Minimalism has become one of the biggest trends in fashion, decoration, and even lifestyle — making a resurgence after its nascence in the 60’s and 70’s Post-World War II era. Simple, spacious design with zero clutter is appealing to more and more people as fashion has evolved and our lives have gotten more and more hectic. Turn your home into a minimalist temple and bask in the simplicity you can create with as little or as much effort (and cost) as you’d like. Here is our guide to joining the Minimalism movement.
Start with just one room
Unless you’re moving into a new home and have a clean slate to work with, changing over to a minimalist lifestyle can feel really overwhelming. A full home redecoration can take a lot of time and consideration, so start with the room that feels the most important to you. The living room? The bedroom? It’s up to you. Start by stripping away the non-essential to achieve the minimalist ethic: less is more. Examining the relationship between space and form, look to make your space feel simple.
If you are moving into a new home, you have the opportunity to start from a concept of how you’d like your home to look and feel. Peruse the works of minimalist architects and designers like FORM in Japan, Studio MK27 in Brazil, or Gabellini Sheppard in the U.S. for inspiration as you plan the layout of your new abode. The minimalist home design has evolved a lot over the years, so you have a lot of different aesthetics to choose from — from super modern architecture with wild shapes and contours to a more Japanese small space aesthetic with clean lines and highly efficient use of technology.
From there, furniture and art first
These items will serve as the focal point and take up the most space in your home, so choose wisely. The minimalist home has no room for excess, and with furniture, the intent is to only maintain pieces that are functional, simple, and regularly used. Anything that isn’t a part of your daily life can most likely be dispensed with in favor of leaving the space clear. The phrase “minimalist decorating ideas” really can be read as “don’t decorate too much”.
Similarly, art is intentionally chosen to create a simple, spacious feel. If you are ready to invest in some classic pieces, famous artists like Frank Stella, John McCracken, and Gene Davis can be used as guideposts for choosing your aesthetic. Finding inspiration and art from Japanese artists can also help guide your decor choices, as much of the minimalist movement currently comes from Japanese designers. Choose the fewest pieces of furniture possible, and you’re well on your way to minimalism — as well as a great way to make your small apartment feel bigger.
Clear spaces, and a space for everything
Once upon a time, your grandmother demonstrated that every space needed to have something to decorate it, right? Minimalism is the opposite: a clean wall, clean surface, and clear space are the core elements of this decor trend. Blank walls painted in muted colors, also known as accent walls, are the new “statement pieces,” and one pop of color is enough to keep a room feeling alive. Choosing a color slightly lighter or darker than the rest of your walls is a great choice for an accent color. As you pare down your belongings, make sure that everything has a designated place, and that you remember where that space is and use it. Keep your kitchen implements near the place where they get used most often, but ideally out of sight. Knickknacks, even if well-intentioned, clutter up the linear and visual flow of your space. Clear them out.
Go back for another round of decluttering
Once you think you’ve decluttered as much as possible in each room, give it a few days and then return with fresh eyes. Are there more things that you don’t really need that you can remove? Is there something sitting on a surface insight that can be tucked away? To maintain a minimalist home decor means routinely evaluating your choices and cleaning up the excess that inevitably creeps in.
Give yourself permission to move slowly
If you’re transitioning to a minimalist interior design from a full home decor aesthetic, give yourself permission to move slowly. Getting rid of all of your belongings in one go can lead to some regrets, later on, so compare storage prices and try this: put any belongings you think you’d like to let go of into unlabeled storage boxes. If you don’t remember what is in the boxes in a month or two, or you haven’t found yourself wondering where that elephant statue went? It’s time to let them go. If you’re really downsizing, pack your boxes and hire a team of local movers to take them to storage for you. One less opportunity to say, “Wait, but I might need that seventh serving platter…”