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Popular Minimalist Home Design Tips For 2021

Katie Ziraldo5-Minute Read
January 27, 2021

Simplicity, functionality and intentionality. These are the primary goals and benefits of minimalist home design. Minimalism is both a design philosophy and a way of life. If you recently moved into a new home, or if you’re looking to refresh your living space, minimalism could be right for you!

“Minimalism can be used to provide a place of quiet refuge from a noisy and chaotic world,” explains Justin Riordan, an interior designer, architect and founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, a home staging company.

What Is A Minimalist House Design?

After World War I, minimalist architecture took off primarily due to the availability of the needed materials: glass, concrete and steel. Minimalism began to grow in the 1960s, when the word itself gained popularity among young artists. Although the minimalist lifestyle has been around for a long time, the style means different things to different people. At its core, minimalism in the home refers to simplicity in the form and function of a living space.

Minimalist design has heavily influenced what we now call modern design, but its simplicity can draw attention to your home’s natural beauty or other key design elements, such as wooden beams on a ceiling or an indoor secret garden.

“Minimalist style provides a reduction of clutter, reduces the number of visual variations in the environment, and allows functional elements to fade into the background when evaluating the feel of a room,” says Kelsey Stuart, the CEO of Bloomin’ Blinds, a window treatment franchise.

A minimalist house design has also been known to reduce cognitive overload, making it easier for you to relax at the end of a long day. Studies have found that cluttered homes reduce your sense of security and safety, which are arguably the greatest emotional benefits of homeownership.

How To Design A Minimalist House

Designing and living in a minimalist house requires a decluttered space and mind.

“The best way to begin to create this design style is with a change of mindset,” says Charmaine Wynter, a luxury interior designer. “You’ll have to be disciplined to achieve this design vision as it requires editing your possessions ruthlessly, paring down to [the] absolute essentials of the space and ridding yourself of excess.”

There are easy steps you can take to simplify your home’s design. Keep reading for recommendations on how to utilize minimalist design in your house!

1. Declutter Your Interior

“Elimination of clutter and unused items is a great place to start towards the minimalist lifestyle,” explains Stuart. “Many experts in the field recommend getting rid of anything that hasn’t been used in the last 6 months.”

Although it’s the first step, it’s important to note that decluttering is never a single event. Continuous decluttering is necessary in minimalist design in order to maintain and emphasize the design elements in your home.

“Minimalism can be difficult to live in,” adds Riordan. “It requires discipline to resist bringing items into the environment that do not meet the minimalist requirements already established for the space.”

2. Highlight Architectural Beauty

One of the biggest benefits of minimalist home design is its ability to showcase your home’s natural beauty. It provides you with the opportunity to make the most of your home’s architectural details by designing around them, rather than concealing them.

“Minimalism is the use of the absolute simplest form to fully achieve the most basic function,” says Riordan. “It is the absence of decoration [and] the beautification of the structure in its simplest form.”

When designing your space, we suggest looking around each room, choosing one feature you like about it and using that as your inspiration for the rest of the area, such as ceiling details, hardwood floors or the sunlight at a certain time of day.

3. Tone Down Your Color Palette

Stuart notes that you can be on trend and minimalist at the same time, as the two are not always opposites. Although many associate minimalism with clean white walls, there are actually many color options available for your home based on your taste. From warm eggshell whites, to neutral colors, to starkly contrasting black and white palettes, it’s important to find the shades that are most comforting to you when designing your space.

“There is no such thing as the best color for minimalist design, rather it is the amount of colors used,” says Riordan. “To keep an interior minimalist, we want to use as few colors as possible. A space where everything is grey accomplishes minimalism just as well as if everything is red. What we are trying to avoid would be a combination of many colors as we see used in maximalism.”

4. Reimagine Storage

Once your home has been decluttered, you can reimagine what your storage looks like to keep it that way, and hopefully sell furniture previously used for storage to move toward an open floor plan.

If you’re unable to hide your storage completely, consider using floating shelves or a closed storage cabinet and removing all unnecessary handles and furnishings to keep it in its most simple form.

5. Adapt Inconspicuous Sanitizing Features

Sanitizing for coronavirus isn’t likely to become isolated to the year 2020. When designing your minimalist space, consider adding touchless technology that will remain timeless when it comes time to sell, such as touchless faucets, antimicrobial door handles and air purifying systems.

6. Embrace ‘Less Is More’

large fiddle head fig potted plant

Minimalism embraces “less is more” – meaning one of the best ways to achieve this design is to sell any furniture that isn’t serving a purpose.

Luxury minimal design is one of the hottest trends to aspire to in 2021. This trend incorporates the simplicity and functionality of the “less is more” concept, while still allowing you to show some personality in your space through statement pieces. A sparse room with a luxury sofa is better than one with a collection of seats, floor lamps, and other furniture taking up floor space.

“Minimalist style celebrates the line and shape of the few furnishings that are present within the space,” explains Wynter.

7. Soften A Space With A Statement Indoor Plant

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Minimalism is an aesthetic of focus and serenity. You can foster this environment further by choosing to include an indoor plant with a clean, simple design and using it as a focal point in your space.

A single plant can highlight the architectural beauty of your home, such as by accentuating the ceiling height or bringing some needed excitement to plainer rooms. In addition to their design benefits, indoor plants also offer environmental and psychological benefits to their caretakers as they release oxygen into the air around them.

8. Maintain Intention

When purchasing a new piece of furniture, art or anything home decor, remember the intentional focal point of each room. Ask yourself if the addition you are considering will add value and functionality to the space.

“If something’s sole purpose is to add beauty, it does not belong in minimalist interior,” comments Riordan. “Only the most essential elements to make a home useable are incorporated. It can be as simple as removing handles from cabinet doors, having a hidden trim around framed doors, or even hiding light sources away from the naked eye.”

The Bottom Line

After decades at the forefront of modern design, minimalist style isn’t going anywhere; however, its iterations are abundant. Minimalism begins as a mindset that then expresses outward into your space – so the most important part is deciding if the design style fits your way of life. Remember that all styles can be altered to match your needs and taste. It’s your home, so you make the rules!

If you’re looking to sell your home or love keeping up on current trends, stay informed of well-designed homes selling in your neighborhood.

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    Katie Ziraldo

    Katie Ziraldo is a writer focused on financial learning for current and future homeowners. She found her love of writing through her experience working with various newspapers, such as the Detroit Free Press. Her financial literacy stems from her four years as a Recruiter, when she learned the details of every role in the mortgage process. As a writer, she uses that knowledge to create relevant content for homeowners to help them reach their goals.