Interior Design Tips for the Minimalist Decorator

Does your home need a makeover? If one thing you dislike about the current décor is that it’s too cluttered or gaudy, the minimalist look may be the refreshing change you need. Today, we’ll give you our top tips for minimalist interior design.

What is Minimalist Interior Design?

Most people have heard of “minimalism” in one context or another. Derived from the word minimal (“least possible”), minimalism or minimalist indicates a preference for keeping things comfortable and manageable by removing all nonessential elements. It can refer to a style of art, a style of living—or a style of interior decoration.

A minimalist house interior means rooms and décor that emphasize:

  • Clutter-free surroundings
  • Large, open, well-lit areas
  • Practical furnishings without fancy attachments
  • Flat, smooth surfaces
  • Mostly-bare walls
  • A color scheme that emphasizes solid, monochromatic tones (white, gray and/or cool pastels)

The key words are “simplicity” and “welcoming.”

Interior Decorating Tips for a Minimalist Look

You might think a minimalist look, based on simplicity, would be simple to achieve, but it often isn’t—especially in a society that runs on endlessly accumulating everything from sofa pillows to how-to ideas. Among the three Ds of home interior—Design, Decoration and Decluttering—Decluttering is the hardest with any interior design style. And, especially for minimalist home design, the most important.

Important enough to deserve an “ideas and tips” list of its own.

  • Spend a couple of weeks or months going through your closets/shelves/attic/basement and discarding or donating everything you haven’t used in two years. (That includes anything in rented storage units you haven’t gone near for ages. Transfer the rental fees into your interior design budget.)
  • Donate any duplicate tools, unopened cosmetics, etc. (you’ll find plenty in the initial decluttering). One of each, plus one emergency backup, is enough to keep.
  • Designate a specific place for whatever you do keep, and make a habit of putting everything away immediately after using it.
  • If, after paring your belongings to the minimum and putting everything away, you still have things with nowhere to go—remember that good minimalists don’t leave things lying aimlessly on tabletops to attract more clutter. Invest in a good-looking storage cabinet that goes with the minimalist-decoration theme: sturdy, neutral-colored, enclosed and fitting nicely against a similarly-colored wall.
  • Put your most frequently used possessions within the easiest reach. (Some items will need to be rotated as seasons change.)
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Once you’re decluttered, set firm boundaries to avoid accumulating new clutter! The First Commandment of true minimalism is: Whenever a new item is acquired, something else goes out to make room for it. And since empty space attracts clutter, consider removing extra shelves and converting spare rooms (including attics and basements) into rooms for specific purposes.

Here are some additional home interior ideas for making the most of your minimalist décor dreams.

  • For large-scale redecorating, start by choosing a neutral shade, such as cream or pearl gray, for the walls and ceiling.
  • Think long-lasting (in appeal as well as durability): choose well-built furnishings in simple classic designs. Think multi-functioning as well (e.g., storage cabinet with bench-seat top): why spend money and space for two pieces of furniture when one can serve both purposes?
  • Include natural materials and houseplants: they go perfectly with a theme that says “simple, timeless and back-to-basics.”
  • Let in all the light you can with large windows and strategically placed reflective surfaces. Where artificial lights are necessary, choose fixtures that simulate natural light as closely as possible. A fireplace (providing it’s not overly ornate or topped with a cluttered mantel) also fits well into minimalist interior design.
  • To keep things from looking too minimal (i.e., bleak) include a few textured and/or colorful accessories in every room. To maintain the minimalist-design theme, make sure the accessories blend well with each other and the larger room.
  • Think cozy and welcoming at all times. Look up “hygge” resources for additional ideas there.

Create Your Perfect Space

Sometimes, achieving the minimalist look requires a “minimum” work level you aren’t prepared to handle alone. If you have any doubts about your own minimalist home design skills, consult a professional before you start. Prevalent Projects offers full services for achieving the elegant, uncluttered look in any residential interior—complete with sustainably sourced products and master craftsmanship, plus full attention to your input. Contact us to learn more.

Prevalent Projects