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How to Design Your House Like a Minimalist How to Design Your House Like a Minimalist

4 Principles of Effective Minimalist Interior Design

Written by  Apr 04, 2022

Home is intended to be a retreat – safe confines in a world of chaos and danger. Minimalist design attempts to highlight qualities of relaxation and simplicity in the form of toned down decor and the intentional infusion of specific objects. If you want your home to be defined by minimalist interior design, you’ll need a plan.


What is Minimalist Design?


If there’s one phrase that could be used to describe minimalist interior design, it would be visual simplicity. It’s a less-is-more approach in a world where most designs are focused on incorporating as many different elements as possible. 


“Think clean, modern lines, a tight edit, a concise color palette, and pared down silhouettes,” Decoraid mentions, “yet don’t shy away from creating a layered, warm, rich, and inviting minimalist home with a gallery-like setting from room to room as this is, after all, a place of comfort and refuge.”


Minimalist design isn’t for everyone, but it certainly has its place if you’re looking for a home that’s:


  • Low stress. Stuff equals stress. The more stuff that exists in your physical environment, the more mental energy and focus must go to processing what’s in the space. The less stuff there is, the more your mind is free to relax and be creative.
  • Beautiful. When there are fewer things in your home, it’s easier to let beauty shine through. The visual attention within the space goes to very specific items and features. Nothing unnecessary distracts.
  • Spacious. Minimalist design is highly effective for making small spaces appear much larger. This makes it an ideal design choice for smaller homes and tighter rooms.


There are certainly different versions of minimalist interior design – and beauty is often in the eye of the beholder – but these are the overarching benefits. When you embrace minimalism, you embrace a low-stress, beautiful, and spacious home.


4 Minimalist Design Tips


As you think about adopting a minimalist design within your own home, here are several helpful principles to consider and emphasize.


1. Use 1 Focal Point Per Room


In traditional design, there are always competing elements. In minimalist design, the goal is to only have one visual focal point per room. Everything else should complement this piece. Examples include:


  • Large artwork. We’ll discuss this more in a moment, but just know that artwork is one of the most popular focal points in a minimalist room.
  • Fireplace surround. In a living room, bedroom, or porch, a beautiful fireplace mantel with a unique surround can serve as a powerful focal point to draw the eyes in.
  • Light fixture. Hanging light fixtures are as much aesthetic as they are functional. They often serve as the focal point in a foyer, dining room, or kitchen.


This just gives you some ideas. The truth is, almost anything can become a focal point. From a headboard to a coffee table to a plant, you can turn any element into a visual centerpiece. Just keep it to one per room and you’ll be fine. 


2. Embrace Natural Light


While light fixtures can beautify a space, minimalist interior design is highly reliant on natural light. The space should be flooded with as much natural light as possible. This typically requires large windows and lots of transparency between the indoors and outdoors. 


If your home doesn’t have a ton of windows – or if you have interior rooms that get dark – you may consider installing skylights in your house. This is an effective way to bring in some extra light from a unique angle.


3. Emphasize Art Work


As previously mentioned, artwork plays a key role in minimalist design. While you’ll obviously have to select artwork that resonates with you, the best kinds are visually striking. In other words, they stand out (both in color and in subject matter). And rather than using gallery walls (which can look good in other types of interior design), stick with a maximum of one large piece per wall. 


4. Allow Space to Move


Breathability and walkability are major factors in minimalist design. Make sure there’s space to move around without having to take winding paths through furniture and hallways. No matter how small or large the space, you want to be able to move freely. This is one of the defining characteristics of a minimalist home. 


Bring Your Home to Life


Minimalist home design isn’t for everyone. However, if you’re looking for visual simplicity that leads to less stress and better focus, it’s definitely something to consider. Use the principles highlighted above to get started.

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