Anne Nguyen - Simple Form
K.I.S.S, Keep It Simple Stupid - an acronym and principle that has stuck with me since the day I first heard it. I'm incredibly envious of those who can achieve so much with so very little, particularly when we're talking interiors. It takes skill but it also takes the right tools, and for the right tools you need the right store.
One of those stores is DEFINITELY Simple Form. Founded by Anne Nguyen in 2014, this online lifestyle store stocks some of the most incredibly beautiful and minimalist home decor, accessories and art products from a diverse range of brands.
I'm a huge fan of the minimalist movement and Simple Form is obviously a great resource to achieve this look. Though I could happily fill my shopping cart with just about everything in the store (how 'maximalist?' of me), I've picked 5 of my favourite Simple Form products to help me on my minimalist journey.
Anne was kind enough to spend some time answering a few of my questions and give an insight into what it takes to fully embrace the minimalist lifestyle. Enjoy!
+ So your product range is absolutely gorgeous and obviously focuses on good quality design and simplicity. Do you find this minimalistic aesthetic translates over into the way you live your day to day life?
Thank you so much Matt for your kindest comments. If I were to sum up the minimalist aesthetic in a few phrases, I would say ‘it is all about paring back’, ‘leaving it down to the basics’ and ‘simplicity’. To me, this means use of minimal colour with a neutral or monochrome palette, clean lines and minimal clutter. Based on this, I do strive to curate a product range that carries with it this underlying vision of minimal simplicity and I guess you will not be surprised to know this does carry over to the way I live my daily life. You can actually say the way I live my life has influenced the minimalist selections I have made for the shop.
Nothing does it for me more than uncomplicated products, designs and experiences that are classic, enriching and straight to the point.
I find great comfort in eating simple home cooked meals, having a coffee at a café, picnics at the park with my children and having a D&M with the husband.
When it comes to purchases I make for myself, my children and my home, I choose pieces that will not date easily and can be used and re-used over and over again. With this, I find I often gravitate towards anything in shades of black and grey and white – for homewares, clothing, shoes, bags, furniture, and décor. Oh, and stripes. I have an addiction to anything with black and white stripes – clean lines right there. And if the piece is not black, grey or white but I can see it working in the minimalist setting, there’s always a DIY to change it.
+ I personally think minimalist style is a key trend and is finding its way into many Australian households. Are there any particular designers you think are doing the minimalist thing particularly well?
I have always been a minimalist at heart, more so now than I have ever been. You are right in saying the minimalist aesthetic is being embraced and finding its way into many Australian households as up until the last couple of years, this style was previously deemed as being ‘plain and boring’.
This aesthetic is now so beautifully defined in ways with words and imagery, particularly throughout social media and it is all very exciting being able to discover others who also share the same point of view.
A few of my favourite minimalist stylists are Weekend Carnival, Amerrymishap, Stylizmo, Onlydecolove and Ollieandsebshaus. I have been following these girls for many years now and it’s safe to say they were the initial minimalist aesthetic enablers for me. They just make minimalism look so effortless and I just want to dive into their homes!
With Fashion, I never go past Bassike, Acne Studios, Celine and Country Road without looking twice. Their monochrome and neutral tones, clean simple lines, key basic pieces and lack of patterns (on most occasions), exudes minimalism.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I really love straight lines, interesting shapes and a monochrome palette, which is why the work of RK Design is a favourite of mine. Her prints are beautiful and have so much depth and sophistication without appearing complicated.
Some of my favourite Scandinavian minimalist products come from Ferm Living, By Lassen, Hay and Menu. House Doctor also makes it into my top 5 and will be debuting in our online store over the following months!
+ You have some incredibly unique and cool products featuring a range of materials, including marble, timber and concrete. If you had to pick one of these materials as a favourite, which would it be and why?
This is a tough one, as I love all these materials equally and they play such a big part in my home interior. However, if you were to twist my arm and hold me to ransom, I’d say it would have to be marble. Whilst all three materials add layers and texture to the look of a minimalist’s home, marble, when used in the right doses, has the ability to add an additional touch of luxury to a bare monochrome backdrop, or to a room already embodying hints of timber and concrete. If you’ve ever walked into a plain and simple room yet it featured a marble piece, say a marble jar or a marble chopping board, I bet you would have instantly thought ‘quiet elegance’ without realizing it. This is how I feel about marble.
Of course there is always a defining point for marble overdose, so keeping it to a strategic minimum is the key to achieving a state of restrained opulence.
Our marble candles by Candlelit and Co, marble notebooks by Dear Maison, marble platters by Adore Marble and marble posters by Playtype are some simple everyday marble pieces that can add that small hint of luxe without blowing your budget.
+ For those looking to pare back and embrace a simple, monochromatic and minimalist interior, where would be the best place to start?
The best and first place to start is always where you find yourself spending most of your time. By starting there, you will always see your work in progress and be inspired. This will essentially flow on to other areas of the home, as you learn to embrace the minimalistic style. Think open space and white walls and work from there, filling the areas with only a few high impact pieces that you love. By sticking to only a few pieces, it really forces you to think whether that piece has a place in your life.
It is not an easy process to pare back and take on a monochromatic and minimalist interior. There is always the urge to fill that ‘void’ with something or you may find the monochromatic colours to be too harsh or boring at times. The process is gradual and can certainly be made more enjoyable by playing around with artwork, décor and strong typographic pieces, which you can find in our shop.
Let the light in and always remember that simplicity is the key to achieving the minimalistic interior.
+ Using any drawing instrument quickly sketch out the very first thing that goes through your head.