Ah, minimalism. It’s been an enduring way of life since the early 20th century and doesn’t look set to fade into the history books anytime soon. With most of us leading increasingly busy lives, it can be an understandably refreshing feeling to walk into a clear space – and fans of minimalism will undoubtedly vouch for the clear space, clear mind motto heard in offices across the country.
In the second part of our Timeless Interior Styles series, we’re putting minimalist interior design under the microscope – examining where this style emerged from and how you can bring it into your home.
The rise of minimalism
Like many of the most common interior styles, the roots of minimalism are embedded firmly in the ebbs and flows of the wider world. Art, architecture, product design and music were all caught under the wave of minimalism at some point in the last century, and this influence from other movements slowly seeped its way into the home.
While there’s debate in the design community about exactly when minimalist interiors came into the fold, this aesthetic has proved more and more popular as time has gone on – and today, is one of the staple styles used by professional designers. From iconic products such as the Apple iPhone to revered artists such as Donald Judd and Yayoi Kusama, this sophisticated style has crossed boundaries and continents to become one of the most fashionable design methods in the world.
Steps to achieving a minimalist interior:
While achieving a pared-back interior might seem like a simple feat, it’s actually one of the hardest. Minimalist interiors require homeowners to find the sweet spot between too much and too little, which means using the existing aspects of your home as effectively as possible. In a similar vein to Scandi interiors (part 3 of this series, anyone?), it also means placing practicality at the forefront of your design choices.
Here are the steps needed to achieve this look:
Be strategic with your colour palette
There’s a common misconception that minimalism requires a monochrome palette. While colour does play a crucial role in achieving minimalist nirvana, you don’t have to restrict your choices to black, white and grey. Instead, build your design up from a blank canvas by using a white, cream or black base coat before using strategic strokes of colour to add interest. Wall art, patterned textiles, indoor plants, glass, pottery and natural materials can work well here to breathe life into what could otherwise be an uninteresting space.
Use your base colour as an anchor across core features of your home, such as the cabinetry, worktops, floors, walls and doors, while your furnishings can inject pops of colour. If you’d rather your space didn’t look too stark, wooden floors look wonderful with white walls and don’t detract from the minimalist look you’re trying to achieve. You might also use a similar type of wood for your cabinets to create uniformity, while painting your walls white for a light and airy contrast.
Less is more when it comes to minimalism, which means clearing the majority of your surface space is essential for success – from the walls and floors to shelves and worktops. Keeping clutter from invading the space is more difficult than it sounds, as we’re all guilty of laying our possessions out across our home. Be strict when prioritising what should stay and what should go; if it can be stored out of sight, then make sure it is. The real art to this is what you leave behind, as it’s those aspects of a minimalist interior that can make or break its appeal.
Consider shape and material
Diving headfirst into minimalism can risk you designing an interior devoid of character. For this reason, natural shapes and materials often form an essential part of an interior in this style, breaking away from a mundane appearance and breathing life into the home.
Statement plants, used sparingly, are ideal for this, adding a tinge of organic green and positivity to a space. A well-placed palm in the corner, a tropical fiddle-leaf fig plant or cascading vines of ivy running down from a shelf, for example, can quickly take your interior from bland to balanced in no time to all.
In the kitchen, stone is our obvious recommendation as a natural material. The gorgeous, naturally occurring veins and speckles that run through a granite worktop are perfect for bringing minimalist sophistication into your interior design – and we can produce yours in a range of ideal colours for this style, including black or white.
Be bold with furniture
With unnecessary clutter tucked neatly away, it’s your furniture that takes centre stage in your interior. We suggest being bolder than you usually would, using a bright colour and textures to make an impact on the space. Alternatively, use a muted piece of furniture and add colourful throws and cushions – and by doing it this way, you’ll also have the ability to refresh your interior’s look in a matter of minutes by switching out the furnishings.
There you have it: your compact guide to minimalist interior design.
Here are the key takeaways:
Be pared-back but not boring
Use textures and shape to add interest
Embrace natural materials
Keep an eye out for part 3 in our Timeless Interior Styles series! Do you have a favourite interior style you’d like us to examine? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.