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How to Use Minimalist Interior Design to Simplify Your Home

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 9, 2020 • 3 min read

Minimalism is a simple design style that serves as a practical way to decorate a living space, making the rooms in your home feel open, clean, and comfortable.

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Kelly Wearstler Teaches Interior DesignKelly Wearstler Teaches Interior Design

Award-winning designer Kelly Wearstler teaches you interior design techniques to make any space more beautiful, creative, and inspiring.

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What Is Minimalism?

Minimalism is a design style that emphasizes extreme simplicity, focusing on clean lines, minimal color, and basic shapes. This classic design style accentuates the architectural features of a room rather than concealing them with decor, aiming to highlight the true nature of each design aspect.

4 Characteristics of Minimalist Interior Design

Minimalist interior design is a simple way to style any home or working space, creating a clutter-free environment while offering warmth and comfort. Common characteristics of a minimalist approach to design include:

  1. Clean lines: Minimalist style design is uninhibited by superfluous visual elements. The architecture is visible and emphasized to create clean design. The decor often features flat, smooth surfaces and minimal patterns or ornate details.
  2. Monochromatic colors: Another key principle of minimalism is the use of color. Minimalism uses a simple color palette, often employing different shades of the same color. Saturated colors are mostly reserved for accents, while the rest of the color palette centers around soft or neutral shades.
  3. Functionality: Minimalism focuses on elements of the highest importance, stripping a room down to its essence and providing only the elements necessary to live comfortably in that particular space. Minimalism involves practical use of space, which means focusing on purposeful furnishings, resulting in fewer pieces of furniture.
  4. Open spaces: The minimalist style often features open floor plans and lots of light, turning your bedroom or living room into a soothing and calming space.
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6 Tips for Creating Minimalist Interior Design

If you want to simplify your interior decor, here are some tips for incorporating minimalist style in your own home:

  1. Keep your decor purposeful. Minimalist principles value function over flourish, which means every piece of furniture and art serves a purpose. Whether you choose to emphasize exposed beams or simple window treatments, your minimalist decor should be functional and distraction-free.
  2. Use texture. Use textures like cloth, canvas, and boucle to add visual interest to minimalist interiors. Different textures can add visual weight to your design elements without overcrowding the aesthetic. Textures are important to consider in paints, textiles, plasters, marble, furniture, art, woods, moldings, and other surfaces.
  3. Choose appropriate artwork. Color, shape, size, and texture are important aspects to consider when selecting art for a minimalist room because these elements impact how a piece fits within your minimalist style. Adding too many pieces of artwork to a wall can create clutter, so you’ll need to determine if you prefer a few medium-size works or a single bold piece as the focal point for a room.
  4. Use small details to make interiors inviting. A minimalist interior can run the risk of appearing cold and uninviting. Adding small color accents or soft textiles like wool and cotton can warm up a space, making it feel cozier. Your goal in creating a minimalist home is to reduce the clutter and busyness of a room while creating a welcoming atmosphere.
  5. Keep it neutral. Choose neutral colors and shades for your color palette. To keep your rooms from becoming one-note, incorporate different colors without overwhelming your basic aesthetic. Learn more about using a color wheel to find complementary color combinations here.
  6. Embrace white space. Embracing your white space—the empty space between tangible objects—can emphasize your furnishings and the design of your home. Use your floor plan to create a harmonious balance between the negative space and other elements in the room.

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