07 Sep 2015

If you thrive in uncluttered spaces and get a real thrill from looking around your home after a big spring clean, you’re most likely a fan of minimalist interior design. Minimalist design focuses on the spaces around furniture and decorative items as much as on the items themselves, and places importance on functionality as well as beauty and luxury.

A clutter free home that incorporates at least some of the elements of minimalist design are often calming spaces that are by no means devoid of character, rather having an air of understated elegance that some may even say is liberating.

If you thrive in uncluttered spaces and get a real thrill from looking around your home after a big spring clean, you’re most likely a fan of minimalist interior design. Minimalist design focuses on the spaces around furniture and decorative items as much as on the items themselves, and places importance on functionality as well as beauty and luxury.

A clutter free home that incorporates at least some of the elements of minimalist design are often calming spaces that are by no means devoid of character, rather having an air of understated elegance that some may even say is liberating.

A history of minimalism

Minimalism began to emerge in the 20th century. At its core, minimalist interior design adopts the ‘less is more’ principle, taking influence from Japanese interior design where functionality and necessity reign supreme. Minimalist design was influenced not only by traditional Japanese design, but also by architects such as Van Der Roche and the De Stijl art movement.

The most basic principle of minimalism is about doing more with less and carefully selecting items that work well and complement one another without the need for excessive decorative elements.

A cluttered, untidy home can actually be bad for your mental health. Studies have shown that a person returning to a messy and unclean home on a regular basis can experience depression and anxiety. Your environment really does have a big impact on your mood and emotional and psychological wellbeing, so adopting the principles of minimalist interior design can actually boost your mood and overall health.

So what are the characteristics of minimalist design that you can integrate into your home?

1. Keep it simple

When it comes to minimalist interior design, it’s all about keeping things simple and practical. This doesn’t mean that beauty is left out of the equation, but rather it’s combined with a sense that everything in your home should have a purpose and be as functional as it is aesthetically appealing.

2. Form and function in every piece

Every item in a minimalist home has a specific purpose. While decorative elements are still a part of minimalist design, the main focus is on having practical items in your home that have their place in your living, dining, bedroom, or kitchen for a particular reason.

3. A calming colour palette

Minimalist interiors have a simple colour palette of usually no more than two colours. White and black are common colours to use in minimalist inspired home. Soft pastels are also common, but never more than two are used to maintain the consistent look throughout the home. It’s all about soft colours that make the home appear light, airy, and open.

4. Simple flooring

Minimalist interiors steer clear of patterned carpets and colourful tiles, opting for plain, neutral shades of carpet, floorboards, or polished concrete. Concrete flooring is relatively new, but something we are seeing more of as minimalist interiors often lean towards the industrial look.

5. Clever storage solutions

There is a misconception that minimalist homes and apartments are larger spaces, as small areas don’t lend themselves to this style of interior. In fact, smaller spaces are ideal for this type of interior design because minimalist interior design works to open up spaces, making them appear larger. The key to being able to achieve this in smaller homes and living areas is having clever storage solutions. Storage ottomans, for example, are a great choice for minimal interiors as you can have a foot rest that also doubles as storage for the kid’s toys, blankets, or magazines and books.

So now you know the different elements of a minimalist interior, but why should you choose to adopt this style to your home?

1. Easier to clean

When there’s less clutter and pieces of furniture and other objects around your home, it’s much easier to clean, and maintain as well.

2. Relaxing environment

Minimalist design creates a less stressful environment with the eradication of visual clutter, so therefore it’s a more peaceful and relaxing environment to be in.

3. A timeless choice

Minimalist interiors focus on investing in furniture pieces and colour choices that are timeless, so you won’t find yourself wanting or needing to constantly update every room in your home.

4. Strip it back

Look around your home at all of the furniture and items you own. Minimalist design is about stripping back to the essential items you need and use on a regular basis. Rid your home of unnecessary objects that don’t serve a purpose. Let’s face it, you don’t need a floor rug in every single area of your home or a flurry of cushions on each lounge. Carefully cull what you deem as unnecessary.

5. Clear your surfaces

We tend to clutter our shelves, television units, coffee tables, and kitchen benchtops with loads of stuff. If something is simply sitting in your home and collecting dust, put it away in storage or get rid of it completely. Allow yourself only a few items maximum per surface, depending on its size of course.

6. Celebrate free wall space

Consider stripping back your wall art to a minimum. Allow your walls to have negative space so that when your eyes do meet with a photograph or painting, it becomes a real focal point rather than being lost in a crowd of imagery.

7. Let there be light

Minimalist interiors maximise lighting. Ensure that nothing inhibits natural light from entering the various rooms of your home, and when it comes to internal lighting solutions, make sure that they emit a warm, gentle glow rather than a harsh, bright, or stark light.

8. Everything in its right place

Good minimalist design ensures every item has its rightful place and fits perfectly together. Chairs, for example, should be able to sit completely under tables and stools should sit underneath breakfast bars. Space between larger items in each room should allow for each passage when you’re walking around, giving the rooms a flow of energy that should resonate throughout your entire home.

9. Recruit some assistance

If you’re finding it difficult to get rid of things in your home, recruit the help of a friend or relative who is a little more ruthless. Not sure if you need help or not? If you’ve collected enough souvenirs from holidays that you could open up your own gift shop and don’t know how to cut down on clutter, then it’s time to phone a friend.

Your home is your sanctuary and should be a place where you can come after a day at work and relax and unwind in a peaceful, calming space. By incorporating some or all of the characteristics of minimalist interior design you’ll find that your home will be transformed into a lighter, brighter space that’s as stylish as it is comforting.