The Ultimate Guide To Minimalist Decor

Minimalist decor is simply calming and serene. According to SpyreStudios, the design trend started during the 20th century when Ludwig Mies van der Rohe stated, "Less is more." The idea behind minimalism is decluttering and removing everything non-essential from a space. Everything from web design to tangible living spaces draws influence from the concept of minimalism.

When it comes to minimalist decor for your home, you must tread carefully. Minimalism is essentially about classics that will never go out of fashion (via Home Decor Bliss). Monochromatic color palettes, clean lines, and geometric shapes are essential components of any minimalist decor. If you despise clutter and crowded spaces, decorate with minimalist style in your home. The great thing about minimalist decor is that it helps spaces feel more open, airy, and bright. Wondering where to start? Here are 14 easy tips to achieving the perfect minimalist decor for your dream home.

Declutter with the KonMari method

To become a true minimalist, remove all clutter that doesn't serve a purpose from your home. Get rid of everything that obstructs the minimalist flow, including items without clean lines, muted colors, or simple geometric patterns.

If you need guidance on removing items from your home, turn to the KonMari method. According to Good Housekeeping, the KonMari approach comes from professional organizer Marie Kondo. You might recognize her from the hit Netflix show "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo." The method suggests decluttering by category in the following order: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items. You should follow this order because it moves from the easiest to the hardest. Keep in mind that while decluttering, you must go item-by-item to find out what sparks joy and what doesn't. Think about the life you want to live and how specific items can help you achieve your goals. The pieces that spark joy are the ones that stay.

Repurpose furniture you already have

After a successful purge, you should notice how empty your house looks. The good news is that every remaining item should spark joy. Now is the time to start thinking about buying new things that align with the minimalist lifestyle you seek.

Before heading to the store, think about existing furniture you already have. Can it be repurposed? Shuffle through everything, especially the items you have already purged, to find things that you can reuse in an aesthetically pleasing way. Yes, you might need to unlock the creative human hiding inside. However, it will all be worth the effort in the end. For instance, instead of discarding an old dresser, reuse it as a desk in your minimalist bedroom. According to MyDomaine, empty shoe boxes are a great way to organize your closet. If you have a wooden tray, repurpose it and create a hanging shelf.

Go shopping with a purpose

After recycling and reusing a few things, it's time to go shopping. Just remember to stick to minimalist principles and don't go overboard. Impulse buys will turn your home into a chaotic place once again. Your goal should be to buy things with purpose, either functional, emotional, or aesthetic. According to Boulevard Home, trendy designs are not necessarily what you need for your home, especially if they don't serve a purpose. Ultimately, functionality and minimalism go hand-in-hand. Every purchase you make should be functional and aesthetically pleasing.

When it comes to purpose-driven purchases, you can always look for multi-purpose furniture with minimal designs, such as living room benches or nesting tables. These provide more surface area and room for sitting. When not in use, tuck them away to create more space. Rugs are also a good idea since they make living spaces feel more comfortable and welcoming.

Opt for timeless pieces

According to Zen Habits, a minimalist lifestyle is about stripping away clutter and leaving only the essentials behind. Ideally, your bedroom should only contain a simple bed, nightstand, and bookshelf with minimal decorations on the walls and surfaces. Although you can't get rid of every item in your home, you can keep timeless classics capable of withstanding the test of time. Remember, trendy pieces go out of fashion sooner or later, and that is when you will yearn for a replacement.

If you invest in high-quality pieces, they should last for years and be worth the initial high cost in the long run. If you are unsure what constitutes a timeless classic, look for furniture and decor with clean lines, geometric shapes, muted colors, and solid construction. Low-seated sofas, coffee tables with exposed legs, and elegant floor lamps are classics that never go out of style.

Play with color

When it comes to minimalist color palettes, opinions will differ. However, almost everyone will agree on a monochromatic color palette. According to Home Decor Bliss, grays, whites, and beiges are often the most popular colors. You can also create contrast by sprinkling warm pastels into the living space (via Spacejoy). Color selection is tricky. While only using neutral tones can make the space feel bland and cold, throwing in too many colors is also not wise. The trick is to combine colors that you would typically find together in nature. Choose colors that belong to the same tonal family and appeal to your senses.

You can also get creative and play with undertones. For instance, if white is your base color, a blue undertone can offer a crisper look, while a yellow undertone can create a creamier and warmer appearance. You can always go a little bolder with a dash of vibrant color as long as you don't overdo the bright colors. Typically, creative paint colors are for decorative elements and should not overshadow primary colors. The aim should be to keep things minimalist while following your preferences.

Seamlessly blend function with form

Elements of minimalist decor have two focus points — functionality and aesthetic value. According to Elle Decor, the intent is to ensure that everything in your space has functional value and that pieces complement each other visually in regards to color, form, and lines. When selecting accessories and furniture, focus on two essential things. First, look for clean lines. Second, find a way to keep spaces feeling calm and serene. The pieces you are placing in a room should tell a story and speak to each other. In simpler terms, everything should harmoniously blend in. For example, you should have a functional table and chairs in your dining room that relate to each other.

When selecting your minimalist-inspired furniture, look for flat surfaces that are well-built and comfortable. Flat surfaces are a timeless feature in minimalist design since they have practical benefits and never go out of style. In combination with clean lines, flat surfaces embody the simplicity of shape and do not form a visual barrier with overly complex designs.

Be consistent with textiles

Your choice of fabric will play a vital role. The textiles and fabric you select should add warmth and visual interest. Stick to a subtle minimalist color palette with a splash of graphic pattern to catch the eye without going overboard. For instance, Decor Aid suggests semi-sheer, floor-to-ceiling curtains to accentuate the overall decor with fluid lines. Remember that materials and textures can diffuse the light entering the window to create a warmer and more welcoming atmosphere. Textured textiles, carpets, and rugs with crisp colors can add subtle drama to an otherwise sparse room while still embodying the minimalist decor philosophy (via Tarkett).

However, adding too many textures, colors, and materials can take away from a minimalist style. The choice of fabric texture and color should depend on the base color of the room. For instance, if you are settling for white as the base, going for a tan, dove-gray, or beige fabric will create a natural blend that is aesthetically pleasing.

Make the most of natural light

According to The NoBroker Times, the best and easiest way to achieve a minimalist style is to bring as much natural light into your home as possible. Letting in natural light will make the space feel cozier and warmer while removing the need for excessive decorative accessories. For example, a yellow undertone for a white base can effortlessly warm up the room, especially the walls. A beautiful drama unfolds with the interplay of light and shadow, which can turn your otherwise dull and clinical-looking room into a natural theater.

If natural light is scarce or the room is small, place mirrors strategically to bounce light around the space and make it feel big and open (via Extra Space Storage). The reflective surfaces will enhance natural light and brighten up your room instantly. If you need to depend on artificial lighting such as fluorescent and LED lights, choose a warmer shade for the base color.

Get creative with lighting

Even if you have ample natural light, you cannot downplay the importance of lighting fixtures since they can make or break a space. For instance, opting for a large Victorian Era chandelier in a home with minimalist decor will only make it look out of time and place. In simple words, they are a minimalist's nightmare. Every light fixture you select should adhere to a contemporary minimalist style. According to Elle Decor, your lighting should feature modern technology, a sleek design, and neutral colors. 

As minimalism is all about sharp, clean lines and pared-down designs, pendant lights and floor lamps will play well in the design scheme (via Home Decor Bliss). Of course, the material used for lighting fixtures is also important. It is essential to settle for materials with high reflective and diffusive properties. If you are concerned about the sharp lines created by a minimalist decor setup, you can use cylindrical lamps with a soft and diffused glow to warm up the space. The good news is that modern lighting fixtures offer an endless variety of options. Opt for pieces that not only complement the rest of your setup, but also spark joy.

Use negative space thoughtfully

Selecting the right wall color is crucial when it comes to minimalist decor. While white is often a go-to color, earth tones like tan, beige, and blush are excellent choices. However, a minimalist style can create empty or negative spaces on the walls. Some prefer it that way and use the natural light for drama, while others opt for the more positive use of the negative space. For instance, an unadorned wall with a dark and cavernous fireplace adds more drama than wall art.

However, wall art still deserves a place on your walls. According to The NoBroker Times, an oversized piece of art placed on a wall will nicely balance out feminine and masculine energies in a home. It is all about being creative while upholding the "less is more" ideology. Anything that makes you happy is a welcome addition to the negative space on the wall. It can be a family portrait, an artwork created by your child, something that you are emotionally attached to, or just something aesthetically pleasing.

Consider a floor makeover

Flooring is an important element when considering minimalist decor because it is everywhere you look. If you are diving into a minimalist lifestyle, consider a floor makeover. An open floor plan belongs in a minimalist design because it allows the seamless blending of rooms and maximizes natural light.

If your house doesn't adhere to an open floor plan, you can still opt for a coherent minimalist design. According to AllDayChic, floor material and color plays a vital role. While some people settle for the rawness and minimalism of polished concrete flooring, others opt for sleek wooden floors. If neither of these appeals to you, opt for minimalist marble. Tile is also a good, budget-friendly option. No matter what you select, focus on the color. The material and the color you choose should blend well with the rest of the space while also acting as a light-reflecting agent. White tile, pale hardwood, or even vinyl tiles with light color are great choices to enhance natural light (via Twenty & Oak).

Don't forget multifunctional furniture

Be extremely picky when curating the furniture for your minimalist home. Since minimalism is all about clutter-free spaces, the furniture you select should help you achieve that goal. According to Extra Space Storage, it's best to choose furniture with exposed legs that improve the flow and create the illusion of more open space. Multi-purpose furniture prevents clutter in the home and serves you when you need it for something else. For example, invest in pieces that can be used as nightstands and side tables or for additional seating around a dining table.

If space is a vital problem, consider furniture like Murphy beds or hideaway desks that can be stored when not in use. Another trick is to invest in storage that doubles as decoration. Storage hutches are a great choice because they let you keep chaotic messes behind closed doors. As always, focus on the colors. They should blend in or create a subtle contrast with the rest of the space.

Add water elements and greenery

Think of an oasis in a desert. Does that pique your interest? A touch of greenery and water can infuse life into any minimalist room. However, not every green element you see should enter your home. Inspect the structure and form of the room and decide on your greenery accordingly. Potted ferns on the window or a centrally placed planter are typically both great additions. According to Bonsai Resource Center, citrus bonsais add unique drama to any space. These trees feature a soothing fragrance, colorful evergreen leaves, and edible oranges.

Add a little more drama with a free-standing indoor fountain. These fountains come in a wide variety of materials, shapes, sizes, and colors, but it is always a good idea to settle for one that contrasts and complements the specific colors of the room. If you are not sure what shape or size to select, you can browse through the massive collection on Wayfair.

Accessorize sparingly

By now, you already know what to do. The minimalist style is all about trimming it down to the essentials. When you are handpicking your accessories, do not re-clutter your house. As reported by MyDomaine, every accessory should have a purpose. Ask yourself a few questions before decorating. How many sofas do you need? How many photo frames do you need on your walls? Do you need a clock in every room? How many chairs, shelves, and coffee tables do you need? One sofa or settee should be enough. One coffee table with brightly colored legs may add all the necessary functions you need. One dramatic art piece adorning a wall may suffice.

Typically monochromatic art, simple lamps, and rugs are perfect accessories for a minimalist style home (via Boulevard Home). Play with colors and textures while sticking to the bare essentials. Avoid unnecessary embellishments because they add clutter and break the harmony between practicality and functionality. Remember, serenity and calm are the final targets, not chaos.