Minimalism sounds like a straight-forward idea, the less you own, the better.
But is that so?
In terms of interior design, ‘at a minimum’ not only entails decluttering and simplifying, it also means selecting the best you can find that suits your needs.
Under the overarching motif of distilled simplicity, colours and decorative elements are neither excessive nor affected. The number of household items is kept at a functional minimum.
But do not confuse the idea with parsimony. Surviving with only a table and a chair is not minimalism.
Essential household items that increases the quality of living are indispensable. Minimalism is a school of thought which teaches us how to tell apart the essential from the dispensable.
Minimalist effort is like a sweeping storm.
Minimalism certainly involves a great amount of planning and painful goodbyes, but after the cleanse, the unclouded interior is cleared of impurities and clutter.
While some might find this frankness too otherworldly or impractical, you might find a sanctuary in the Minimalist space.
For one thing, this type of interior is very easy to clean and maintain.
Begin with the thought ‘less is more’.
Take time to think about what you really need. For some people, it might be a bookcase with smart storage design. For others, maybe a small house plant.
Indeed, a touch of life can do wonders to the interior if you don’t want your home to exude a cold, distant air.
Just remember to avoid items that create a feeling of disorder. For example, overly-floral wallpaper and flamboyant lighting.
Go easy on storage space
In the Minimalist bible, increasing storage space is not one of the commandments.
When you think about it, more storage space can entail a tolerance for hoarding behaviours.
Multi-layer cabinets, depending on the number of layers, can look untidy and inefficient, which violates the basic principle of cleanliness.
Think about what your basic needs are, and decide what items to purchase. Reject items that create excessive storage space.
Minimalist wallpaper colours
Gravitate towards neutral tones. A comforting, understated palette which calms the nerves instead of exciting them.
If pure white reminds you too much of the hospital, beige, khaki, slate, pale seafoam and light periwinkle verging to white are also excellent choices.
A black or wood-coloured flooring will contrast beautifully against the airy colours.
What items and where to put them
Be organised and make it a habit. This requires constant effort and mindfulness.
Put the utensils back in the kitchen drawers after use, never leave a dirty plate hanging on the writing desk.
Tidiness is not only a state of affairs, but also a state of mind.
No decorations for the windows
Avoid curtains. In Minimalist designs, windows are decorative in themselves.
Decorating the windows only add a sense of frivolity to the space. If you prefer to maintain your privacy, opt for mirrored or matte glass.
Install sun-control window films to reduce heat entering the interior.
No saturated colours and patterns
Designs like the Coastal style and the Scandinavian style make a grand impression by their characteristic sets of decorations.
The Minimalist style, however, makes an impression by resisting the decorative and communicating an effortless beauty.
Bedding, carpets and tablecloth should be in solid plain colours. Try to avoid repetition and vary the colours in shades.
A modest combination of whites, greys and blues can in fact be aesthetically pleasing.
Quality over quantity
Be warned, simplicity can cost more than you would have expected. For furniture and appliances, choose the best you can find on the market.
The Minimalist interior in fact showcases your taste and eye for quality. Inexpensive furniture without a good design dulls the interior. Replacing your malfunctioning appliances often and the cause of reducing waste is lost. Minimalists tend to choose high-quality and well-designed products.
They don’t ever allow an excessive item to besmirch their homes.
So… What is Minimalism?
Minimalism might be a set of colours, a design, a fashion statement.
But above all, Minimalism is a way of life. As you home sheds the clutter, you might find yourself a convert to Minimalism.
The essence of this school of thought will then reveal itself to you, not as deprivation, but as a sense of simple contentment.