Minimalism has become very popular over the past couple of years, but that doesn’t mean the style is universally loved. In fact, the simplicity, monochromatic colour palette and clean designs associated with minimalism have attracted derision from many who consider them sterile, cold and just plain dull. On the other hand, fans of the style see it as a great way to avoid clutter and piles of unnecessary things in your home. For them, minimalism is also a way to spend less money since you only get things you need or really want to bring to your home. In the era of conspicuous consumption, being more aware and intentional about your shopping habits can help you save quite a lot of money in the long run.
And, of course, the appeal of having a clean and organised space is undeniable. While bigger houses tend to have a clutter problem since there’s more space to fill with things, small apartments can also develop a clutter problem. If you want to make changes and think minimalism might be right for you, here’s how to start.
What is minimalism?
Since different aesthetics centred on minimalism have appeared in the online space, its history and origins have become diluted. Minimalism emerged in Japan first, even before the country’s introduction to Zen Buddhism. However, this philosophy exacerbated Japan’s love for simplicity. The sparse décor was meant to promote meditation, reflection, inner peace and calm. Even today, while most Japanese homes aren’t necessarily minimalist, they are still designed to be convenient and compact, combining living areas and household items with places that are bare and free of things.
That’s because, according to Japanese aesthetics, empty spaces are just as important as the rest of the space. In the West, minimalism emerged centuries later, with the first artists favouring it rising to prominence in the United States in the 60s and 70s. So, if you want to achieve the style in your home, you need to focus on decluttering, neutral colours and natural materials.
Your kitchen will be one of the most challenging places to declutter in the entire home. If you plan on changing your furniture, opt for kitchen units with a clean design and in simple shades such as white or beige. They look great combined with any other colour, and you don’t have to worry about them going out of style. Wood is the preferred material, as it tends to get better with age instead of losing its lustre. Metal and marble are also simple materials that elevate the look of any room.
If you can, ensure your kitchen gets plenty of natural light. It’ll instantly improve your mood. If you feel like the décor can handle it, you can also choose an all-white kitchen, with the only accent being silver hardware.
The latest research shows that having a cluttered home might contribute to heightened anxiety levels in some individuals. If you’ve noticed that you find it difficult to relax and feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff around you, it’s clear that a change is in order. Having a minimalist décor in your bedroom can promote relaxation and ease so you can enjoy more restful sleep. If you live in a city with a fantastic skyline, you should put it on full display with large windows. They will let plenty of natural light in to regulate your natural circadian rhythm.
The traditional look keeps the textiles white and crisp, with cotton and linen being the preferred materials, given their lightweight, breathable features. The furniture can be darker for a nice contrast or in shades of beige or soft grey. Light colours are an excellent idea if your bedroom is small, as they will make the space appear larger. Linen curtains, weaved carpets, flooring with simple designs or rustic accents all fit perfectly into a minimalist bedroom.
Square sinks are a classic addition to minimal bathrooms, owing to the straight lines and sharp corners. They are both modern yet simple and usually compact, so you don’t smack your hip into it anytime you pass by. Minimal showers use glass enclosures instead of curtains. If you can accommodate a wet room, you can also opt for no enclosure at all. These options are also more hygienic since shower curtains are prone to build-up and mildew.
Natural elements should be integrated into the bathroom as well. Wood can be tricky, as you want to choose something sturdy to withstand moisture damage, such as bamboo or teak. You could use wood to create a floating vanity, for example. And since you are decluttering, you should throw away any shabby towels and invest in new, fluffy ones, ideally in the same shade, for a neat look. If you want a bathtub, choose one with a simple, geometric design made of high-quality materials that weigh less but last longer.
The curvilinear or rectangular ones are the most popular, but you can also opt for a slipper bathtub that feels like a mix between a tub and a lounging chair.
The Living Room
The living room has a lot of potential for becoming messy and unappealing. Having a lot of stuff you never use lying around can be a real eye-sore, making cleaning much more difficult. Having sofas and other seating as low to the ground as possible makes your ceiling seem higher, which in turn allows your room to feel airy and wide. Pare down your furniture, and get rid of the items you don’t need, such as extra chairs or end tables.
But how about your telly? Is there a way to make that area more minimal? Mobile TV stands are an obvious solution, being sleek, space-saving, durable, and versatile. A textured wall can be a great way to hide imperfections and create a unique finish that gives the room more personality. A textured wall doesn’t need to be refinished and repainted as often, either, so you save money on the repairs.
Having a minimalist interior design isn’t for everybody, and many can find it stale and boring. But if you think it would be a good choice for you and that you would benefit from the organising, it’s worth giving it a try.