I Hate Minimalism

Sad beige is not better!

I know interior design is based on preference, but I need to rant about this (which is why I write for the opinion section). I cannot stand the beige minimalism aesthetic that has taken over Instagram and TikTok for years now. It makes a space look soulless, unlived-in, and clinical, and I cannot stand to walk into a room that reminds me of a doctor’s office. 

If you know me personally or have ever been in any of my living spaces, you know that I am a bit of a maximalist. If I acquire a new blank surface, it is getting stickered. My laptop, my water bottles, my coffee tumblers – not even my record player is safe from my need to not look at plain surfaces. 

This habit probably stems from the fact that my home growing up was decorated very minimally; there were pictures and decorations here and there, but a lot of the time it was sparse. My room, however, was an outlier. I made paintings to put up, hung polaroids, and at one point I was so desperate for decorations that I flattened candy wrappers and made collages of them on my walls, much to my mother’s dismay. I did this because I genuinely could not stand looking at bare walls. I want my space to be cozy and decorated, even if it looks a little chaotic. 

I understand that not everyone has the need for constant visual stimulation like I do, and that’s okay (It should be noted that I have diagnosed ADHD). I am writing this article, however, because I am tired of the implications that you are somehow less mature or not as functional as an adult if your space is not beige and minimalist. I enjoy hanging up posters, sticking pictures and polaroid everywhere, and having glow-in-the-dark stars on my walls. I enjoy having a more “childish” look; what’s wrong with that?

Why is having the most bland, flavorless living area the world has ever seen the ultimate mark of maturity and sophistication? I can’t say for certain, but as a sociology major, my brain immediately goes to class. If a lower class person didn’t have any decor in their home, didn’t give their kids toys, and spent money on home decor that has basically no functionality, they would be ridiculed. Why is the ultimate marker of wealth and class having no home decor? You look like you moved into an Ikea, not a home.     

Image via Pexels.com.

Another reason I hate minimalism is that it destroys beautiful historic homes. If I see another millenial or Sad Beige Mom butchering the uniqueness and character of a Victorian or Edwardian home, I am going to rip all my hair out. “But it’s their house, they can paint all the walls Gentrification Gray if they want!” Do NOT buy a historic home if you do not like the look of historic homes! Leave it for someone who will! 

This has always baffled me. If you want a gray and beige minimalist house, buy one! Don’t “flip” a house that has amazing history, beauty, uniqueness, and character! Updating an old home is obviously a need, but gutting a unique home and making it look like every other bleak, clinical Instagram home is just insulting. I hope the ghost of the carpenter that slaved away carving that stair railing and columns only for you to say it “doesn’t fit your aesthetic” haunts you and knocks your Target mod-style vases off the table for the rest of your life. 

Will I ever be able to afford a house? Probably not. Do I want to? Yes, I would like to have a home! All I’m saying is, if I buy a house with my adult money, I am not painting it beige just to make it look more “mature” and “adult.” My home is getting painted phthalo green, there are going to be stars painted on my ceiling, and  my kitchen is going to have colorful glassware and stained glass windows. My house will be a home, not a doctor’s waiting room.       

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