Less is More in These Minimalist Homes

By Sotheby's

M inimalism is design through simplicity – of form, colour, volume and detail – yet this aesthetic is not simple to achieve. Go too far in one direction, and the result is cold, even sterile; cross the line the other way, and messiness begins. Hitting the sweet spot involves a architectural and decorative language of unity and repetition and the clever manipulation of space – not as an element to be filled, but as one to be celebrated – as well as light.

“Good minimalism recognises that light is integral to design,” says Trish Bragg of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Denver, Colorado. “There has always been a passionate base of people who gravitate toward this style of home,” she notes. “Buyers feel they will live more simply, with less stress, in a minimalist home: less clutter, more room to breathe.”  

A property that Bragg represents uses minimalism to great effect. A 13,000-square-foot residence built on private wooded acreage in the middle of the city, the Denver Art House, as it is known, is modern, symmetrical and conceived to maximise the beautiful Colorado sunlight. The home’s architect, Jim Olson, founding partner of Olson Kundig in Seattle, Washington, notes that “minimalist architecture frames what is important,” in this case, an impressive art collection, nature and light. “People want happy, inviting spaces that inspire them to live better lives,” says Bragg. “Minimalist architecture is a step in that direction.”

Monterrey, Mexico

Conceived as an active interface between man and nature, the Ecoscopic House is a formal complex optimised to channel
the energy flows and harvest the material resources that come into contact with it. Sited in a residential area at the feet of the Sierra Madre on the outskirts of the city of Monterrey, this property offers spectacular views of the mountains.

$1,490,757 | Property ID: SW2JB8
Monterrey Sotheby’s International Realty
+52 2141 6999


Carmel, California

Bringing to mind a butterfly poised on a rugged cliff, this architectural tour de force showcases uninterrupted views of California’s rocky coast and the dazzling Pacific Ocean. Designed by architect Wallace E Cunningham, a fixture on Architectural Digest’s AD100 list, the 2,667-square-foot home has a powerful organic aesthetic. Glass walls and stainless-steel panels combine to create a one-of-a-kind silhouette and facade. This residence exemplifies Cunningham’s career, an ongoing exploration of the way structures interact with their surroundings and the concept of serenity.

$11,400,000 | Property ID: 26ZSLM
Sotheby’s International Realty – Carmel Rancho Brokerage
Brad Towle +1 831 224 3370
Nicole Truszkowski +1 831 238 7449


Chicago, Illinois

This contemporary masterpiece on a quiet, tree-lined street in Lincoln Park offers a dramatic, extra-wide interior space featuring architectural glass, manganese ironspot brick and limestone. Wide-plank walnut floors, a floating glass-and-steel staircase and Kelly Wearstler wall coverings add to the restrained elegance. Along with three en-suite bedrooms, the residence features a large third-floor multifunctional space with front and rear roof decks, among a total of four outdoor spaces.

$2,495,000 | Property ID: TKKRT5
Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty
Sherri Hoke +1 312 767 7850


Saint Louis, Missouri

Custom-designed by a Boston architect, this dynamic contemporary home is open, bright and sophisticated. The living room has a two-storey ceiling and wood-burning fireplace. Fitted with European cabinetry, the kitchen features two dishwashers, two refrigerators and freezers, as well as gas and electric stoves with two ovens. Separated from the other bedrooms, the master bedroom is its own unique retreat. Another wing of the home can host family or guests, and the 3.47-acre lot includes a tennis court.

$1,795,000 | Property ID: CMXR4Z
Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty
Ted Wight +1 314 607 5555


Prague, Czech Republic

This villa in the city’s prestigious diplomatic district offers a unique concept of functionalist architecture set in the lot’s original park garden, which covers more than 3,000 square metres.
A purist approach to interior design combined with the finest materials make this property truly exceptional. Its five floors comprise six bedrooms, two kitchens, an indoor pool, a home cinema and a wine cellar, as well as a seven-car garage.

Price upon request | Property ID: EGDZCX
Czech Republic Sotheby’s International Realty
Ilona Mancikova +420 728 744 744


New York-based writer Iyna Bort Caruso has contributed to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday and others.


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