Where some may see stark, minimalists see simplicity. Where some might see cold, minimalists see a calming sense of cool. Sleek, simple, uncomplicated — this is the mantra of the modern minimalism home. Creating clean, open spaces devoid of unnecessary clutter is one thing, but designing such a space that also feels warm and inviting is a balancing act of style and restraint. You want your interior to feel cool, crisp and sophisticated… yet not like Hannibal Lecter’s cell.
The key is to introduce warmth with plenty of light and a layering of neutral tones and textures. You also need to keep a tight edit on what is necessary and eliminate everything that’s not and invest in quality furnishings and fixtures. It’s a less-is-more, quality-not-quantity interior design philosophy and one that is fresh, gender neutral, trend neutral and will survive the years like no other. Best of all, once you establish your modern minimalist home, it’s one of the simplest styles to maintain and it’s easy to switch up the décor when you feel like a change.
1 Clean and uncluttered
2 Open plan and filled with light
3 Neutral palette with layered tones and textures
4 Quality over quantity with sleek furniture, fixtures and finishes
5 Statement accent pieces, wall art and colours
6 Integrated appliances and clever storage
The average household has 300,000 items and the average person spends approximately 12 days per year looking for things they can’t find in their own home. Twelve days! With this in mind, it’s not hard to see the appeal of minimalism, not only as a design style, but also as a lifestyle. So step one to creating your minimalist home is a ruthless declutter. Unless you’re Marie Kondo, this step can be like pulling teeth, so why not use her KonMari method? Does it “spark joy”? If not, throw away or recycle the junk and donate all the quality items you no longer need or use to charity.
“Tidying your physical space allows you to tend to your psychological space.”
— Marie Kondo
An open-plan home is a minimalist’s dream as it feels spacious and bright. Even smaller homes, once decluttered, feel bigger in an open-concept scheme with plenty of natural light and additional lamps and pendants to brighten corners. This design style is about barebone beauty. It’s all about shifting the focus to the light, space, architecture and exterior views of rooms. This subconsciously de-emphasises the interior furnishings while also allowing spaces to feel warm and welcoming.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
Select a neutral colour palette in a trio of tones that are just a few shades apart from each other for a smooth consistency. Think whites, creams, blacks, greys, cool blues or subtle greens — use an online tool, like the Taubmans colour palette, to research the right shades for you. Contrast your neutral hues against light timbers, natural stone, fur throws and soft linens. This layering of natural materials, textures and muted tones adds richness to interior spaces and is the key to taking it from stark simplicity to a comforting oasis of calm.
Anchor your light-filled open spaces with quality furniture — each piece needs to stand on its own and make its own statement. And, given that minimalism never goes out of style, you also want pieces that will last. Stick with classic, rather than on-trend pieces that you may tire of over time. Aim for the perfect pairing of function and form with an elegant, clean-lined sofa in leather or linen, perhaps a Scandi-inspired dining set in light timber and a sleek king-sized bed.
Let the furniture connect the rooms and draw the eye, without being too heavy handed. Avoid the temptation of filling every inch of square footage — negative space around well-selected fundamental pieces is the goal. Likewise, opt for upgraded fixtures. Quality over quantity is key in a minimalist interior — what you don’t spend on extras can be investing into higher grade finishes.
To maintain a sleek, clean-lined look, integrate your cabinetry and appliances as much as possible. Also seek out clever storage solutions. Have open shelving for the items you want to display and enough closable cupboards, buffets and trunks for the items you need but want to keep out of sight.
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”
— Henry David Thoreau
Bring depth, character and your own personality to your neutral interiors with art and décor. Select your favourite colours or stick with a theme, like jewel tones, deep moody purples or vibrant pops of yellow. Be brave and chose a bold artwork to make a statement and draw the eye in your main living spaces — select what speaks to you. But don’t go overboard. Every single piece should feel ‘on purpose’. If it doesn’t have a dedicated space, it’s not meant to be there. Less is more when it comes to décor in the minimalist’s home. You can easily swap items with the change of season or change of mood.
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
Finally, don’t forget to make a quick daily declutter a part of your new lifestyle to keep your home looking fresh and crisp. We’ve got plenty of sleek modern minimalist furniture and homewares in-store and online and great storage solutions. And don’t miss our story on why we love mid-century modern — a curvaceous armchair or geometric print could be just the accent piece your minimalist interior needs to pop.