Pablo and Beverly Solomon have been minimalist designers for over forty years. Their work has been featured in over forty books as well as numerous magazines and newspapers; on TV and film; and on the radio. You can see examples of their fashion and home designs at PabloSolomon.com and BeverlySolomon.com.
Mollie: What is the essence of your minimalist design philosophy?
Pablo: You have so often heard it said that the core of minimalism is the concept of “less is more”. We would modify that a bit and say that putting quality over quantity is also minimalism. Minimalism is also the recognition that simplifying your life and achieving a harmonious balance between things and experiences, between your comfort and respecting nature, between activity and rest, etc. are also goals. Minimalism strives to be a physical representation of a serene, uncluttered mind that lives in harmony with nature.
Mollie: That’s an interesting idea. What does minimalism have in common with living in harmony with nature?
Pablo: Beverly is part Native American. One of her core beliefs that we try to follow is that we are just passing through this life and should leave the smallest negative marks behind—that we respect nature by using only what we need and protecting the rest. Minimalism design not only tries to blend the architecture into the setting, but to do the least amount of damage in the process. The concept of your home blending into the setting is representative of your being part of nature, not at odds with nature.
Mollie: Can you share a few specific tips for living a successful minimalist lifestyle?
Pablo: It really begins with choosing to live in harmony with nature and to create a setting for yourself that puts you at peace. Keep the things that you cherish, that bring you happy memories, that make your life more pleasant. Eliminate those elements that just fill space for the sake of filling space. Learn to embrace the concept that voids can give meaning and emphasis to chosen elements. And it is okay to be as minimal or non-minimal as makes you comfortable.
Mollie: How do voids help give meaning? Can you give me an example of how you would use a void in an interior or exterior home design?
Pablo: The most simple example would be a wall. Having one valued painting is emphasized by the blank space around it. Were the wall to have as many paintings as you can cram on that wall, no one painting would have much impact.
Mollie: Any other thoughts?
Pablo: Like so many truths in life, the journey is often more important than the destination. Just considering the mindset of minimalism and taking the first steps in simplifying your life and calming your mind are worth it. Just let go of one thing today. Tomorrow is another day.
The solution is almost always fewer things. Get The Naked House: Five Principles for a Minimalist Home.