two staggered volumes on a concrete foundation. One volume houses the living rooms while the other holds the bedrooms and bathrooms. The living room utilizes floor to ceiling windows to achieve an unbroken view of the sea and beach. The bedrooms are on the second story and are more shielded, allowing for a quiet and peaceful place to rest. Casa Spodsbjerg uses a limited number of materials in its design. Concrete is used for the base and internal forms, the floors are a light hardwood, and the ceilings covered with a warm, slatted wood. This home is the perfect beach dwelling. I love how the two forms work with the geography of site to maximize the views of the surroundings. I particularly enjoy the way the materials work together in this structure. The light hardwood floors blend with the exposed concrete and are reminiscent of the sandy shore outside. The slatted wood ceiling warms the space and gives it a more natural feel. What more could one want in a...


Studio de Materia’s Light Soil V2 is a beautiful fusion of clean lines. The intersecting elements seem to float and hold one another, but in a way that oozes effortlessness. The use of the natural shape of the terrain by placing the garage on the street level helps separate and delineate functionality of the spaces. Situated in Poznan, Poland, the use of concrete, glass and wood are so well integrated that the resulting architecture seems almost soft. The lack of clutter and nod to the surrounding landscape are both subtle and contextually sensitive. Studio de Materia has combined a clear technical knowledge base with a minimalist aesthetic that compliments the context and adds clear value to the aesthetic appreciation-ist. Photography courtesy of Rzemioslo Architektoniczne.


Designed for a group of artists to reside, work and exhibit, the architect Jun Murata of Jam Architecture transformed a house in Osaka, Japan, of former wood construction into one of modern simplicity and elegant, minimalist finishes. The spaces were carefully thought out to accommodate the needs of the artists. Public and private are logically separated: the living and dining, as well as the tatami spaces face south where one can assume the intent is so that the residents can enjoy the natural light. On the other hand, the opposite side of the house meant for reading and art installation is designed with more controlled lighting where slivers of light penetrating the interiors, making it an integral part of any art installation. The architect has acknowledged that as carefully designed this minimalist mix-use house is for the artists, plants can give the space a rich contrast. I especially love the fact that the number and type of plants chosen for the space is minimal as well, allowing the harmony of their presence compliment the spaces they are in. Images courtesy of Jun Murata / Jam Architecture.


Last year we introduced Thisispaper’s beautifully basic Natural Irma Bag — and today we are featuring their new range of minimalist bags & rucksacks, showcased in their impressively designed online shop. Designed and manufactured by Thisispaper, by hand, in their Warsaw based studio, the range includes the beautiful Top Roll Rucksack — 100% cotton, the minimal and elegant Pocket Bag — 100% linen, and the stylish yet durable Market Bag — 100% cotton — all featuring vegetable-tanned natural leather. Some items within the collection are available in black, natural and off-white colours, as well as various sizes. All of which look just as impressive as each other. Perfect for everyday use, this made to order range offers everything you need in a bag. Wonderful work.