Minimalist home office with large windows.

Your Complete Guide To A Minimalist Home Design

Erin Gobler6-Minute Read
April 14, 2022

Minimalism has become a popular trend across all areas of life, and home decor is no exception. A minimalist home design combines the benefits of simplicity and functionality while still allowing you to create a beautiful space. Incorporating minimalism into your home can create a peaceful space that serves as a refuge from the chaos of everyday life.

There are many elements you can use to create a minimalist home, and it’s easier than ever to do it yourself. Keep reading to learn more about minimalist homes, how to create one, and the benefits of incorporating minimalism into your space.

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What Is Minimalism?

You’ve probably heard the term minimalism before but may not have fully understood what it meant. In general, minimalism is a way of being intentional with your life and your space. Whether it is in your home decor or anything else, it’s about using the fewest number of elements to create the desired effect.

When it comes to home design, minimalism dates back to World War I, when minimalist architecture became popular, more out of need than because it was trendy. But since then, more people have embraced the idea of minimalism in their homes and other areas of their lives.

A minimalist home design reduces clutter in your home, as well as the number of visual elements. This type of intentional design has heavily influenced what we now call modern design. Not only is it visually appealing, but studies have shown it can reduce cognitive overload, help you relax, and help you feel more safe and secure in your space.

What Are Elements Of A Minimalist House?

Minimalist house with balcony.

As we mentioned, the idea of a minimalist home is essentially using the fewest number of pieces necessary to eliminate clutter and unnecessary elements while still creating a beautiful space. Below we’ll describe some of the elements you’re likely to find in a minimalist home.

Neutral Colors And Textures

If you’ve ever seen pictures of minimalist homes, you’ve probably noticed they all tend to lean toward neutral colors and textures. That’s not to say that a minimalist space has to be visually boring. You can combine different textures and neutral patterns to make the space appealing. However, you aren’t likely to find many bright wall paint colors, furniture, or decor items. Colors used often include whites, grays, creams, and possibly some pastels as accents.

Open Spaces And Bare Essentials

Another element that is often used in a minimalist home design is an open floor plan. This type of floor plan helps to create simplicity. They often maximize the natural lighting while reducing the appearance of clutter, the number of interior walls, and the feeling of being in a small space.

Clean Lines And Flat Surfaces

Minimalist home designs often incorporate clean lines and flat surfaces. Not only are these more visually appealing and less distracting, but they can also provide increased functionality. Additionally, it allows each element of the home to be featured rather than having many pieces that all blend together.

Warm Lighting

A well-designed minimalist space can use few elements and neutral colors while still making the place feel warm. One of the ways this is done is through the use of warm lighting — ideally natural lighting. This type of warm natural light can enhance the neutral colors and tones in the space and make it feel more like home. Additionally, decor features such as rugs and tables can also bring additional warmth to the space.

How To Design A Minimalist Home

Minimalist bedroom with plenty of sun.

It’s one thing to talk about the elements included in a minimalist home design, but it’s another thing altogether to put it together yourself. Here are a few tips that might help you create your minimalist home.

Create A Neutral Foundation

As we mentioned, neutral colors are at the center of most minimalist spaces, especially when it comes to the larger elements. As you’re putting together your home design, focus on a neutral, warm, or monochromatic color palette, especially as it relates to the walls, flooring, furniture, and other large items. If you choose to add color, it would likely appear in the smaller design elements. As you’re choosing neutral pieces, you can mix and match different shades and incorporate different textures to include more visual elements in the space.

Declutter Your Interior

One of the most important principles of minimalism — whether it be for home design or other parts of life — is its simplicity. And in the case of home decor, that means decluttering your home’s interior. Remember that decluttering your home isn’t a single event. Instead, it’s a mindset that you’ll incorporate over the long term to help to reduce the number of items in your home to only keep those that really bring value.

Maximize Storage Space

A big part of a minimalist home design is about decluttering your belongings. But you might be wondering what that means about the things you plan to keep, especially since minimalism is all about open spaces. In that case, it may be time to reimagine your room storage.

First, remember that the goal of minimalism is to reduce the number of things you own, not simply keep them in a less obvious place in your home. That being said, you’re unlikely to get rid of everything. For the items you decide to keep, you can use floating shelves for some of the most visually appealing items. And for those that don’t necessarily fit the minimalist design, consider a closed storage cabinet where you can hide them away.

Invest In Quality Over Quantity

One of the most important tenets of a minimalist home design is reducing the number of elements in your home while still maximizing the functionality. And when you’re taking a “less is more” approach and no longer prioritizing quantity, you can really invest in the quality.

If you’re someone who has historically turned to budget pieces, then consider changing your mindset. It’s not about being able to buy the most items with your money, but about getting the most value from your money. And to do that, it’s best to invest in high-quality pieces.

For example, rather than investing in a full collection of chairs, ottomans, end tables, and more at discounted prices, consider buying a luxury sofa that you know you’ll be able to use for a decade.

Personalize Your Home

Remember that at the end of the day, it’s still your home and you want it to feel that way. As you’re choosing your minimalist pieces, remember to also incorporate a few that really make you feel at home. That might mean hanging family photos on the wall or adding a few design elements that while they might not be what you’d find in a magazine, make the space feel like yours.

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Minimalist Home Design Ideas

Sometimes having some visual aids can go a long way in helping you to visualize a minimalist space. Below are some examples of minimalist rooms that you can use for inspiration.

Living Room

Minimalist living room.

As you can see, the photo above of a living room incorporates many of the elements of a minimalist home that we discussed. It has a neutral color palette, with the exception of the plant that provides some nature to the room. It has few pieces of furniture, focusing instead on one focal piece. The few items in the room are displayed attractively on floating shelves.

Kitchen

Minimalist kitchen.

The photo above really shows you that a minimalist kitchen doesn’t have to be boring. It showcases beautiful textures, patterns and even includes a pop of color, courtesy of the flowers on the countertop. And a kitchen, perhaps more than any other room, needs to be functional as well as beautiful, as the space above is.

Dining Room

Minimalist dining room.

In many homes, the dining room is where your family gathers, so you want it to be a warm and welcoming space. And as the photo above shows, you can do that while maintaining a minimalist design. The room is styled with neutrals, using decor elements to provide texture and points of interest to the room. The room has plenty of natural light, and its minimalist elements are what make you want to spend time there.

Bedroom

Minimalist bedroom.

Your bedroom may be the most important room of all to incorporate a minimalist design. After all, it’s where you want to feel most at least and the least stress, since it’s your place to rest and recharge. The photo above includes several examples of minimalism, from the neutral color palette to the limited furniture to the large window providing plenty of natural light. Despite the neutral colors, the room instantly feels warm and relaxing.

Benefits Of A Minimalist Home Design

As we’ve already mentioned, there are several key benefits to embracing a minimalist design for your home. First, minimalism can help to reduce stress. You might not realize it, but a cluttered space can easily make you feel overwhelmed, while a minimalist space can do the opposite.

Another benefit of incorporating minimalism into your home is that it reduces the time you’ll spend cleaning and maintaining your home. There will be less furniture to clean, fewer shelves and knick-knacks to dust, and generally, less to navigate as you’re cleaning.

You might also be surprised that minimalism can help to enhance your own creativity. It may seem counterintuitive, but being distracted by clutter and bright colors can reduce your own creativity. But with a minimalist home design, there’s more space for your own imagination to shine.

The Bottom Line

Not only are minimalist home designs trendy, but they can also bring a whole new level of function and peace to your home. Remember that a minimalist home doesn’t have to be boring — there are still plenty of options for creating a beautiful space. For most help with styling your interior, check out other popular interior design trends for this year.

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Erin Gobler

Erin Gobler is a freelance personal finance expert and writer who has been publishing content online for nearly a decade. She specializes in financial topics like mortgages, investing, and credit cards. Erin's work has appeared in publications like Fox Business, NextAdvisor, Credit Karma, and more.