When seeking minimalism the first thing to do is to understand exactly what is meant by the ideal of ‘minimalism’. It is the concept of ‘less is more’, a lifestyle of intentionality. To live only using things that are required, not succumbing to cutter and removing anything that distracts from the promotion of things we most value. It’s a warm and simple style that is in no way clinical, but rich in texture and bold in design, arranged in a way that accentuates the surrounding space and creates a flow through the unity of geometric shapes and complimentary colour pallets.
One of the best things about minimalism is that it’s open to interpretation; the only rule is ‘minimal’. More often than not, making the move to minimalism means you have to purge and you have to be brutal. Everything has to work for its place and must help justify everything else there. ‘Less is more’ is certainly the mantra of the minimalist but this doesn’t necessarily mean ‘cheaper is better’. It’s about achieving great impact through the careful consideration of all the elements – the textures, materials, colours, use of space – that infuse to make better design with simplicity at its heart.
Geometry is essential to a sleek and professional minimalist look. There should be an undisturbed flow to the space, one that feels entirely effortless and clean. Large, void spaces shouldn’t feel empty but lend to the enjoyment of the items that are within the space on the whole, creating a warm environment but by no means overwhelming.
Having ample storage is a must, if you want a room to look and feel uncluttered but you have some ‘essential’ items you can’t bare to part with (books, photo albums, keep sakes) find ways to include them without diminishing the look you’re trying to achieve. Clever storage is always important, no matter what style you’ve gone for, but with minimalism the storage can also add to the overall look. You’re always going to need somewhere to store your clothes, for example, so try either a clothes rail (truly minimal) with your key wardrobe staples on display, or for a more covert storage a sliding-door wardrobe with sleek, clean doors, in a brushed metal or accent colour could work just as well.
When trying to achieve minimalism you have to find what items compliment each other, not dominate each other or overcrowd the space. A collection of clean lines and silhouettes, brought together using a palate of muted tones – think whites, creams, greys, blacks and browns – with the occasional pop of a well chosen accent colour to really stamp your style without suffocating the overall look. Choose high quality materials with high quality finishes that speak for themselves and don’t need additional features. Choose powerful independent pieces and use light to draw in the eye, alter the texture and play with the simple pieces to create high impact.
Find a colour pallet or theme you love and work with it, feverishly. If you find grey is your tone, accent it with black and white photographs and stark white sheets or couches. Use metal to accentuate, copper and gold are fantastic at making a statement while remaining understated and adding a touch of luxury – think a gold leaf plant pot or a copper wire lampshade. Notice the use of colours and shapes in these beautiful interiors.
Minimalism is a style anyone can adopt, no matter how big or small the space, or the budget. Your style is easily found within minimalism as long as you stay true to the mantra and make the items you have work to their full potential.
- Have a car boot sale or sell items online to dispose of clutter and raise some money to put towards the new look.
- Create a mood board. This allows you to experiment with colours, textures and design features without making a commitment.
- Invest in large statement lampshades or in clever concealed lighting like LED strips to encourage flow.
- Work with your existing features, and understand that it is enough as it is – think fireplaces that are simply fireplaces, not gallery walls, or bedrooms where the bed is the headliner and the support act.