Minimalist Interiors: Q&A with Annique Heesen from Gezellig Interiors
We’ve long been a fan of Gezellig Interiors and when their Director and Interior Designer, Annique Heesen, agreed to share her tips and advice for creating minimalist interiors, we couldn’t help but squeal just a little (ok, so maybe a LOT).
With a resume that boasts working for Citta Design and Homestyle Magazine, Annique has some serious design cred. She also has an Instagram feed worthy of its own magazine. It’s pretty clear that Annique is a natural when it comes to curating authentic, timeless and minimal interiors. Lucky for you, we’ve managed to pick Annique’s design brain so you can embrace a minimalist look at home too.
Whether you’re renovating, building or just looking to simplify your life a little, read on…once you go minimal, you won’t look back.
Annique assisted Plump & Co founder Jacinta Stevenson with the interior finishes and details of their pared-back Hamilton new build. Image: Bonnie Beattie for Homestyle Magazine
Hi Annique! So, what does minimalism in interior design mean to you?
Simply put, it’s thoughtful design, everything you need and nothing you don't.
What are the key elements to nailing a minimal interior look?
- Curating things that have significance and not holding on to ‘trend’ pieces. So perhaps something like a chair you saved years for, or a throw gifted from a friend, a rug from your travels.
Rather than just collecting ‘stuff’.
- Refine, refine, refine!
- If you’re building or renovating, stick to 3-4 key elements in your design materials.
- Buy once, buy well. Think long-lasting investment pieces rather than quick fixes.
- Lots of light is important. If you’re building, think about how you can open up your windows more, (think big picture frame windows). The more you can bring the outdoors in, the better.
Floor to ceiling doors create height and make a subtle design statement while investment furniture pieces and large windows are key elements to creating a minimal look.
Are there any particular textures, colours, finishes, appliances or furniture that you use or would recommend for a minimal look?
Nature never gets it wrong really. A lot of people relate minimalism to white, but if we look at midcentury modern architecture which has a minimalist ethos at its bones, the palette is rich with warmth through the use of whites paired with natural materials and few treasured objects.
Simplify your material palette; think about how you can base your design on 3 key elements or materials. If you’re building, think about how you can line up the doors and windows in your house to follow clean lines throughout – we have found full height interior doors really effective in making a statement in a subtle way.
Emerging Melbourne design studio Studio Four Architects delivers a minimal home that’s saturated in natural light and warm timber tones.
If you are using whites, finding the right white is key. We love clean whites such as Dulux Okarito, Southern Alps and Terrace White which work well with clay-based tones such as Dieskau, Mason Bay, and Te Apiti.
Clean lines are key to minimalism, so using products to line bathrooms like Neolith and Corian which are quite seamless products are ideal. We also love Plumbline’s Buddy Collection, a cohesive tapware family with plenty of finishes to choose from.
The Alfred St Residence by Studio Four Architects showcases great minimalistic design – large windows, clean lines, statement furniture and a limited palette of design materials.
Thin bench tops and negative detail handles make for a clean and minimal looking kitchen. There are some really interesting hard-wearing kitchens made of steel coming out of IMO Furniture Design lately which we have loved using. Fisher and Paykel appliances have brought out a seamlessly integrated fridge for the ultimate minimalist too.
When it comes to furniture I'm a strong believer in buying once and buying well, so always go for quality over quantity. Think about what pieces you really need and let go of the rest- it will honestly change your life!
IMO creates hardwearing steel kitchens with a design philosophy that produces classic, simple pieces of furniture that fit and adapt with your life.
Minimalist Interiors are often thought of as cold or clinical – how would you avoid this or bring personality into minimal interiors?
Introduce natural, timeless materials such as timbers, metals, stones and textiles, along with treasured objects, collected ceramics, gorgeous textured rugs and pieces with personality, such a statement chair or sofa.
What would be your advice to someone wanting to embrace a minimal style but not sure where to start?
I've been reading a book called Slow by Brooke McAlary recently which is helpful for any budding minimalist. She talks about not starting with “let’s clean out the whole garage", but instead tackle small areas that you can do in an hour. Say your cutlery or utensils drawer, the bathroom cabinet, the bookshelf, or your linen cupboard.
Try to stick to the 3-month rule – if you haven't touched it, admired it, missed it, used it or worn it in the last 3 months….let it go.
An outdoor area embraces minimalism with a limited material palette, clean lines and statement furniture while the home office sticks to a neutral colour palette with simple furniture and just a few accessories on display.
Lastly, what are your top tips and advice for someone wanting to create a minimal look?
Joshua Becker has a really great quote “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”