Minimalism. It’s an interior design style that’s more misunderstood than an eye-rolly teenager. So, if your idea of minimalist interiors is either bare, cold and bland, or that flat you lived in first year uni that boasted nothing but a beanbag and a milk crate as seating options, it’s time to have a bit of a rethink.
Minimalist spaces can be warm, cosy and full of personality.
A modern minimalist interior design is so much more than a solid declutter and paring down of ‘stuff’ – it’s a philosophy and way of life centred on the belief that less is more, the desire to simplify life, and the rejection of consumerism and waste that’s become part and parcel of our modern lives.
Minimalism is an interior design style all on its own, but any interiors style can take inspiration from minimalism to create calming, functional and head-clearing interiors that feel spacious and ordered.
And with the chaos raging around outside our doors at the moment, who’d say no to a bit of calm on the inside?
We spoke to the design team at FURNISHD. about what this take on interiors means to them, and how you can implement a little bit of minimalism at your place.
Image courtesy of @arquitecturag
What is minimalism?
So, what is the minimalist style, exactly?
Regardless of the style of the room, when it comes to interiors, minimalism means stripped back, functional, easy-to-be-in spaces.
There’s nothing extra – nothing superfluous to what’s actually needed, loved and used.
It focuses on quality, functionality and getting back to basics – no unnecessary decoration or fluff, minimal accessories, and a focus on the space, rather than on filling it.
In a minimalist room, there’s no feeling crowded, as floor and wall space is kept as bare as possible, and mindful colour palettes further serve to create a sense of cohesion and spaciousness.
So how do you turn your place into a minimalist escape?
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty with a few principles of minimalist design to guide you.
Image courtesy of @jasmin_kodzha
Minimal doesn’t mean empty
Just because you’re going for a minimal look, your home needn’t feel empty.
Rather, a well-executed minimalist space will be filled with purposeful, mindfully chosen pieces that bring you – you guessed it – joy.
If you love it, keep it, if not, it’s a goner.
"A well-executed minimalist space will be filled with purposeful, mindfully chosen pieces that bring you – you guessed it – joy"
The minimalist’s approach to colour
Minimalism can bring to mind images of all-white or monochrome rooms that feel more like a dentist’s office than a welcoming living area.
But in reality, there’s a lot more flexibility than that.
If you’re going for a true minimalist look, choose a pared-back colour palette of monochromes or neutrals, and stick to it with wall colour, window furnishings, furniture and accessories.
But living the minimalist life doesn’t have to be void of colour.
If colour brings you joy, go for it!
Just don’t make it hectic.
Choose key pieces to bring colour into your home and keep the rest fairly neutral.
Image courtesy of @stale_eriksen
Materials and texture in a minimalist space
While pattern and colour will likely be kept at bay in a minimalist home, curating a mix of complementary materials and textures is where you can cut loose and mix it up a bit.
By integrating a variety of high-quality materials like raw timber, stone, glass, ceramics, natural cloth and metals, you’ll create contrast and interest without having to use a lot of colour.
Raw, natural materials reflect the philosophy of anti-consumerism and create a sense of connection to nature and the basics.
A boucle couch or armchair would be perfect in a minimalist living room, providing texture, comfort and longevity whilst also just looking gorgeous.
Accessorise mindfully and sparingly
To avoid the ‘bland’ minimalist look, use accessories and accent pieces to create elements of surprise and focus.
These might be as simple as a couple of lush indoor plants or a beautifully crafted piece of furniture.
If you want to hang something on the wall, go for one, big, statement piece of art rather than several smaller ones.
Art can be a great way to include colour in a minimalist house interior design and can also provide a beautiful focal point.
Image courtesy of @olmosestudio
Gimme gimme all that space
Minimalism can’t exist without space, so keep surfaces bare, and the floor as clear as possible too.
Don’t be tempted to fill voids just because they’re there, instead cultivate it by only including the furniture you really need, and not blocking the flow of natural light.
Free, easy-breezy space is what ties the minimalist house together, so keep it open, relaxed, and free-flowing.
Lighting a minimalist home
If you want to nail the minimalist look, you can’t forget about the lighting.
Lighting is crucial to making minimalist spaces feel warm and inviting, and will play on all those gorgeous textures you’ve included in your styling.
Choose lighting options that are beautiful or sculptural to add a focal point to the room, and don’t forget about the importance of natural light.
Natural light gives an even greater sense of spaciousness to minimalist spaces, so don’t cover the windows with furniture or use heavy window furnishings.
And speaking of windows, if your place has an amazing view, let it in!
A gorgeous view can be the perfect contrast to a restrained minimalist interior.
Top tips to go minimal at your place
- Ditch the cushions – controversial we know, but a couch or bed without extra cushions is instantly at home in a minimalist interior.
- Less colour, more texture
- Accessorise sparingly, but with impact
- Embrace the space
- Use lighting as décor