Minimalism has been around for quite some time now and it has become almost a buzzword. In fact, I have seen more eclectic, mid-century modern to contemporary apartments claiming to be minimalist in their design than I have seen real minimalism in the recent years. And from what I heard from my friends, it’s rather similar in other arts. Instead of masterful minimalist music you have attempts at extravagancy with little thought behind it and don’t even get me started on the visual side of things.
Minimalism has always been a kind of stylistic movement that does push the things to the extremes a bit, but still, the art is balance, as often in life.
But, don’t let this discourage you. Minimalism is no rocket science. With just a little thought you can easily turn your messy apartment into a minimalist masterpiece.
Minimalism is all about reducing the things to their basic elements, ditching the excess and doing all that with a healthy dose of sophistication. As such, minimalism is very versatile and it can be laid back just as easily as it can be luxurious and classy.
In this article, I will briefly explore some of the essentials of minimalist interior design when done right.
Clearing the clutter
Ok, this one is to be expected. So, we are talking about unneeded piles of papers, keys and shoes all over the room, empty cups and an army of random items scattered all around your home. So, start there. I recommend making a quick series of decisions – what is completely superfluous and what you really need to keep. Take the former and store it somewhere practical out of sight and just get rid of the latter. If you are too sentimental to just let some stuff go into the trash bin, then attic might serve as a good step between those two.
Neutral background for the statement pieces
Base colour is absolutely essential for a proper minimalist appeal. All calm, simple and subdued shades are equally good choices. While clear white might seem like a good idea, I would personally suggest experimenting with the shades a bit. For example, if you want a bit warmer and cosier appeal, why not mix a bit of yellow into the white foundation? Or for a crisp look, you can go with adding a bit of blue. At this point, you can also start thinking about lighting. LED or fluorescent lighting gives off a very cool ambience, so if you plan on using these, warmer tones would be a better option. However, a room with huge windows that will receive a lot of natural light can be painted in cooler shade as the warm natural light will even it out.
However, if this all still sounds a bit too sterile for you, you can always add some details, and even do a full accent wall in earth shades, blues, greens or tans.
Quality over quantity
The pared-back aesthetic of minimalism presents you with a very unique challenge – at first it may seem like you just have too little to work with. Because of this, choosing any element for your home, be it a piece of furniture or a completely decorative element, can be rather tough in the beginning. You will have to make an effort to pick only those elements which are built to last and that will withstand daily use. Speaking of, here is a quick tip – patina works wonders with minimalism, so be sure to keep in mind that your furniture needs to age gracefully too.
One in – one out approach
If you are curious at minimalism, we probably don’t have to tell you just how much stuff can a single person accumulated during a rather short span of time. But, if you need a reminder, just open any drawer, cupboard or closet and take a good look at all those unused, completely unnecessary things that are collecting dust in your home. We already mentioned that getting rid of this is the first task when you decide to go for minimalism.
But, just getting rid of it once is not really enough – you need to maintain your minimalist home in the shape in which you brought it once you started with the whole redecorating thing. One simple rule that can help you with this is the following – for every new thing you bring into your home, you should get rid of the old one of the same size or ideally bigger.
Play with textures
Another challenge of minimalist rooms is the struggle to prevent them from becoming too cold, bland or sterile. One of the best ways to counter this is the use of textures, especially those with strong tactile element – like knitted throws, pillows, rugs or velvet décor elements. However, always try to stick with the same colour palette so that the diversity will come from the very texture, not the whole mess of colours that you might end creating if you don’t exercise restraint.
Invest in stylish storage
You could easily anticipate this one coming – stylish storage units will do wonders for your home. They will keep all the mess firmly on the inside, while being stylish and elegant on the outside. Stylish storage units are absolutely essential for a minimalist home, especially if you have issues letting go of the smaller things that are the main cause of clatter. By obtaining one nice and simple cupboard for example, you can easily keep all your mess there, without it having a destructive impact on the appeal of your home.