Simplicity – The quality of being plain

Does simplicity give us an extra room for our own imagination, and room for our own ‘inner space’?

We can argue that this is the case, but others might say there is a need for richness in colours and curves to give greater comfort and spark our imaginations.

I think the term simplicity is often used when designing environments for humans to flourish in; where we can incorporate the beauty and functionality of nature and its components.

Simplicity is a virtue and helps us to see the essence of natural beauty. It is the art of making the complex simple, which takes its creator on a creative journey.

It’s about thoughtfully reducing the noise in design. Stripping away the layers and getting to the true heart of an environment. There is nothing unnecessary; each element serves a purpose. It’s about reducing complexity and focusing instead on what’s important to the inhabitant.


“Coco Chanel said, “Simplicity is the key of Elegance.”

I agree with her, and many others that have claimed the same. Simplicity can give us the freedom and generosity we need to be able to see elements individually, and to go deeper with our exploration of them.

For me as an interior designer, to design with simplicity in mind gives me the sense of clarity to bring purpose into every space with each piece. It also helps me to work consciously with the flow of a space, respecting the architecture and environment.

The rise of Simplicity

Simplicity is often associated with Scandinavian designs with its clean lines and muted colours, and there have been several famous Scandinavian designers, such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner, and Alvar Aalto, for which simplicity was at the core.

For decades, this style has influenced many more designers and creatives and in present times, we more than ever choose simplicity when designing spaces.

We are becoming more aware of the spaces and environment that we inhabit, and I would like to believe that simplicity will give us the needed room for us to be creative within ourselves.

Simplicity may give us the opportunity to see the world around us more clearly.

This article was written by Maria Tibblin, Scandinavian Interior Designer based in London, UK, specialising in hospitality interior design. View Maria’s Design Concept to find out more.