Now that you know all the steps to styling a minimalistic home, we want to take this opportunity to reiterate the underlying philosophy behind it: Keep it simple. Tone everything down, pare everything back, and abide by the “less is more” approach. That said, don’t think your new décor has to be boring. As you can see from our image selection (when done well), minimalist design can be beautiful, warm, rich, and inviting.
If you truly want to embrace the minimalist design look and feel, these need to be cleared, stat. Ask yourself what can be eliminated, what can be stored out of sight, and what items aren’t essential; then organize according to priority. Be consistent with this process and come back to each room every few months with a fresh set of eyes. You’ll find there’s more you can simplify each time. To make sure your surfaces stay clear, give everything a special spot and stick to it.
Paring things down to the basics and ditching the superfluous can do wonders for your sanity—not to mention it looks super sophisticated and sleek. From monochromatic minimalism to laid-back luxury, this simple approach to interior design is one of our favorites. But just like the no-makeup makeup trend, it’s not as simple as it looks. If you’ve been a longtime fan of the look but are unsure about how to get started, our step-by-step approach to minimalist design will help you kick things off.
Minimalist spaces are known for balance and simplified beauty. For a healthy, less chaotic and aesthetically peaceful home, embrace a minimalist design.
That’s not to say that you can’t create an artistic feature in a minimalist room. Just do it with a piece that adds to the function, such as a handsome light fixture above an empty dining table, or a brightly colored piece of furniture. When embracing minimalism, ask yourself: Is this absolutely necessary?
Eliminating clutter and extraneous objects is also a hallmark of minimalist interior design. This simplicity allows the focus to remain on the room’s purpose and function, and on the beauty of its carefully selected furnishings.
The same goes for old photos in outdated frames. Try consolidating them into a digital frame, or putting them in matching frames and creating a gallery wall. When you start clearing surfaces, you’ll immediately feel new life breathe into the room.
So you’ve cleared the clutter, applied the “one in, one out” rule, and chosen quality over quantity, but there are still a few stragglers hanging around. This is where you get sneaky and invest in stylish storage. Attractive storage allows the chaos to live inside while still appearing chic on the outside. This is great news for those who love the minimalistic look but are true maximalists on the inside. You don’t have to completely forgo your collector past, but the hoarder mindset has got to go.
A gray and white color palette works just as well as classic white and black.
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Even if you are a traditionalist and love your curves and frills, you can embrace some tenets of minimalism for a happy and healthy home. Here are a few tips:
Make a white-and-black color palette pop by mixing textures throughout the room.
Keep your closet simple with a black clothing rack—it’s easy for organization and acts as decor against a blank wall.
The focus of a room is often created by the furniture and accessories in it. Disjointed wall art or overdone window treatments, for example, don’t necessarily enhance the function of a space; they distract from it.
Is your coffee table unnecessarily large? Try replacing it with a smaller one. Every piece of furniture that you remove or downsize will open up the space.
In this case, it truly pays to buy quality over quantity and invest in classics that will stand the test of time (and spark your interest). Impulse buys on trendy items that you’ll tire of quickly doesn’t work with minimalist design. Choose well-made pieces that are built to last, will withstand daily use, and look better as a result. Patina is everything. Besides, it’s much better for the environment. (Landfills are pretty full these days.)
Incorporate different prints and colors in small pillows and throw blankets for a subtle hint of color.
One of the first to embrace minimalism is Mies van der Rohe. In fact, the term “less is more” came from the German architect and educator, who used glass, steel and wide-open spaces to create his unembellished modern visions. His use of crisp lines and well-placed rectangle shapes created a sense of order.
This post was originally published on March 15, 2015, and has since been updated.
For a sleek tabletop, decorate with clear glass vases and white candle fixtures.
Minimalism not only looks great, it also has several benefits. First, an uncluttered, clean space is known to increase our happiness and health. Not being able to find something easily is a surefire way to dampen any mood and increase stress.
PinterestPhoto: Alyssa Rosenheck; DESIGN: Jennifer Robin Interiors for Rue Magazine
Minimalism doesn’t just refer to black, white and gray—soft shades of brown add a little variety to any monochromatic room.
Who couldn’t use a little decluttering? Living in a clean and clear space isn’t just minimalist, it’s healthy. If you have accessories or other objects lying around that are just gathering dust, consider donating them.
Never underestimate the styling power of a single patterned throw pillow.
Naturally, we’re big fans of a white room, but not all bleached-out paints are created equal. Just ask interior design and author Will Taylor. “Yellow undertones give a white paint a warmer and creamier appearance, while blue undertones give a crisper look,” he tells MyDomaine. “A space with lots of natural light is likely to look warmer, so you can use a cooler shade of white to balance the room. Rooms that are artificially lit with LED or fluorescent lighting can look cool, so go warmer,” says Taylor.
Tiny plants and cacti lend a pop of color to any minimalist room.
Try layering the same color in different textured pieces; for example, put gray wool pillows on a gray sofa. Or, if you already have a neutral room, add a pop of color for an artistic focal point.
An old-fashioned lightbulb lends a vintage vibe to any room.
If you want to introduce some color, be sure to choose solid pigments that are easy on the eyes and fuse well with the neutrals, such as earth-tone browns, blues, tans, and greens.
Next, having something streamlined and designated for one purpose — without all the bells and whistles and multi-functional purposes we have grown accustomed to — creates a neat, fluid and relaxing environment.
Utilizing towel bars as shoe racks makes for a simple yet chic way to show off your best footwear. When styled with streamlined shelves, it adds the perfect amount of minimalism to your closet.
The challenge of working within the pared-back aesthetic is how little you actually have to work with. This makes the decision process even trickier than usual. You really have to consider each piece carefully before it enters the room, but this also means the end result is more thoughtful and considered. Your goal is to create a space that anyone would want to spend time in.
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We asked Stockholm-based freelance art director and photographer Sara Medina for her tips on getting minimalistic texture right. “If you mix too many textures, materials, and surfaces of all different colors, the result will surely be headache-inducing,” she told MyDomaine. “If you have a white base, then opt for similar beige, dove-gray, and tan tones or any colors you would see together in nature. Generally, the colors that blend well are the ones Mother Nature intended,” says Medina.
A minimalistic room with neutral tones can tend to feel cold or bland, but there’s one foolproof trick that remedies this every time: texture. Turn up the temperature with knitted throws, beaded pillows, sheepskin rugs, and velvet décor for that much-needed comfort factor. While restraint is usually advised, feel free to go wild with these sensory touch points (so long as they’re in the same tonal family).
Display fragrance bottles and candles on an all-white tray for a pretty way to elevate any tabletop.
When creating a classic minimalistic interior, it’s all about the base color. Subdued hues rule here—from biscuit to greige and every ecru-inspired tone in between. Why? It’s clean, fresh-looking, and inspires a sense of calm. But just because classic minimalism tends to be color-averse, it doesn’t have to be bland or boring. In fact, minimalism at its finest is quite the opposite.
This season, BAZAAR is breaking down the biggest interior design trends spotted on Pinterest one by one. This week, 20 rooms that embrace minimalism, proving sometimes less is more.
Delving into the theory of “less is more,” we need to rethink minimalism as not just a plain white box or cool ultramodern space, but as a concept that simultaneously showcases exceptional functional design while artistically creating a simplified way to live.
Similarly, keeping color combinations to a minimum further enhances the serene and balanced environment. This doesn’t necessarily translate to keeping everything black and white. Pops of color, monochromatic hues of any color, and layers of textures such as wood and wool work well in any minimalist space.
Bring a little bit of glamour to a minimally-decorated room by draping fur throw blankets over a chair.
Designers from all fields started embracing simple, clean design. Cars, electronics and architecture became more streamlined, a trend that continues in almost everything we appreciate today. You can thank minimalism for your sleek, compact and uber-functional iPhone.
Another obvious benefit: Streamlined furniture gives you more space, even in the smallest rooms. Plus, a calm palette or limited color choice makes a room feel serene and less chaotic. Finally, less of everything means more money in your pocket.
Stark, cold and boring? Simple, sleek and sexy? Regardless of how you view minimalist interior design, there’s more to this widely embraced concept than most of us think.
It’s astonishing how much one person can acquire in a short span of time. The empty kitchen drawers, bedroom closet, and bathroom cupboards from when you first moved in are suddenly full of nonessentials and unused products that are now collecting dust. Even when you can’t see it, this “stuff” is cluttering your headspace and taking up valuable room in your home. It’s time to clear out that junk drawer.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a freshly spruced space. While science suggests messy people are smarter, studies have shown that women who live in cluttered environments are likely to have high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. (Sound familiar?) For those of us who lead busy lifestyles, keeping our homes clean requires daily diligence, but we have a better idea: Become a minimalist.
When it comes to designing a minimalistic space, remember to just take it one step at a time. Then sit back and truly enjoy the peaceful, calming, clutter-free space you’ve created. It feels good, doesn’t it?
Photography-inspired light fixtures add an artsy feel to a living room.
Look around: What do you see? If it’s anything like our surroundings, there are piles of paper (mostly bills and junk mail), car keys, shoes around the front door, empty cups, sunglasses, and random objects that somehow made their way from our bag to the kitchen counter. And that’s just the beginning. The dining table is another surface that tends to be a clutter magnet.
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A blank, clean workspace is brightened up with tiny colorful sketches and notes hung on the wall (for a boost of creativity utilize clipboards from your schooldays).
Put a spin on the classic minimalist room by opting for a black wall instead of white.
A simple, streamlined lamp makes for chic bedside table decor.
Do you need every piece of furniture in each room? If there is a lonely ottoman just waiting in the corner for a non-existent guest to sit on it, remove it.
Minimalist design started in the 20th century as a reaction to traditional and overly wrought classical details. In a nutshell, it’s design that’s stripped down to its essential purpose and identity by eliminating everything unnecessary. This pared-down aesthetic exemplifies simplicity at its best.
Fifty shades of gray also works well when decorating a bedroom.
Accordingly, creating functional design elements in the most compact way is key in minimalist design. Take a simple rectangular floating wall. In many cases, it divides a space and doubles as a closet or concealed storage piece. But it also stands on its own as a piece of art and a focal point.
Look around the room. Including accessories, artwork, rugs, window treatments and even furniture, how many colors are there? Simplify your color scheme by eliminating extraneous colors and keeping it to two or three colors.
To prevent this dilemma from happening at all, we recommend putting Colleen Madsen’s “one in, one out” rule into practice. It goes a little something like this: For every item that comes into your home, something else should go out in turn. The 365 Less Things editor swears by this simple philosophy. “The one-in item does not need to match the one-out item, although to make a difference it would need to be of a least equal size or—better still—bigger,” she says. “It generally works out that they are similar items because it is usually that you are replacing one item with another,” says Madsen.