What is Minimalism?

There’s something undeniably intriguing about a near-empty room. All of the viewer’s attention zeroes in on the handful of objects the room has been allowed to contain. Why were those objects chosen? What purpose do they fulfill? Minimalism forces us to focus on what’s essential while leaving behind the clutter of life.

In minimalist interior design, the negative space–blank walls, empty corners, and vacant shelves–are just as important as the objects in the room. The empty spaces signal potential. What could fill those spaces? What activities could take place here? Your imagination and sense of curiosity are the only limits.

What does minimalist interior design look like?

If minimalism had an official motto, it would be “less is more.” Rooms are usually sparsely furnished and uncluttered. They also have an open, airy atmosphere thanks to open floor plans filled with natural light. The overall “mood” minimalism tries to accomplish is soothing and welcoming. You know that feeling when you look around your freshly cleaned house and sigh because it’s so clean? Just like that, but minus the sweat and exhaustion that comes after cleaning all day long!

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What colors are used for minimalist interior design?

Minimalist designs usually draw from a palette of light, monochromatic colors. It’s common to see shades of white, beige, and gray placed side-by-side to create a soft, mellow look.

Primary colors are used sparingly. They serve as fleeting accents and aren’t a dominant force in the minimalist landscape. Think of a sliver of blood-orange sun shining over the horizon instead of a full noon-time sun. That’s how primary colors should be used.

However, it’s also pretty common for minimalists to use no bright colors at all. Instead, you might see a darker shade of a pre-existing color in the room. Rather than bold dashes of green, blue, or orange, you might see a streak of stormy charcoal gray or dark brown.

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What does minimalist decor look like?

Decorations, artwork, and even furniture are few and far between. The objects you do select for your minimalist room should have a clear purpose. That’s why it’s common to see minimalist rooms dominated by functional objects like tables, chairs, sofas, and light fixtures. You can spice up the utilitarian vibe by including a few small accent pieces. Plants are a popular fixture in minimalist design because they add a pop of natural color and complement the soothing atmosphere. Plus, who doesn’t love plants?!

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It’s not all about the furniture or decor

It might sound counter-intuitive at first, but the goal of minimalist design is to get you to not pay attention to it. Think of it this way: without a focal point for your attention to land on, like a bright chandelier or bold piece of artwork, your attention wanders…elsewhere. Perhaps to the people you’re sharing the room with. Maybe a beautiful view outside the window. Or perhaps you’re meant to turn inward, reflecting on your own thoughts, slowing down and appreciating the moment. If you catch yourself doing any of those things, then the minimalist design was a success!

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With its mellow color palette and orderly arrangement, it’s easy to see why minimalism became so popular in an era of information overload. When the time comes to unplug and unwind, a neatly organized room with minimal distractions is the perfect backdrop.

Do you have a minimalist sanctuary in your home? Tell us all about it in the comments!

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