Your Guide to Minimalist Interior Design

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 01 August 2018 07:31
Your Guide to Minimalist Interior Design Nordic Design

Minimalism is quickly becoming the new lifestyle trend. Simpler living, after all, can have a profound  psychological impact. The less we are burdened by “stuff,” both emotionally and physically, the more we feel enabled to live healthy, mindful lives.

The good news about this trend is that it is profoundly aesthetic, too. Clothing and interior design stores alike are opting for minimalist design, knowing their customers’ preferences for sleek, uninhibited design.

It can be hard to turn away from this vogue aesthetic, particularly if you are outfitting a new home or craving an upgrade to your current pad. Yet it is so easy to get lost in those Ikea catalogues without truly comprehending what goes into a flawless minimalist design.

Here are a few suggestions for achieving a minimalist interior design that suits any passion for simpler, more streamlined living.

Begin With a Blank Canvas

I’m not saying that you should turn your current house or apartment into a 3D painter’s studio, but the metaphor is apt. Minimalist design requires a blank slate. It’s harder to transition into pure minimalism from a busy, more cluttered design.

If you are just putting up your home’s walls, excellent. If you’re seeking an aesthetic remodel, now may be the time to purge. Go through your current home and release what no longer serves you.

Make a pile for thrift store donations. Clear out that storage rack. Go through your closet (finally!) and toss those unworn garments in a basket for consignment or re-gifting.

If this process seems too overwhelming, or simply not feasible, begin with one specific room of your home. Move all of the furniture out until it’s just you and the bare walls—I’m serious! This is where minimalism begins.

Minimalism Does Not Necessarily Mean “Nothing”

It’s far too easy to assume that a minimalist design emphasizes empty space or “lack” of objects. Yet the minimalist aesthetic, while slim, does not necessarily mean absence. It’s possible to have a room filled with objects and colors that nonetheless achieves pure minimalism.

Minimalist design is actually about essentialism. It incorporates everything that is absolutely necessary. It is elegant, frequently “light” (visually and physically), and expansive. The best aesthetics will come across as very deliberate; that is, every component of the design will be well-chosen.

For example, many people might assume that an extendable dining room table is, by virtue of it’s being “large,” not suited for minimalist design. Yet I’ve seen plenty of lovely minimalist interiors that make use of large furniture pieces and décor.

Keep this in mind as you go about arranging furniture and choosing art pieces for your new minimalist home.

Find Meaning in Everything

Minimalist design is all about intention. Be sure that everything present in a room has a reason for being there.

This doesn’t mean that you should banish all art from certain areas in your home. Art definitely has a purpose when it comes to design—in fact, in many cases it can be the essence of the minimalist aesthetic!

Yet purposeful furniture, art, and appliances will ensure that your rooms don’t drown in clutter or unnecessary objects. This notion of intention is also in line with general feng-shui principles, which value the placement and selection of pieces in the rooms of a home.

Keep it Clean and Open

Minimalist design places a premium on cleanliness and airy, roomy space. This may mean doing all that you can to invite more light into rooms, such as by choosing gauzy rather than opaque curtains and blinds.

It may also mean taking doors off of their hinges to promote the flow of energy between rooms. Keep passageways clear of clutter and opt for furniture that is easy to clean, such as smooth-top dressers, bookshelves, and TV stands.

When I implemented a minimalist aesthetic in my new home, I found myself constantly leaning towards open-concept space. This meant abandoning drawers, cupboards, and other “closed-off” pieces. I installed floating shelves instead and chose a drawerless desk for my writing corner.

Clean and open space also depends on a lot of unobstructed light. You may find yourself trading heavier, denser bulbs for softer, efficient LEDs, for example, or making use of high-quality floor lamps.

Opt for Angles

Minimalist interior design often makes use of angles, such as in the form of an aluminum dining table or a wall mural consisting of linear components. You don’t have to go for the angular aesthetic if you don’t want to—certainly many minimalist rooms can give off a softening effect.

Yet there’s something about angles that streamlines and simplifies a space!

If you do go the angle route, try to settle for a specific shape you can mirror in other areas of your home, such as squares and rectangles. Choose sofa cushions with square patterns, for example, or decorate a blank wall with square photo frames.

If angles aren’t your thing, be consistent with whatever shape you choose. Circles can have a lovely minimalist aesthetic in the form of wall mirrors, coffee tables, and rugs.

Stick to a Color Palette

Let’s not leave out color in all of this. The palette you choose can go a long way in creating a minimalist aesthetic.

Once again, many people assume that minimalism excludes bright colors. Yet it is entirely possible to use vivid hues and achieve a minimalist effect, as in this apartment here.

Do be consistent with your color palette and stick to fewer hues in general, however. Minimalist color themes should aim to not visually crowd a space but rather elevate and enhance it.

I like making use of earth tones, such as pewter and gray, and then offsetting these with one vivid, highly saturated color, such as rust or sienna. The orange tones in rust effectively pull out the threads of blue in the earth hues, achieving that pleasing complementary color effect.

Naturally, the extent to which you go visually minimalist in your home will depend on your own color preferences, as well as your sources of inspiration. Browse those Ikea catalogues with abandon and feel free to create a Pinterest board for further ideas.

Good luck going minimalist!

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Kate King

Kate King is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger. 

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