You can take minimalism too far. Way too far. I experienced this on a visit to Amsterdam.
My friend and I stayed with an AirBnB host in the newer IJ waterfront area east of Central Station. Many modern multi-story apartment buildings have sprouted along this attractive waterfront, most quite boxy and simple. The entrance to ours foreshadowed the prison-like atmosphere within:
Once inside, we found ourselves in an imposing many leveled atrium, ringed by identical unmarked (but for tiny numbers) apartment doors at each level.
Entering the front door of the apartment, you could choose the narrow white corridor to the right or the narrow white corridor straight ahead. Both were lined with lots of shut doors. The one with the red bag in front was the owner’s room – so marked to indicate it was not for us:
Once you entered the main living space it was open and airy. But furnishings were super spare. No color, no art. Because the couches faced into the empty room (rather than to each other) they were not conducive to friendly conversation.
In fact the only piece of art in the entire apartment was the depressing Edward Hopper print of a tired woman, slumped alone at the edge of her hotel bed. (Depressing or violent art in the home is a big feng shui no-no.)
The bathroom was CLEAN and tiled from floor to ceiling with shiny white tile. It could have been the staff bathroom in a hospital. Our host didn’t even keep her shampoo or toothbrush in here. Did I say it was CLEAN?
This is the home of a single career woman with not a lot of observable fun in her life. And, no, she didn’t just move in. With this sort of cold unfriendly home environment, do you think her life will perk up any time soon?
What would you do to enliven the space?