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Keep it sleek, chic and minimal

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
by Elfa Deutschland GmbH Scandinavian
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Hate it or love it, you can’t ignore it. Today we are talking about Minimalist houses—that exceptional design style that gets rid of unnecessary elements and, instead, emphasises the negative space. 

Interior designers describe minimalism as design at its most basic; a layout stripped of excessive elements, colours, shapes and textures, leaving only the bare minimum behind. The idea behind this is to make the prime content stand out more, becoming the focal point of an environment. From a visual perspective, minimalism is meant to clear the mind and exude a relaxing feeling. 

Sound like your cup of designer tea? Then follow us as we get back to basics and jot down essential points on how to transform a living space into a layout that is minimalist, yet still well laid out and welcoming.

1. A clean mind and house

We all have our stories of cluttered spaces and homes. And therefore we can all agree: clutter is a visual distraction! Having a clean and tidy home is impossible if clutter remains.

So, our first step to a minimalist space is to clean out the clutter. Unnecessary elements that do nothing but take up space have no place in a minimalist house. Getting rid of them starts placing emphasis on the bare essentials that we want to uncover: furniture lines, neutral and relaxed tones, and an overall attractive setting with a calm and tranquil feeling. 

As shown by Giuded above, a minimalist room does not need a host of decorative objects to be classified as a warm and inviting space. It can still be quite elegant and welcoming – plus, a breeze when it comes to cleaning time!

2. Take it room for room

It’s difficult to tackle an entire house all at once when it comes to design. So, rather focus on one room at a time. Start with the de-cluttering and see how gradually the lightness level of that room improves. 

We suggest starting with your bedroom. It is your most personal and vulnerable space; plus, when you lay your weary head down tonight, you’ll want to see the progress that you’ve made. Besides, waking up in a minimalist bedroom (when your mind is still inactive and clean) will inform you whether you love or hate the minimalist look, and if you want it to flow through the rest of your house.

3. Study your furniture

Your furniture is the largest pieces in your home, so obviously they serve as immediate eye-catchers to you and your guests. Simplifying your space should include analyzing your furniture, to see what must go and what must stay. Evidently the minimalist look recommends that the fewer pieces you have, the better. 

Think what you can eliminate without sacrificing comfort – after all, your home still needs to be a restful space you want to spend time in. Select furniture with simple lines and neutral colours. Our image above showcases a splendid study in space cleanliness, clear lines, soft tones, and just the right amount of furniture to ensure a comfortable and functional environment.

4. Keep the essentials

When it comes to minimalism, decor and furniture may be few and far between – but they’re still there. So, keep the essential furniture and decorative elements when transforming your space into a minimalist environment. 

Only you will know what is necessary and what is not, what has special meaning, and what you really don’t want to include at all. Only when we include the purely necessary do we start to transcend into the minimalist realm. 

See our example above for some stylish reference: there is clearly a presence of decorative elements (the floor lamp, plants, vase, etc.), yet they take up the minimum amount of space. And instead of diverting our eyes away from the room’s furniture, they merely serve a purpose to balance the aesthetic quality of the room, yet in small doses.

5. Spacious flooring

Less is more when it comes to minimalist environments, and that doesn’t exclude the floor. No floor elements should cause any disorder; instead, they need to remain clean and tranquil. You have already made the choice of clearing out unnecessary furniture, so let that translate to your floor space as well. 

Excelencia En Diseño shows us how to ensure a free-moving floor space above, with the clean floor finishes instead serving to separate the different rooms (wood for the living room, marble tiles for the dining area).  

Note: of course you may have a rug or carpet, as long as its colours and patterns aren’t deemed too extravagant.

6. Clean surfaces

To go hand-in-hand with your spacious floors, clean surfaces in all rooms need to be included in your new minimalist home as well. Of course this allows for the occasional decor element here and there for your own warm and personal touch, but just keep repeating to yourself: “less is more, less is more”. 

But don’t start building a bonfire with the heap of still-decent elements you banish from your minimalist space. Should you not want to keep them in storage, rather donate them or have a yard sale so that others may enjoy the aesthetics of your good taste. 

Notice our example above: all table- and wall surfaces are clean and open, except for the television. There are no superfluous elements to distract attention of any kind, allowing instead for optimum flow of harmony through your minimalist space.

7. Walls that can breathe

Just like you, your house needs to breathe, and even more so when it sports a minimalist look. So, after you’ve finished clearing up floor- and table/shelf surfaces, continue on to the walls. Too many people these days tend to suffocate their walls with unnecessary wall art and decor in order to stay away from a too-bland wall. This is not an option in a minimalist environment. 

In your quest for visual and physical clarity, be sure not to throw out all the useful elements. As we’ve said before, a single decorative element here and there that adds functionality is most certainly welcome to stay. These can include elements such as a bookcase, shelf or side table, but just be careful not to stuff them with too many pictures or other forms of wall art.

8. Concealed storage

Good on you for clearing away most of those unnecessary elements. And we don’t blame you for keeping some of it too – after all, something with special meaning or that was handed down from generation to generation just can’t be sold at a yard sale.

Now then, to ensure that those kept elements stay neatly out of your minimalist space, let’s locate them to a concealed storage space. Out of sight, out of clutter! This will help to maintain order in your house. 

Concealed storage options come in a range of possibilities—from closets under staircases to unused cupboards in the kitchen / office / spare bedroom. For more advice on storage options, see: Cool simple storage solutions.

9. Easy with the colours

by AShel Minimalist Wood Wood effect

Your minimalist style is fast approaching its glorious conclusion, so don’t interfere now with an explosion of bright and vivid colours. As an alternative, opt for soft or neutral tones that blend in easily with each other. 

But don’t compare your minimalist interiors with a bland, clinical look. A touch of colour can add a striking vision, as long as it’s not too strong. To play it safe, stick with hues that you find in nature, such as a teal blue or a pear green. 

Notice the beautiful green of the plant pots in our example above – a dash of colour that is just enough to ensure a wink of colourful charm in this otherwise elegant television room.

10. Reorganise

With clear walls and floors, and just the right amount of furniture and decor showing, your new minimalist environment is ripe and ready. You just need to do one last touch-up around your house – and that is the elements that you use on a daily basis. 

Take, for example, your kitchen: you use the cutlery and utensils quite regularly, yet don’t want them strewn all over the kitchen island to disrupt your new tranquil vibe. Rather opt to have them out of sight (in drawers or cupboards) where they can still be within easy reach. 

And be sure not to leave papers and pens all over your study’s desk. File them neatly in drawers or cabinets, ensuring that your minimalist home is both charmingly practical and stylishly clean.

Are you a lover of the ‘less is more’ look, or not at all? Do you think Minimalism lacks warmth or hits all the right targets? Tell us what you thi...
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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