Minimalism is one of the hottest trends in recent years across all areas of design. But embracing minimalism is more about a philosophy of life than a design style. It’s a lifestyle choice; a decision to abandon clutter in favor of space.
When it comes to interior design, there’s a lot of overlap between minimalist and contemporary design. The difference is in how you approach your decisions around the decoration, design, and contents of your home.
A minimalist home should provide you with everything you need, without weighing you down with unnecessary ‘stuff’. It’s about making a conscious choice to keep a certain item. Choosing things that are both beautiful and useful. Things that make you happy.
In this post, we discuss some of the benefits of a minimalist home and five ways in which you can transform a new or existing home into your version of a minimalist paradise.
Benefits of a minimalist home
Aside from the design element, having a minimalist home can improve your life in other ways:
- If (like us) you’re not a fan of either dusty rooms or housekeeping, a minimalist home may be for you. The less stuff you have, the easier it is to keep everything clean.
- Clutter and mess create visual stress. Our vision is bombarded by all the ‘stuff’ lying around our house (particularly if it isn’t supposed to be there). Minimalist homes are simple and provide few visual distractions, creating a calmer environment in which to live.
- In a minimalist home, everything has a place. Which means no more time wasted looking for lost keys, odd socks or your last utility bill.
- If you need less stuff, then you’ll buy less stuff. This means you’ll have more money in the bank to spend on travel, vacations or other experiences.
Sold on the benefits? Here’s how to approach minimalism in your home:
1. Less is more: Love it, or let it go
The first step towards minimalism is decluttering. Having a clear-out. Downsizing. Whatever you call it, it boils down to one thing: getting rid of things you don’t need or want.
Many people never get past this first step, because let’s face it, it’s hard. Hard to find the time to go through every single drawer, cupboard, and room in your house. Hard to persuade yourself to throw out things that may, one day come in useful. Hard to decide whether you’re keeping things hidden away in a box for sentimental reasons.
But I’ll let you in on a secret. If you keep something hidden away in a box, it probably means you don’t really need it or love it. And that ‘one day’ we talk about? Well ninety-nine percent of the time, that day will never come.
The easiest way to tackle decluttering is one step at a time. You could tackle a room each month, or go through your whole house in thirty days. The key is to be objective. If an item isn’t essential (from a practical perspective) or you don’t really love it, it should be consigned to the ‘outbox’.
2. Go for simple decoration
Minimalist interiors focus on space and simplicity. Note that ‘simple’ doesn’t equate to ‘boring’. Minimalism isn’t all about white walls and monochrome color palettes. It’s more about paring down the design elements in a room and giving a feeling of space.
Most minimalist styles stick to neutral or subtle shades of color, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. You may decide that the only decoration in your room IS color, in which case a bright wall may work well as a design feature. Or keep a plain white environment and add splashes of color through furniture, as in this Canadian townhouse.
Alternatively, keep the colors neutral and use texture as decoration. A woven rug or patterned throw may be all the decoration you need in a room. And don’t forget that lighting can be decorative in itself. How and where you position lights in a room will affect how it looks and feels.
3. Make sure everything has its place
Once you’ve decluttered your home, you should have plenty of space to store the items you have left. Learn to love empty spaces and clean surfaces. Identify what usually creates clutter in your home and work out a way of storing or dealing with these items.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a few items out for decorative purpose, or things you use every day, such as a coffee machine. In fact, many utilitarian items are beautiful in their own right – why not use them as a design feature in your home?
4. Choose quality over quantity
Once you’ve creating your minimalist paradise you need to preserve it. You don’t want to have put all that effort into decluttering, only to fill up your home with junk in a few months.
If you’re a shopaholic, this means changing your spending habits. Rather than buying five cheap pairs of shoes, why not invest in one higher-quality pair that will last you five times as long? Adopt slow fashion principles and buy clothes you really love and are designed to last.
5. Creating a minimalist new home
Moving into a new home is an ideal time to declutter and start afresh. Half the work is done for you, as you have to pack up all your possessions to move.
Before you pack up and move in, spend some time in your empty home. Enjoy the feeling of space and think about how you can preserve that feeling. Decide what pieces of furniture you need to fulfill the function of a room and bring in only those pieces which have a use.
When you move in, rather than unpacking everything all at once, just unpack the essentials and leave everything else in boxes. Over time, you’ll figure out what items you really need and what you can do without. Anything that’s still in a box after a couple of months can probably be sold or given away.
Want more inspiration?
If you’re looking for more design inspiration, have a look at these beautiful, minimalist homes:
- 30 Best Minimalist Home Designs Presented on Freshome
- 40 Serenely Minimalist Bedrooms to Help You Embrace Simple Comforts
- 50 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Stunning Modern Home
- The Most Minimalist House Ever Designed
- 10 of the Most Pristine Minimalist Kitchens