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A Beginner's Guide to Minimalist Interior Design

by Ingrid Morris 10/14/2021

Many simplify the definition of minimalism as “less rather than more.” This definition holds true when applied to interior decorating and in other lifestyle choices. There are some key elements of minimalist design you can use as a guide when applying it to your own living space. Here we’ll go over some decorating tips to help you adopt minimalism in your home decor.

Clean Surfaces

Removing clutter is the first step to creating a minimalist space. However, this means much more than putting everything away in its place. It also means paring down the number of decorative accessories you have out on display in the home. Aim for all of your horizontal surfaces to be mostly clear rather than covered by other items. This will still allow you to add creative decorative elements while cultivating a sense of openness essential to minimalism.

Monochrome & Neutral Palettes

Subdued neutral colors are top picks for minimalist spaces because they create a fresh foundation for the rest of the design. While some design styles would have you create contrast with a neutral foundation, minimalism encourages monochromatic palettes. Shades of gray, beige, light brown or even some desaturated pastel colors all work well.

Just because you’re using neutral monochromes doesn’t mean it has to be boring, though. Try using different textures in the same shades in order to add visual interest and depth to the space. You can even explore subtle uses of pattern and print while still keeping the minimalist vibe.

Classics Over Trends

Another phrase used in minimalism is “quality over quantity,” but for interior decor it’s also helpful to think about classics versus trends. For example, you may tire of a room with trendy and contemporary items purchased on a whim. Avoid trendy impulse buys and instead invest in high-quality furniture and decor that will keep its style and functionality. While this may result in a higher price tag at time of purchase, you’ll stick to your minimalist design and mindset by getting as much use as possible out of a piece.

Natural Elements

One way to balance the monochromatic and neutral simplicity of a minimalist space is to add natural elements. This can include anything from woven baskets, jute rugs, natural wooden furnishings and potted plants. Bringing pieces of nature into a minimalist style space will keep it grounded and comfortable rather than bland or sterile.

Natural light is another element you can focus on taking your minimalist design to the next level. By maximizing natural light in a space you reduce the amount of artificial lighting needed, thus potentially removing multiple items from the room’s layout. Adding sheer drapes or well-placed mirrors can spread natural light around a space and make it brighter without need for new purchases or adding clutter.

Minimalism is anything but boring. While simple, it’s also a style that requires careful consideration and meaningful choices in decor. Every little piece of the puzzle matters and has a special place in your design. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate minimalism into your own design and decor, these tips will be the best place to start.

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