Minimalism is one of those interior design trends which never really goes away. While it may have been somewhat overshadowed by other cyclical styles, such as the natural and industrial looks of late, it’s currently experiencing a major resurgence in popularity. Regardless of your budget or any imposed design constraints, this versatile, enduring aesthetic is a suitable style for most space sizes. Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the minimalist style and guide you through some of the best ways to get the minimalist look in your own home.
Origins Of The Minimalist Style
It’s easy to think of a minimalist space as inherently contemporary, but it’s far from a new design concept. The minimalism style has roots dating back to the early 1900swhen a Dutch art movement, De Stijl, pushed for a more abstract take on the use of colour and line in design. These early examples were later incorporated into the post-WW1 architecture, where clean lines and open space became increasingly important – yet the same emphasis on decluttering and streamlining can be found in traditional Japanese design. As a result, minimalism can today be found in all kinds of design projects, ranging from clothing to interiors and even web design.
Why Minimalist Design?
There are plenty of reasons to make your next design project an exercise in minimalism – you’d certainly be in great company as an increasingly impressive selection of designers are opting to make their projects minimalist in style. By focusing on space and simplicity, design enthusiasts can develop their own space entirely yet is also harmonious. Many are deterred from the trend for fears the result will be cold, clinical and unwelcoming, but there’s no need for this to be the case. Minimalist design is a fantastic option for many different spaces, and it almost always succeeds thanks to its focus on shape, colour and texture rather than an abundance of elements and furniture.
FAQs About Making A Minimalist Home
Yes, You Can Be a Minimalist in a Big House. It seems like a lot of the minimalist craze is focused on small homes, if not tiny homes. But you can be a minimalist in whatever size home you have – it’s called “not buying as much stuff.”... It is possible to live a minimalist lifestyle if you want to.
Soft minimalism is clean and contemporary, but not cold or austere. More a movement than a design trend. It’s been described as the intentional promotion of the things we most value and removing anything that distracts us from it.
Warm minimalism encourages you to optimise and personalise the space you do have, making you feel more at home. Essentially, this design is within reach for those who dread decluttering or aren’t ready to go full-blown minimalistic.
Tips For Getting The Minimalist Look
Achieving your minimalist design dreams needn’t be a headache – the following tips will help you incorporate the best of minimalist design into your space:
Simplify Your Colours
A minimalist look and feel can be instantly forged through neutrals like beige, cream and brown. In addition, some more dramatic styles lend themselves to a monochromatic colour palette of black and white. If none of these colours appeal, however, there is a solution – choosing a muted colour slightly outside of this spectrum and mixing it with a complementary accent colour which provides a highlight to your minimalist furniture and accessories.
Avoid adding colour for the sake of it – the simpler and more complimentary the colours, the more spacious the room will appear. This is a key cornerstone of successfully pulling off a minimal style.
Break Up The Space
Open spaces and open plan rooms are both ideals for a minimalist aesthetic, but you don’t always need tons of space to achieve this look. Instead, invest in room dividers and partitions, alongside low cabinets and bookcases, as a means of optimising the space you do have.
For larger-scale minimalist interior design projects, such as a grand room or large kitchen, you can look into reducing the number of walls in your room. Still, this will, of course, involve a bigger investment of both time and money. So again, it would be best if you prioritised clean rooms, inserted furniture that is only necessary and paid close attention to the shapes of any items you use to break up the space. So again, look for simple silhouettes, streamlined, clean shapes, and no detailing.
Clear Away The Clutter
Crowded rooms do not lend themselves to minimalism. Instead, proponents of the style suggest carefully clearing away excess clutter with clever storage solutions. You’ll need to be ruthless here as this trend places a strong emphasis on ensuring that all items on display serve a practical function. This is similar to the traditional ‘Zen’ approach to decluttering.
Focus On Balance And Proportions
Whilst some styles emphasise a more eclectic aesthetic, minimalism is all about finding balance. For example, minimalist furniture should be in proportion with both the room and the rest of your décor to create what appears to be a natural space rather than one in which every item stands out. This doesn’t mean everything must match, but coordination is the key. Whatever you do must be intentional rather than the result of accidental disharmony.
Remember The Materials
Minimalist styles rarely include fussy or ornamental details. Instead, strong shapes are favoured. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little extra flourish by mixing your materials or adding some colour with flowers artfully arranged on your minimalist table. All of this will help to personalise the look without detracting from its key principles and that trinity of shape, texture and colour. Metal and glass are popular materials to incorporate into your minimalist design project as they help to bounce light around the room and tend to have very clean, sleek finishes.
Organise Your Lighting
You can further streamline your minimalist interior design with clever lighting. In minimalist interior design, lighting highlights specific areas or emphasises the overall space’s simplicity. For example, daylight should circulate with ease around the room. Still, concealed artificial lighting is also a powerful tool. It makes for an ideal, discreet solution that will help create a sense of space without impeding the overall look and feel.
Choose A Focal Point.
If neutrals aren’t your thing, why not choose a single focal point to build around? This spin on minimalism allows for a little more vibrancy and customisation but will not take away from the basic principle. Focus on the lines you are bringing to the room; perhaps you can draw the eye to the centre with an interesting rug, painting or table? Remember here, whatever the focal point, whether that’s a stunning glass coffee table with brushed metal legs, it must be functional to earn its place in your minimalist room.
Focus On Function
All great minimalist design puts function front and centre, which is why there’s so little added fuss. Transitioning your home to a more minimalism-inspired style could be much easier than you think; decide whether each piece has a purpose, and try to discard those which do not. Your interior needs to be a place of harmony and calm, but you can also add extra touches to ensure areas are kept clean and tidy. Consider adding storage space or basket to your living room or another area of high footfall to ensure that you can quickly stow objects which are out of place. A high gloss TV cabinet with handless drawers or cupboards in a lounge or den makes light work of hiding away essentials such as media players and remote controls.
Don’t Forget The Flooring.
A great floor can help signal your minimalist credentials, and there are so many options to choose from. Of course, carpets aren’t completely ruled out, but wooden floors, marble and stone flooring remain some of the most popular options – and they’re also easy to maintain and create a seamless look, opening up your space.
It can be tempting to try and fill all of your available space, but emptiness needn’t be dull or bland. Don’t give in to the impulse to fill every corner, hang things on every wall or place ornaments on every table, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a minimalist utopia. Again, refer back to whether each piece has a function. If not, it has no place in a minimalist space. Still not sure? Refer to this list of 14 things that have no place in a minimalist home.
Why Is Minimalism Everywhere?
One of the main reasons for the popularity of minimalism is its sheer adaptability and simplicity. Not only does a minimalist space instantly look and feel more calming, but minimalist design principles can be adapted to suit all kinds of spaces, from homes to workplaces and public spaces.
Much like the Danish, Australians are beginning to gain international recognition for minimalist design, with one interiors blogger noting the Aussie tendency towards organic, minimal and neutral styles – all words that can be used to describe a successful minimalist space. Perhaps one of the reasons that minimalism is a very popular trend is that it dovetails with others, such as rustic finishes and natural interiors.
Rules Of Minimalist Styling In A Home
Less Is More
The foundation of any minimalist interior is less is more. Spaces are kept in their simple state, and every piece is curated in each room with intent. If you’re going to adopt the minimalist style, you’ll need to put more thought into the arrangement of your interiors and be always willing to remove pieces until it feels just right.
Make It Personal
A minimalist space doesn’t need to be void of personality. Most successful minimalist homes reflect their owners’ tastes and like to live in the space. Whether it’s in the layout of the interior or the choice of furniture, the homes need to accommodate how you live. For you to love your home, you’ll also need to include items that are personal to you, whether that’s a wall of large photographs or a carefully curated collection of items you’ve picked up on your travels.
Minimalists may have less out on the show, but that doesn’t mean they give up all their belongings and necessities. Instead, their homes are packed with clever storage that allows the rooms to appear almost empty.
Embrace Clean Lines
Clear benchtops, furniture with clean lines and bare walls are essential to a minimalist home. Clutter is gone, and instead, objects and furniture are allowed to breathe. Walls are kept clean with minimal artwork, and surfaces are clear of piles of paper, stacks of magazines and an uncontrolled collection of knick-knacks.
Invest In Quality
Minimalist interiors evoke quality over quantity. The occupants decorate with classic pieces that will stand the test of time even daily. Buying quality will only enhance the pared-back aesthetic from the large furniture pieces to the bedding and cushions.
Create A Neutral Base
A classic minimalist home always starts with a neutral base. This creates a calm, fresh environment, and the palette is easily built upon with similar colour tones and texture. A white base allows you to mix natural tones of greys, tans and beiges without overwhelming the space.
Play With Texture
The texture is added through materials and fabrics to avoid the neutral interior feeling cold or bland. This helps to add warmth and enrich the space.
Principles Of Minimalist Interior Design
There’s more to minimalist interior design than meets the eye. Where you might think stark, minimalists see simple. You might think cold, but minimalists see sleek. And where you might think boring, minimalists see sexy.
Invest In Quality Fixtures
While some minimalist movements embrace frugality, minimalist interior design is not necessarily about spending less. The popular minimalist bachelor/bachelorette pad owned by the wealthy professional is a clear testament to that. Quality fixtures, like designer light fittings, high-grade storage units and contemporary gas fires, are an impressive way to decorate without cluttering.
Choose Multifarious Materials
The minimalist design style doesn’t have to be boring “same, same”. Traditionally, the minimalism design principles feature a muted colour palette, and you can offer texture by using various materials, such as timber, glass, pottery, cloth and canvas. The design style is all about marrying form and function, which can be easily done with a rich texture in a functional home item.
Select A Standout Piece Of Furniture
If you’re stuck on where to start, find a standout piece of furniture and let it shine. It’s then about building a story around it with lamps, plants and art. Of course, saying yes to colour doesn’t automatically mean you’re inviting chaos into your world of minimalism. But you need to retain the principles of form and function and a clear line connecting your interior design.
Let A Work Of Art Dominate.
Although it may, at first, seem against the rules of minimalist design, choose a single supersized art piece for a room and let it dominate. Add colour and life to an austere masculine space with gorgeous feminine art whilst retaining simple, modern furniture around it.
Add Accent Elements
Mix up a neutral decor (think grey, stone, beige) with an element in a contrasting colour, like a work of art, furniture, or feature wall. An accent element is like giving a room a surprise, and it doesn’t have to be garish. It’s simply a wonderful way to draw attention to something extra special rather than it getting lost in a crowd.
Keep Furniture Simple
With the variety available in today’s marketplace, it’s easy to get carried away when choosing furniture. However, with a minimalist design, it’s sensible to downplay the furniture and choose something simple in design that lets other elements take centre stage, like art.
Let Views Speak For Themselves.
If your home features a phenomenal view, scale back the complexity of the indoor space and let the focal point be the view itself in all its glory. Keep furniture simple and remove items that you don’t use. Instead, opt for one or two indoor plants and some complementary artwork.
Allow Plenty Of Open Space.
Avoid the temptation to fill space with furniture because there’s plenty to fill. The idea is to keep everything open for minimalist interior design. Relax into the expanse—space rules.
Use Light As Decor
Think outside the functionalist square and opt for lighting that’s beautiful. Chandeliers may be a minimalist’s worst nightmare, but there are some stunning lights available that are works of art in themselves that can complement any minimalist interior design. For example, hanging drop lights work well or seeking a frosted glass pendant light to add that Scandi look.
If you’re considering adopting minimalist interior design to complement a minimalist lifestyle, why not start by paring back everything in your home. There are plenty of Australians doing the same. Furthermore, keep the items that bring you joy or positive emotions when you look at them, such as art, a comfortable lounge or indoor plants, and enjoy your new lifestyle.