How to Get That Minimalist Look, without Losing the Stuff You Need. To most, minimalism is breathtaking. Homes that adhere to minimalist philosophy are some of the most stylish and sought-after; the simple, clean design bereft of unnecessary decoration and furniture is appealing at a seemingly primal level. The lack of clutter seems less stressful and more sophisticated, which are qualities nearly everyone seeks.
Yet, you are likely hesitant to attempt the minimalist look in your own home ― after all, it ostensibly requires that you give up all your stuff, and you, understandably, are likely attached to much of your stuff. However, the truth is you can achieve a minimalist style without losing the items you need. Here is a simple guide to going minimalist (or minimal-ish, at least) without ditching all your prized possessions.
How to Get That Minimalist Look
Minimalize One Room at a Time
Moving spaces is a great reason to redecorate your entire house in the minimalist style all at once ― if you have the financial resources. For most of us, revamping one room at a time is challenge enough.
To begin, select a space that will be easy to minimalize; this is usually a room that doesn’t see much use, like a second bathroom or a guest bedroom. Follow the next steps to achieve a minimalist look, and enjoy spending calm, clutter-free moments in that space. Then, begin transforming higher traffic regions of your home. Eventually, only your garage and closets will show disorder, and even they won’t last long after you become accustomed to the minimalist lifestyle.
Keep Only the Essentials
As you may well know, minimalism isn’t just a way to design ― it is a way to live. The first tenant of the minimalist lifestyle is: Have no more and no less than you absolutely need. Thus, before you begin perusing furniture catalogues and picking paint samples, you must assess the possessions that currently clutter your home.
Take a good, hard look at every piece of furniture, every electronic gadget, and every piece of art in your home, and ask yourself what would happen if it disappeared. You might imagine that it burned up in a house fire, was stolen during a robbery, or else that you simply gave it away. If all you feel is remorse for the money lost ― rather than sympathy for a beloved treasure or sadness for missed opportunities ― you can probably get rid of it. Opting to donate your gently used belongings, including large items like furniture or motor vehicles or old boats, is a righteous choice that benefits not just needy individuals but your community as a whole.
Do Furniture First
The biggest items in a room dictate its decorative style, so replacing your furniture with chicer, more minimal pieces is essential to achieving the right look. Initially, you should work to cut down on the total amount of furniture you have in the room, and then systematically swap any necessary pieces with more minimalist options, especially those with strong geometric shape, natural materials, and neutral colors.
For example, a guest bedroom really only needs a bed and a nightstand, so you can eliminate the wardrobe, bookshelf, chair, footstool, vanity, etc. Then, you should supplant the existing bed with a low, square, simple alternative and a nightstand (or two) to match.
Clear All Floors and Surfaces
Undoubtedly, the reason you find minimalism so alluring is its utterly empty surfaces. However, this is one of the trickiest steps in achieving that coveted look. Every flat surface in the room, from shelves to the floors, should be clean and clear at all times. Nothing should be stacked or stored on your floors; nothing should cover and clutter your counters, tables, and shelves ― save perhaps one or two small, simple decorations, like a vase of flowers or potted plant.
Of course, this means that many useful items will need to be stored out of sight. For example, a minimalist kitchen necessitates storage space for essential appliances, like coffee makers and toasters. Ample storage space is the key to maintaining a beautiful minimalist home, so you should ensure you have plenty before you begin your decluttering crusade.
Choose Plain, Subdued Décor
You likely already realize that colors have a profound impact on the atmosphere of a room, so informing you that the color scheme you use to decorate your minimalist spaces is of the utmost importance. Though white is the quintessential minimalist color, it is by no means your only option. Any color that doesn’t overstimulate the eyes is appropriate; especially valued are earth tones: blues, browns, tans, and greens.