The minimalism of Louise Liljencrantz

Louise Liljencrantz is a Swedish designer I've just recently stumbled upon. She's influenced by Scandinavian minimalism, which is really trendy right now, but she adds something all her own. I love mid-century modern and muted colors so this whole vibe just works for me.

I think minimalism as a design movement has been co-opted by the Pinterest crowd and it's come to mean anything and nothing at all. Google 'minimalist interiors' and you'll find very little minimalism and a whole hell of a lot of stuff.

So let's look at a few images of minimalism in the home, and see what we can learn about simplicity, elegance, and timelessness from Louise Liljencrantz's designs.

Photos ©


Here are a few design principles that seem to guide Liljencrantz's work:

Minimalism doesn't have to mean the all-white-everything you see so often now. A tree, a vase, or a nearly neutral-colored chair can inject a bit of color into your home to sort of wake the dead—put some life back into it.

Muted colors and soft grays add contrast and depth without compromising the brightness of the room in natural light.

Recycle. Upcycle. Reupholster and refinish. Incorporate the older features of the home and mix new with old to honor the character of the space.

Mix genres. Don't be afraid to mix Rietveld pieces with Prouvé with Eames. It's all modernism. No one's going to judge.

You don't have to spend a fortune on decor. You don't have to fill every shelf. Use items that are both functional and beautiful. In Liljencrantz's designs you'll often see stoneware—bowls and pitchers occupying surfaces as decor—along with books spread out rather than stacked neatly or organized alphabetically.

Embrace margin. Let a room breathe. There's nothing wrong with an empty wall, an empty shelf, an empty table, or an empty corner. A blank canvas is where the painting happens. A blank wall teases opportunity. An uncluttered home can inspire us to unclutter our minds as well.

Mid-century modern has made a comeback partly because we're inheriting furniture from our parents. Embrace it. Ask your mom and dad for that credenza from the home you grew up in. Show us where you came from.

Incorporate natural elements like driftwood and trees and flowing elements like soft drapes and curtains for an organic, airy, wintry look. What could be more minimalistic than oneness with the earth, echoing God's design?

Minimalism doesn't have to mean flat or boring surfaces. Mix textures. Use linen wallpapers and add a high pile wool rug, mohair blankets. Mix wood grains and finishes. Use marble and stone. Again, reflecting nature couldn't be more minimalistic.