Books: The Vintage Home by Judith Miller

The following is an extract from The Vintage Home by Judith Miller, published by Jacqui Small.

Clutter-free Zones

Minimalist rooms provide a quiet retreat for busy people. Bare, white walls and a few simple pieces of furniture do not allow for clutter or collections – just a peaceful space where it may be possible to find a Zen-like calm.

Hallmarks of the style are plain walls, occasionally interrupted by a painting or two; tall, built-in cupboards to hide the necessities of life; doorways with no doors to allow the light into every corner; large windows with simple blinds to draw at night or create a diffused light; and plain floors occasionally softened by a large rug.

In these large, airy, stripped-down rooms, the furnishings either become part of the cool, white experience or are made the focal point. Wooden furniture based on vernacular designs provides a gentle contrast with the plain walls, while large white sofas and shelves blend into the background. However, bold or colourful, contemporary pieces can be used to add a splash of unexpected texture or colour and prevent the overall effect from appearing sterile. By paring rooms down to their necessary elements, minimalist interiors offer a tranquil atmosphere that can provide an escape from the hubbub of daily life.

© Tim Beddow

© Tim Beddow

There is no denying that John Pawson’s interiors are minimalist. However, his use of warm white walls, natural wood surfaces and simple wooden furniture makes them welcoming rather than austere. Here, the dining room leads on to the kitchen at the back of the house with a wall of floor-to-ceiling cupboards opposite the fireplace. Hidden storage is the key to living in a minimalist environment. An open door in the wall of flush cupboards in the dining room reveals shelves for storing bottles of wine and water.

© Luke White

© Luke White

In a large, industrial space, a white Lazy Working Sofa by Philippe Stark with integrated tables and lamps at each arm takes centre stage beneath a window in the living room.

© Andrew Wood

© Andrew Wood

Ingenuity is in demand when you need stylish yet practical storage. In this house by Guy Peterson in Sarasota, Florida, a plasma screen is mounted above a custom-built metal-clad unit that pulls out, opens up and houses all the entertainment equipment. To add to the architectural feel, the top of the unit is fashioned from a concrete slab.

© Andrew Wood

© Andrew Wood

Simplicity is key to the effective design of this bedroom. A long sideboard provides essential storage, but also doubles as a place to display favourite objects. The pair of identical mirrors that hang above adds an illusion of space.

The Vintage Home is available to buy (£30) from Quarto Homes.