MICROmacro's Geometry Made Easy, frame lights & screens collection inspired by the Chinese furniture tradition as seen on tyylit.com.

Outlined design has been a favourite trend in design circles for a while, but we’re increasingly seeing it pop up in the mainstream. Designers like Nendo, for example, consistently explore the possibilities behind stripping design back to Bare Bones.

We’re seeing this approach in everything from eyewear to electronics. It’s the quirkier side of minimalism and we love it. Bare Bones strips back to where it all first started; Nature. Shapes with thin, smooth contours represent a certain quietness and an uncluttered feeling. Our 2016 Trends Report Issue introduced us to this simple form, now let’s look at what the experts in design say.

Design Inspiration

The Art Story (a superb modern art organisation, if you didn’t already know) explain that this minimalism movement took New York by storm in the early 1960’s and artists started favouring the cool over the dramatic. Fashion has an ongoing influence on design in general, and is recognized throughout the world. Nature has a huge influence on design, and finds its place in the design industry repeatedly – see the four examples below.

Drawing inspiration from nature. German artist, Willy Zielke as seen on iamjapanese.tumblr, Beehive, Perini Tiles as seen on larritt-evans.tumblr.com
A dragonfly’s wing in detail by parametricworld.com, Fungi found in nature displaying thin by contoursartelierjewelry.com

The Art Story continues to say, “Fine art led to the creation of sleek, geometric works that purposefully and radically eschew conventional aesthetic appeal.”

Nordhaven Studio presents Minimal and Classic sleeve detail in on of their designs. This nonpareil knitted accessory by NEHERA inspires basic design form.

We draw inspiration from fashion designs and specifically, designs by NEHERA (as seen above), which give us that clean and clear feeling. Here, industrial materials meet simpler design aesthetics, with the emphasis on anonymity.

The trend Bare Bones borders wonderfully on minimalism, drawing inspiration from earth. It emphasizes wooden, stone, metals and marble in its ‘natural’ form. It is not just a jab at the ever expanding ‘minimalist movement’ society is infatuated with, but rather the dictionary form of the word bare, being uncovered, undressed and totally exposed.

Minimalism: Let’s sum it up

  • basic elements
  • extreme simplicity
  • less is more
  • neutral to earth to monotones colours
  • space
  • basic geometric forms

We notice light being reflected, yet holding onto a strong yearning of nature. Shapes vary between organic vs. geometric and realistic vs. abstract. We see this trend infiltrating electronics to eyewear, becoming more sleek and stylish as time goes by. Taking a look at another blog, with the motto ‘finding comfort, style and dignity in small spaces’, Shoebox Dwelling dwells on a very basic design concept designed by the Netherlander Roy Letterle, called Bed Blend, which combines a bed and two chairs where the chairs serve as bedside tables.

This minimalistic piece is completely stripped to its absolute essentials. Bed Blend designed by the Netherlander Roy Letterle on Shoebox Dwelling.

We also drew some Spanish inspiration from Barcelona from the Cavaa Architects, below. With the economy being in the state it is today, buyers generally tend to look for that perfect once in a lifetime buy, without it costing an arm and a leg, and if it does, it needs to serve its purpose to the best of its materialistic ability.ELLE Deco SA

Apartment and Courtyard in Barcelona by CAVAA arquitectes. Photograph by Filippo Poli and www.metalocus.es

When keeping space in mind, Lara from The Extraordinary Simple Life blog stresses the fact that negative space can be a beautiful thing. She believes in creating space in a room, as it let’s your eyes rest. Creating (empty) space paradoxically fills that particular space, enhancing the surrounding environment. If you have that one beautiful, almost lonely piece in a room as a focal point, why change it.

Creating space, photo by Heidi Lerkenfeldt as seen on ATELIER RUE VERTE.

Japanese architecture, Nendo’s designers saw a spatial opportunity and simply eliminated the clutter of today’s overwhelming choice of interior products across the globe and they continue to explore simplifying everyday objects, to produce a particular minimalistic piece of art, and creating designs with a quirky twist.

The Seven Doors Collection by Nendo’s Oki Sato, was designed for the wooden front and interior doors manufacturer, Abe Kogyo, commemorating their 70th anniversary.

They all have a basic default design, and each one has been treated with a different idea born from the various techniques and experience held by the company.


Now we see where Nendo’s inspiration comes from, “But we believe these small moments are what make our days so interesting, so rich. That’s why we want to reconstitute the everyday by collecting and reshaping them into something that’s easy to understand.”

As featured in our Trends Report, the take another look at the conceptual design of chmara.rosinke studios, which concentrates on the human experience furniture is able to provide consumers, referring to Timber daybed for Hermès.

Timber daybed for Hermès by design studio chmara.rosinke

Local is still lekker, South African brand, The Modern Heirloom, plays host to SHE IS VISUAL. As described by themselves:

A creative studio with a penchant for telling visual and tactile stories through design, thoughtful curation and by adding a delicate touch of hand.

The innovative duo collaborates in making gatherings come to life, whether seasonal dinners or workshops.

SHE IS VISUAL Design and Curate Studio, works with The Modern Heirloom collaborating in creating beautiful co-creations, from Stellenbosch, South Africa.

In our Trends Report we pair a song that incapulates Bare Bones. Let CFCF’s You Hear Colours speak to you without even saying a word, as the music takes you on a simple journey of outer contours, a metaphor for creating the same ambience in your own resting place.

Liked this? Click to read more on DECO PROFILE: STUDIOPEPE or be transcended by the simplistic urban landscape photographs of THROUGH THE LENS OF MATTHIEU VENOT

ELLE Deco SAInspired by minimalistic design, nature and the writings of Oscar Wilde and F. Scott Fitzgerald, ELLE Deco editorial intern, Franke pursues the world through languages and photography. Apart from content creating, assisting in sourcing and styling, she has a love for traveling to new places with new faces.

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The official 2016 Trends Issue of ELLE Decoration South Africa is on shelves now, at your nearest magazine retailer. Enjoy DECO’s exclusive decor, design, lifestyle and fashion report for the year ahead. Everything from architecture to scents, this is your comprehensive guide to make informed and confident decisions. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco, sharing your #TrendIssue #DECOselfie