Maximum Discomfort: Furniture-Free House Takes Minimalism to Extremes

A renovated and expanded home in Maryland features no furniture, begging the question: what does it mean to be minimal and when does the philosophy go too far? Decorative clutter is one thing, but beds, tables and chairs are quite another.

minimal house addition

A new tower and extension expand the current cabin, and as photos of the project show: it is a very open space. Often furniture is removed for architectural photography, but in this case it is not a trick of staging just to get nice and clean shots.

living room

The place is a relatively spacious 1,200 square feet, maybe more than it needs considering its only furnishings are a movable dining table (diners sit on the floor) and a pair of roll-out sleeping mats. Where other furniture is required, islands and built-ins have been designed to serve the needs of the place. Sitting around the fire, apparently, involves sitting on the hardwood floors.


McInturff Architects remade the space at the request of the client, providing a staircase to access the newly expanded upper level and adhering to their request for maximum minimalism. White, black and wood form the material and color palette of the place, likewise minimalist.


The architects argue that by leaving uses undefined the program retains flexibility, but he results look rather bare without decor (or furniture). Of course, at the end of the day, it is always up to the client, but one has to wonder if they will find it all sufficient or seek to add more over time.