Are You Minimalist or Maximalist: Duality of a White Interior

Are You Minimalist or Maximalist: Duality of a White Interior
SLEEK MINIMALIST THEMED KITCHEN | photo courtesy of Steven Ungermann

There’s something about white spaces that makes us feel inviting. It’s the feeling of a fresh start when coming home to a white interior. This unique color will never go out of style simply because it’s so versatile. Whether we want it to be chic, elegant, moody, minimalist or serene, it will work with any style and color of all eras.

These past years, there has been a huge wave of appreciation for minimalism. Whether we may call it the Marie Kondo effect, the underlying philosophy behind it is to keep things simple. And in the language of minimalism, white never goes out of the picture. Embracing the minimalist design is not only keeping in mind what is needed to be stored or disposed, but also paying attention to base colors of the interior.

For starters, minimalism is a term used in the 1960s to describe 20th-century sculptures. Since then, it evolved into using it into fashion, design, and architecture. Using simple and natural forms are the basis of minimalism. It is popular nowadays since it is very light and free.

MINIMALISM IS TRYING TO DO MOST WITH ONLY A FEW | photo courtesy of Ebay Collective Blog
"Modern and Minimalist are both reductive and spare, but Minimalism is all about creating a specific ‘moment’—a feeling, an experience, or framing a particular view"

While minimalism goes with the term ‘less is more’, maximalism goes with ‘more is more’. It emphasizes with excess and redundancy. Instead of incorporating the canvass with clean lines and subtle colors, it uses textures and fabrics to create a sense of organized chaos. This style calls for mixing bold and diverse elements that are not seen in minimalism.  

Maximalism is born as a direct countermovement to minimalism. But it isn’t just the art of disorganization and clutter. It is about bringing materials that would match your scheme. Others walk out appreciating maximalism because it won’t match their schemes. It is a way to translate your personality into your home.


Like a blank sheet of paper or blank canvass, the ideas of turning it into a masterpiece are endless. In interior designing, it is important to take note of associating the color white to three things; the undertones, the natural lighting of the room, and the finish.

Choosing white as a base color is not an easy way out. There are differences in warm undertones and cool finishes. According to Will Taylor, a celebrated interior designer and author of Dream Decor, white with warm sandy tones are best paired with earthy shades to give a natural bent.

SHELL CHAIRS HAS BEEN POPULAR SINCE 1940’S | photo courtesy of Kassel Construction


Meanwhile, brilliant white is best paired with saturated splashes of hue.

PLAY WITH ACCENT COLORS TO GIVE BALANCE | photo courtesy of Home Designing

In pairing colors, it is advised to make reference to the color wheel. There are three palettes that can be based upon; complementary, split complementary and tonal.

ORANGE CAN GIVE EARTHY TONES | photo courtesy of Fairely Interior Design

The palette creates high contrast that can be used as a base and adjacent color.

An easy approach to combining colors to white is to use split complementary colors. It is when you match two colors to its adjacent color on the color wheel.

Using tones from the same color family is the tonal palette. (i.e all blue or all gray) It creates a relaxing soothing space. A touch of pattern creates visual interest in the interior.


Minimalist interior design can do a lot to busy city dwellers like you.


When faced in a blank room, most will adapt with ‘anything goes’ that will make things chaotic. Not only colors are needed to be noted, but there should be a theme. It is important to have a planned approach of interior regardless of the paint scheme.

MODERN MONOCHROMATIC DESIGN | photo courtesy of Vecislavas Popas
"Choosing pieces designed with clean lines, hard corners, and colder materials like metal will give a modern, contemporary, and gallery-like feel among all the white" -Will Taylor

Always keep in mind that curate furniture that works well with your lifestyle. Specify what look you want to achieve and think about visual balance. While arranging the pieces, keep note on what they’re used for.

THE 60-30-10 RULE

The common scenario in using whites walls is the tendency to stay in line with neutral colors. In the 60-30-10 rule is an easy decorating rule that will help create a color scheme easily.

The common scenario in using whites walls is the tendency to stay in line with neutral colors. In the 60-30-10 rule is an easy decorating rule that will help create a color scheme easily.

60% is the main color of the room. It consists of walls, large accent pieces like area rugs, or even the sofa. It is achieved by focusing on the dominant pieces inside a room.

30% is the secondary color. It is used half as much as the main color. This could be incorporated through accent chairs, textiles, lighting, or even an accent wall. The 30% supports the main color but it should be different enough to set them apart and to give the room interest. The main idea here is to vary the tones of the accent color.

10% is the accent color. It can be expressed by playing around with different splashes of colors, patterns, and textures. It can be used in decorative items like throw pillows, lamps or mixing metallic and woods.

60% OF THE ROOM IS WHITE OR NEUTRAL, 30% IS BROWN AND 10% BLACK | photo courtesy of Skitter Photo

If you need professional help in curating wonderful and creative color schemes, Tokyo Grand Renovation is the one to call. We offer premium services, top-notch imported design materials, and unprecedented Japanese craftsmanship. TGR’s headquarters is at 9110 La Campana St. cor. Trabajo St., Brgy. Olympia, Makati City, 1207.

For inquiries, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 832 16 76, or send an e-mail at

TGRはマカティの高級インテリアデザイン、リノベーション、会社です。TGRは 住宅および商業 スペースの為のデザインと建築を提供 し ております。お問い合わせは 、02832 1676 にお電話いただくか、 電子メール へ送信 お願いします。


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