Everyone has their own style, but one of the most overlooked ‘playbooks’ when it comes to the home is the minimalist look.
It’s easy to get it wrong, first and foremost. Too many people think minimalism is all about empty, boring spaces. But the truth is that it’s about boiling down the home to the sheer needs of it and shrugging off the demands of some of the more arbitrarily cluttered styles.
Let’s take a look at what it means to welcome the minimalist appeal into your home.
Minimalism: how to live a clutter free life
Why you want a minimalist home
Let’s start with the core of what all the tips below will be about. Why would you want to go for a contemporary, minimalist look to the home in the first place? For one, there’s an airy, sleek stylishness to it that gets many interested from the first glance. Simply put, it looks modern and cool. But there are lifestyle reasons that feed into it as well. For one, minimalist homes are always a lot easier to clean. The use of sleek, smooth surfaces makes them a lot less hassle than things like carpets and rugs. But they also prioritise light and space more than any other style, two key ingredients to creating a home that you’re actually able to relax in.
Start with a focus
Every room needs a point to start from. Minimalism in the home doesn’t mean that you have to entirely get rid of things you find aesthetically eye-catching. In fact, it makes better use of them than most homes. If you have a piece of wall art or a piece of furniture you adore, then minimalism works best when you use it as a focal point and work out from it. By arranging your furniture so that sight lines always lead to that focal point, it makes a real impact as opposed to getting lost in the overall noise of a room.
Eliminate the bulk
While it’s okay to have one piece of furniture that proves a contrast, in general, you don’t want big bulky silhouettes taking up more space than they should in a room. Instead of fat chairs with big, crowding arms, go for smaller, subtler shapes that don’t spread out to take up any more space than they need to. You can find contemporary furniture that shows you can keep things stylish and comfortable without having to make them garish. All your furniture should have a footprint no bigger than the amount of space they offer. For instance, a coffee table shouldn’t have legs that spread out wider than the usable space that it offers. Every piece of furniture should economically use the space it takes.
It might be a hard choice for some, but getting rid of unnecessarily cluttering items is an important part of minimalism. If you’ve been a bit rug happy in the past, you might have to get used to cleaner, clearer floors. You might have to resist the urge to put throws and cushions over every seat in the house. And that’s not all. Naturally, we’re not always able to live to the minimalist standards that we might set with our rooms. It’s a good idea to fit any rooms with the minimalist style with an area of temporary storage, such as a simple hamper. That way, even when you’re not in the mood or you don’t have the time for a proper clean, you can keep clutter to a minimum with a temporary solution.
Get more floor and wall space
It’s already been mentioned how almost every piece of furniture you choose should be chosen for the quality that it doesn’t take up any more space than it needs to. But a great minimalist room also makes sure that the wells aren’t too cluttered. Arranging furniture closer to the centre allows for more space around the side. But for other fixtures, you should think about elevating them. For instance, you can get a vertical double radiator which means you don’t have a clunky radiator extending along the wall. If you can float things like your bookshelves or storage fixtures, then you should do that, too. The room gets to keep its natural shape as best as possible without roadblocks coming in, distorting it and closing bits of the room off.
Layer the lighting
Light plays an important part of the minimalist look because it is so crucial to creating a relaxing, clean looking space. With the windows, it’s about using treatments that are as un-invasive as possible. In the winter, those big heavy treatments might be a necessity so that the home doesn’t lose all its heat easily. However, for the rest of the year, consider much subtler options like wooden slat blinds. Accent lighting trends allow you to distribute light and layer it throughout the individual rooms a lot more easily, too. Besides some essential task lighting, this is about making sure that your spaced-out furniture doesn’t cast overbearing amounts of shadow thanks to the placement of one central light.
You don’t have to sacrifice colour
Let’s address the idea that minimalism is all about making the room more boring and draining it out from a room. It’s true that neutral, light and airy colours are some of the most relaxing so they work best with a room that has very little clutter. However, you are free to take colour in whatever direction you wish. So, long as you don’t end up crowding it with a lot of colours that stand out against it, too. You need to decide the colour of a room early, either basing it off a colour you want to see or a piece of furniture that serves as a focal point. Stick to that colour and some very light complementary shades. Don’t go too far with it.
Find some contrast
A room without any contrast at all would look plain boring. As we mentioned with the focal point, minimalist rooms actually tend to heighten the impact of a contrast. Having one or two pieces throughout the home that stand out from the unifying style makes them a lot more of a statement. To that end, you shouldn’t feel like you have to always go with the sleek, non-imposing, and neutral side of things. A little mixing-and-matching goes a long way to making your own visible imprint on the minimalist style. For instance, you might like a single antique piece that cuts an imposing silhouette in the hallway.
Keep it minimal
One of the parts of a minimalist home that many find hard to keep to is the fact it needs to stay minimal. It’s not a style you can just keep adding to when you find new pieces you like. So, it’s good to follow a rule when it comes to making changes to the home. Put simply, this is the “one-in, one-out” rule. Every time you add a new piece to the home, you take something equivalent out. If you’re adding a clock to the wall, you take down a piece of art. If you’re adding a new table, you take out another piece of furniture. Fail to stick to this and your chic, contemporary space becomes a cluttered, confused mess.
Minimalism isn’t for everyone, of course. Some people need their layers and layers of comfort, meanwhile others just like any opportunity to show off their individualistic take. If you feel like your home is getting too high maintenance, or that you simply can’t find yourself relaxing, then minimalism might be the way to go.