The minimalist interior design trend emerged and became the highlighted architecture during the 20 th century. Rooted from Japanese design and architecture, it is usually characterized by its clean and spare look and can probably be encapsulated using the phrase “less is more”. It is not about intricate and complicated design and furnishings; instead, it is all about removing the unnecessary elements of a room and leaving out only the essentials.
This extremely simple aesthetic design involves the usage of less distracting and less vibrant colors, typically described as desaturated or muted. Although minimalist colors are usually reserved to neutral colors, white being the most versatile and most used, one or two accent colors can also be used to emphasize certain décor and furniture. For a design that is the epitome of functionality and simplicity, the furnishings in a minimalist interior design serve multiple visual and functional purposes. The lesser and the more multi-purpose the furniture items are, the better they are. For instance, sofa couches are modified to have storage underneath, thus, having more storage without adding more furniture.
For the walls, the ceiling and the floor, you can use any material (wood, concrete, or tiles), but it is important to take note that it looks clean and free of any clutter. There should be no complex nor elaborate design in the walls, floor and ceiling, which will distract the clarity and simplicity of the room. One or two subdued accessories can be placed, such as a monochromatic rug, so long as it is free of marks or any kind of mess.
Here are some tips and guidelines that you can follow for those who want to renovate or design a house using a minimalist interior design:
Minimalist Living Room
As mentioned earlier, you can never go wrong with white as long as it does not look too stark or cold. Neutral colors, such as white, black, gray, or even cream (just make sure it does not stand out and does not look too yellow), can be used for the walls, the ceiling, and the floor. An accent wall won’t hurt, but it should cleanly fit in the room and should not spoil the overall minimalist interior design of the living room.
The furnishings must complement the colors of the interiors, but not as far as it matches the colors that they would look camouflaged. For instance, for a white wall, you can place sofa couches with slightly grayish or off-white color to balance the colors in the room. Appliances such as television set and stereo can be placed above a rack or cabinet or can be mounted on an accent wall painted in a darker color tone such as charcoal or gray. You can also use an ornate piece, such as a painting that you can hang on a wall, to make a statement, but its presence must not be too distracting, and it must be able to blend inside the room. Finally, a simple rug with a muted color can give emphasis on the spare furniture and the bareness of the room, thus giving off that clean, modern look.
A bedroom with a minimalist interior design must always be free of any kind of clutter. Again, neutral colors are the way to go to make a bedroom look very neat. To contrast the whiteness of the walls, a feature wall with a darker color tone can make the bedroom feel less sharp and cold. The color of this feature wall can be used as the overall theme, so the furnishings can follow this scheme to make a contrasting balance of colors.
All the furniture must only be those that are both functional and essential, thus, their presence shouldn’t be too overwhelming and dramatic. The bedframe is the focal point of a minimalist bedroom, so avoid purchasing bulky, traditional ones which occupy a lot of space. Generally, platform beds (though quite expensive) or beds with metal frames, with no or minimal headboards, are great for the minimal design goals. Basic nightstands and drawers with colors complementing the interiors must not be off-putting. Finally, as with living rooms, one or two art décor can offset the blandness of the room, but make sure it is well blended.
The color schemes remain as muted in the kitchen as all the other rooms in a house with a minimalist interior design. Although the material for the countertops still depends on the owner’s choice, meaning any will do, marble countertops with subdued color schemes, such as white, gray, or charcoal look really sleek and clean. It is important that the kitchen tools and equipment, whether stored or displayed, are only those that are essential and multi-functional. Kitchens are usually full of clutter, especially due to rarely used utensils. If the tools seem to be only usable for a few times (e.g. a full 16-piece knife set when only three or four knives are necessary in cooking), it is wiser not to purchase them. When purchasing flatware and dishes, one is encouraged to go for the cheaper ones and focus more on the functionality.
Indispensable appliances, such as an oven and stove top and a refrigerator, are essential in cooking, so the style and color of these appliances must be incorporated to blend with minimalist interiors. Microwaves are discouraged, as they add to the messy feeling of a kitchen, but the choice to keep one is still up to the owner.
Minimalist Dining Area
A dining room with a minimalist design is just mainly all about two kinds of furniture – table and chairs. As minimalist design encapsulates the lustrous, modern appeal, other ornate pieces are usually discouraged in the dining area. A small shelf with minimal decorative accessories, such as a vase, can be installed though to offset the dullness of the room. China cabinets, sideboards and large fixtures, such as magnificent and bold chandeliers, are unnecessary adornment that are discouraged in a minimalist design.
To make a small bathroom appear larger, white and other light colors can be painted on the walls. Combined with decent and bright lighting, this would give off a sense of consistency and airiness. White tiles, glass or acrylic shower doors and light colored curtains will also make the bathroom feel luxurious. Bathrooms are also sources of clutter, especially of beauty products and bathroom paraphernalia that are not used anymore. The surface should be clear of these unnecessary products, and every toiletry must be organized in its corresponding storage.
Overall, a minimalist interior design is beneficial for those who want to have a clean and organized homes. It has a calming and relaxing effect to people in a sense that simplicity, symmetry and cleanliness give them a more positive outlook in life.