Minimalist website designs are definitely the way to go these day. The minimilast concept is applicable to virtually everything. Take Apple's Macbook Air for example. It took away many key features like the CD drive. Why? Because basically no one uses it anymore, therefore making it redundant. Remember, when you make a website, don't add any unnecessary features. Only what's needed. If you have anymore questions please let me know. I've been coding on the web for almost 15 years now.
I'm a believer in the phrase "form follows function", and the websites you mention certainly reflect that principle. There's a lot of emphasis on "responsive design" these days in an effort to have a single site serve both mobile and desktop devices, which often lends itself to a minimalist approach. But that doesn't mean elegant designs with an artist flair are dying or outmoded. It all depends on the purpose of the website and, as many comedians have noted, one size never fits all.