What is Minimalist Interior Design?

Posted by BedfordBrooks in Design Tips, Interior design on Nov 7th, 2014

Minimalist interior design is the reduction of rooms to their functional elements- no clutter, no unnecessary items.

In a minimalist home, everything has its place and stays there when not in use. Lines are clean, straight, and long. In most cases those lines- created by long floorboards or wall tiles- take the place of color and texture.

Minimalist homes, though simple, can be beautiful. Removing the clutter, textures, and complicated lines from a space gives designers a chance to focus on the shapes of the useful furniture and appliances. This gives useful pieces a proper place as the focal points and visual highlights of a room.

Minimalist vs. Contemporary

Contemporary design borrows a lot from minimalism, including clean straight lines. However, designers of contemporary rooms often miss the point of minimalism: simplifying space and life.

Most contemporary designers can’t resist breaking lines with cabinets of different heights, adding unnecessary splashes of color, or bringing in some antiques. While beautiful, all of these features distract from the fundamental form and energy of a room that minimalism tries so hard to preserve.

Minimalist Palette and Materials

Minimalism tends to stick with white or off-white matte painted walls and cabinets.

Occasionally, designers will branch out into greys, muted yellows, and shiny lacquers, but these often end up being distractions. For floors, the best minimalist designers use long floorboards. These have a simple and functional look, and they add detail and lines to a room without distracting from the shapes of the furniture. If wood is not an option, polished concrete and large stone tiles work as well.

For furniture, darkly painted wood is the typical choice. The dark color causes the furniture to pop against the white walls, like an abstract painting. Natural wood colouring can also be used, especially with polished concrete floors.

Minimalism and Light

Lighting is one area where minimalism drastically differs from most styles. Light fixtures tend to be small, and small objects add clutter that distracts from the geometry of the room. Avoid this using large lamps and pendant lights. If you prefer to diffuse light, then instead use concealed lights or LED strip lighting that won’t interfere with the major lines of the room.

Of course, in the spirit of minimalism, no light source beats the sun. Use fabric roller blinds to control the entry of sunlight. When not in use, these are barely noticeable.

The easiest way to achieve minimalist design is to keep playing around with removing elements from your home and life. What can you live without? What is in the room that isn’t serving an immediate function? Keep the junk out so you can keep the style in!