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Tips for Minimalist Interior Design

In the preceding post, I delved into the minimalist lifestyle and its practical implementation. In this post, our focus narrows down to the specific application of minimalism within residential interior design.

Minimalist Interior Design Tips
Emil Nakijin, Okinawa by Shinichi Ogawa. Image by shinichiogawa.com

Minimalism, as a design philosophy, tends to distill artistic forms based on principles of logic and simplicity. Within architecture, minimalism aligns with the tenets of modern architecture. Its defining characteristics encompass building shapes that closely adhere to functionality, a simplified aesthetic, optimal space utilization, and a deliberate reduction in ornamental elements perceived as non-functional. Typically, minimalist-style buildings or rooms exude a serene ambiance, showcasing functional elements in their essence.


Now, the question arises: How does one craft an interior space with a minimalist design? To embark on this endeavor, a grasp of the fundamental rules governing minimalist design is imperative.


Basic Rules of Minimalist Design


Less is More

"Less is More" stands as a paramount principle, a concept popularized by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a prominent figure in modern architecture. This term underscores the essence of simplicity and clarity, advocating for the reduction or elimination of elements devoid of function. The objective is to craft a life experience that is not only simple but also efficient through the discerning removal of non-essential components.

Minimalist Interior Design Tips
Farnsworth House with the 'Less is More' concept by Mies van der Rohe. Image by upinteriors.com

Clean and Simple

Emphasizing cleanliness and simplicity, minimalism revolves around the concept of achieving maximum impact through modest and uncomplicated elements. In minimalist design, the strategic use of space and the incorporation of empty spaces are pivotal design considerations. A minimalist aesthetic is characterized by an open layout, defined by straight and clean lines, uncomplicated shapes, and an absence of excessive ornamentation.

Minimalist Interior Design Tips
Minimalist House in Okinawa, by Shinichi Ogawa. Image by shinichiogawa.com

Quality over Quantity

Emphasizing quality over quantity aligns with the principle of "Less is More." Rather than acquiring numerous items to furnish the home, consider investing in a more limited selection of high-quality possessions. Such items inherently possess greater longevity, reducing the need for frequent replacements and resulting in long-term financial savings.


Functionality

Furthermore, it is advisable to prioritize functionality when making purchases. Cultivate the practice of selecting items based on their practical utility. Prior to acquisition, discern between functional and decorative items, allowing for a prioritization of functional necessities over aesthetic considerations.

Minimalist Interior Design Tips
The side table which functions as storage is integrated into the wall cupboard. Image by design-milk.com

Neutral and Orderly

Minimalist designs predominantly incorporate neutral colors, such as white, beige, and gray, with infrequent use of bright colors. In interior design, a typical approach involves a two-color combination, with one neutral color assuming dominance. The shapes featured in minimalist designs adhere to regular geometric patterns, eschewing abstract forms. These shapes include straight lines, smooth curves, simple configurations, and flat planes. Furniture adorned with intricate details is deemed incompatible with the tenets of minimalist design.


Tips for Minimalist Interior Design


  • Opt for furniture that appropriately suits the room's dimensions – neither excessively large nor too small. Avoid overcrowding the space with furniture, ideally maintaining approximately 70% of the room's total area as unoccupied space. Minimalist design should steer clear of clutter resulting from an excess of items.

  • Minimize the presence of furniture and items on the floor to create an appearance of spaciousness and cleanliness. Consider replacing traditional tables with floating shelves for a streamlined look.

  • Utilize unused corners effectively; for instance, transform the space under the bed into a storage area for clothes or convert the area behind the TV into a backdrop to conceal cables.

  • Employ closed, non-transparent storage boxes to organize small household items like batteries, charger cables, and car keys – aligning with the principles of neat arrangement inherent in minimalist design.

  • Promote ample natural light within the room through expansive openings and windows, devoid of obstructive ornaments that may hinder sunlight.

  • In smaller rooms, strategically place mirrors on one side of the wall to evoke a sense of spaciousness.

  • Opt for white as the dominant color on walls, floors, and ceilings, enhancing the perceived spaciousness and brightness of the room. Complement this with wooden furniture in soft colors to temper the potentially 'cold' impression of dominant white tones.

  • Embrace the beauty of empty spaces as an aesthetic element, foregoing the need for artwork on living room walls in favor of a clean, unadorned look.

Minimalist Interior Design Tips
Use a floating shelf instead of buying a shelf with legs. Image by leibal.com
Minimalist Interior Design Tips
The TV cables are hidden in a backdrop which also functions as a cupboard. Image by mooponto.com
Minimalist Interior Design Tips
Wide openings to maximize light. Adapt to the environmental context. Image by contemporaryist.com
Minimalist Interior Design Tips
White throughout the room is combined with black accents on the furniture. Image by shinichiogawa.com

The minimalist concept is particularly well-suited for small houses, contingent upon the homeowner embracing a minimalist lifestyle. The guiding principle emphasizes simplicity, adhering to the notion that "Less is More" for an optimal living experience.


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