Less is More: How to Use Minimalist Design in Your Home

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Stuff. We all have it. Many of us seem to be fighting a losing battle against a growing tide of it. There is stuff on our kitchen counters, on our tables, in our closets, and yes, on our floors. There are studies that show that a cluttered home can cause higher stress and even illness for its inhabitants. The more stuff you accumulate, the more dust will collect, which makes your home look even dirtier than it already is. Plus, things can be harder to find when they’re “stored” out on the counter or a side table. Having a house that’s free of clutter is beneficial in so many ways, not the least of which is how it looks.

Minimalism is living with less. Less furniture, less décor, and less “stuff”. Minimalist design is modern and sleek, and can make you feel much more comfortable in your home. Here’s how to use minimalist design in your home after you’ve won that battle against “stuff”.

Use of the room

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to have a good idea ahead of time of how you are going to use each room. Planning ahead of time will allow you to make smart furniture choices. When you know what a room is for, think about what the minimum amount of items you’ll need in the room to perform its function. A bedroom, for instance, needs a bed, a side table or two, and a dresser. It doesn’t necessarily need a chair, several clothes hampers, a loveseat, and a bookshelf. While people have had a tendency to try and fill rooms with as much as possible to make them more cosy, the fact is that having more furniture and accessories makes a room less inviting by being more cluttered.

Colours

Minimalist design calls for minimalist colours. They should be light and breezy, without stimulating the eyes too much. You should have no more than three colours. One colour works as the prevailing colour, and there should be up to two accent colours. Natural colours like white, tan, and green are great minimalist options. You should use dim colours only to accent or highlight things. Having hints of bold colours works as well, but only to draw attention to a specific item or two, or to provide balance. For instance, you can have a deep red cushion and a red vase. Minimalist spaces are inviting and warm, and therefore, there shouldn’t be anything that would assault the senses.

Furnishing

Furniture used in minimalist homes should be high-quality and well-crafted. They should be able to stand on their own without fancy adornments or decorative additions. Less furniture also means there are fewer places to put things down, which means less clutter. Furniture colours should be neutral, with greys and browns being good fits. If you have a piece that’s bolder, it will be highlighted by the fact that the décor surrounding it is more muted. Adding more items to match the colour of that bold item might dilute its impact.

Lighting

Ideally, a minimalist space will be bright and airy all on its own. A perfect minimalist space will have large unobstructed windows to provide warm, natural light. If you have curtains, they should be white with light material that lets in light even when they’re closed. Of course, the sun only shines in the day, so you need to have artificial light as well. Pin lights are great because they’re recessed into the ceiling, so they don’t add to a cluttered look, but still provide a nice warm light. Lighting can also be used to accent further any pieces you want to highlight. Set up some pin lights above the piece to get a spotlight effect.

Accessories

It’s probably obvious by now, but there should be little to no accessories to speak of in a minimalist home. Knick knacks and novelty “bless this mess” signs are no-nos. Too much of those things make the space looked cramped. Pillows and blankets should only be used for sleeping or resting, and not as decorations. There should be nothing that you have to take off your bed to sleep in it. Candles or simple centerpieces are acceptable, as long as they are placed in the middle of the table. Minimalist spaces should have symmetry to them.

Cluttered and over-full spaces are neither cosy nor inviting. A clean, well-organised home free of clutter and mess can reduce your stress and make you look forward to coming home every day. Having less stuff doesn’t have to mean having less style; follow these guidelines for a warm and inviting minimalist home.