A minimalist home doesn’t have to be empty or feel cold. There are a lot of things you can do in order to make your house or apartment feel like a home without having too many things by using minimalist design ideas.
I consider myself a moderate minimalist: I don’t live with only the bare minimum (as some believe all minimalist people do), but I am very mindful of my possessions and the way I choose to “have” things. I believe we can all be at least moderate minimalists in order to live a more relaxed life and also create less waste.
Some people feel it’s impossible to be a minimalist and still have a warm home that feels unique and your own. I’m here to prove you otherwise.
I will share some of my favorite minimalist design ideas. Of course, you don’t have to completely change your home to fit this design style, but I hope you’ll find some inspiration 🙂
Some of the links that I use are affiliate links – meaning I get a small commission with no extra cost to you.
Why have a minimalist design?
If you’ve always lived in clutter, you have no idea how calming it is to live in a clear environment. Clutter creates distractions, it takes longer to find items, it takes our attention all the time. A clear environment allows only the things we love to be in center, making us calmer and happier.
Less to organize & clean
If you have a bunch of unorganized clutter everywhere, it will take you much longer to clear the surface before cleaning it. The fewer things you have, the fewer stuff you have to clean and move around. It will save you time and cleaning supplies 😉
Before we start,
Work with what you have!
For quite some time I was obsessed with having a kind of marble-white-gold features in my apartment. But moving in with my guy and some of his existing furniture made my plans different.
It would be the EXACT OPPOSITE of minimalism to get rid of furniture because they don’t match my interior design vision. We already had a TV stand, dining table, couch, bar stools, and a coffee table. They were all in the same space since we live in an apartment and they all had similar features – silver, metal and black.
I decided to match my future purchases to what I already have, and now I buy bright cold colors that compliment the black, silver accessories and if I incorporate a color, I would only choose one color to keep the minimalist design look – clear and clean.
So here we go,
15 Ideas for a minimalist design:
Going with a full-on rainbow palette can PROBABLY look great, but it’s hard to pull off and it will defiantly look cluttered. Going neutral, especially in the bigger things will go a long way in creating a cohesive minimalist design.
A monochromatic design gives an illusion of luxury even when not a lot is spent on the actual furniture and decor. As long as you keep a cohesive look of unity, it will look less cluttered and more minimalistic.
Neutral doesn’t have to be boring, there’s a lot you can do!
Metallic Black & White
Less stuff is a must for a minimalist design. You won’t need 2 side tables, a library and ten thousand shelves if you’ll have less of everything. Start by decluttering and eliminating unnecessary furniture.
A minimalist living room furniture situation is a couch/ sectional/sofa with an armchair, some sort of TV stand, a coffee table and maybe a console table.
Obviously you can have more furniture, but don’t take your existing ones as “must have” just because you’re used to them.
Some will say that minimum furniture creates a feeling of emptiness.
My advice is to look for furniture that is unique and special. Incorporating different textures will give a deeper look with only a few items.
Here are some of my favorite budget-friendly options:
Sofas & Armchairs:
Coffee Tables & Stands
Less stuff is a must for a minimalist design. But before you can eliminate furniture, you’ll have to declutter the small stuff. You know, the stuff that keeps you saying “I need more storage!” Well, you actually don’t need any more storage. You need some more decluttering. I’ve created a free online course to make the process easier for you! Just sign up and be ready for 7 days of decluttering 🙂
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This is a step by step guide that goes through each room.
Bright colors give the feeling of bigger and cleaner space. White is great to start with for the base like walls, carpets, curtains, etc.
You can use a warmer tone over plain white, but anything bright will be a great base for everything else you choose to design with.
Let Light In
Another thing that will immediately brighten up your home are plain curtains. Some people buy colorful or printed curtains because they’re beautiful, but they usually create a darker and cluttered setting.
Especially in common areas where you don’t need curtains to block the sun, you should let natural light come in.
Either leave the windows bare or use bright, solid colored curtains to create a natural design.
Retro looking or vintage elements have a place in a minimalist design too! You can and should use things you already have in your design. I love incorporating natural-looking materials to give a warn, homey feel to the interior design.
Use Experiences as Decor
Plants, candles and incense are great “stuff” to have around that can look nice and also bring more joy to your life.
Having all spaces and surfaces empty can be kind of depressing. But decor just for the sake of decor can also be wasteful of space and money. I love using beautiful candles or cute succulents that serve more than one purpose. Win win situation 😉
A Splash Of Color & Texture
Finally getting around to the real warmness I’ve been talking about. With all the bright and neutral, a splash of color would transform the coldness into coziness. A touch of colors in small details like pillows, art and accents will go a long way into creating a homey feel. If you don’t want to over do it, you can go with more muted hues or pastels.
These are some accent products I’ve been lusting for:
Colorful Accent Items & Experience Items:
Free Your Counter Space
A bunch of decor that has no purpose combined with the mail from last month will guarantee you a cluttered look! Oh, that’s not what you’re going for? So it’s time to get rid of everything that doesn’t serve a purpose. Focus on putting everything in its place and creating specific permanent locations for each item you have. Once every item has its own home, you’ll find it a lot easier to keep counter space free.
Like I’ve said in previous posts, trays are an amazing way to have things out of storage and still look organized and not create clutter in our vision.
One of my favorite minimalist tips is to keep the counters clear – but that’s not always the most convenient option. For the things I can’t keep inside hidden spaces all the time, I have trays! I use trays on the coffee table, on the night stand, on the bathroom counter and other spaces.
Trays help centering all of the things you have outside.
For example, use a tray on the coffee table in the living room for coasters, remote controls, and other small items you have out at the moment.
Usually I prefer to have these things inside the drawers I have on my coffee table, and only take it out when needed. But if you don’t have storage as a part of your table, a tray can be a great addition!
My favorite affordable options from Nordstrom & Target:
A focal point that is clear and doesn’t look cluttered. In most cases the tray with the things inside it is more than enough to be the focal point, but not all surfaces demand a tray. A vase with flowers is a great example of a center piece.
Create a DIY
If you want to have a contemporary look without spending a lot of money and waste resources, you can create your own DIY with things you already have. That way you don’t create waste and you don’t accumulate more stuff you don’t need.
Bonus: It will look tailored to your space since you custom made it.
I love looking for ideas and inspiration when I feel I’m missing something.
Don’t clutter your walls using more than one piece per wall. I’m not saying go bare, but our walls are always a part of our vision and the way we see a room. If you use it for too many things, especially unrelated – then it creates a busy feeling that can distract you easily.
For example, my apartment is fairly big and I had huge bare walls, I knew it will look awkward if I try to hide all of it with art. So I chose to get a big canvas painting that takes about a third of the wall, but all of the attention goes to it.
If I would put pictures, a mirror, a clock and other decoration on the same wall, it would have probably looked too cluttered.
Consider using a mirror instead of regular decoration for some of your walls. It creates the illusion of a bigger space, thus looking cleaner and clearer. Some mirrors can preform as art and make your space clear and beautiful with only one object! Another win win 🙂
Mirrors & Wall Art:
No reason to explain why a bunch of chords are creating constant clutter, right? No worries, there’s a solution for everything.
There are plenty of products you can use to minimize the clutter that electronics and chords create.
I dream of the day when the TV won’t be the main focal point of my apartment. But what can you do when your guy is obsessed with sports? No, really! If someone knows, please share 😉
I hope you found inspiration and new ideas to create a minimalist design yourselves! I would love to hear some of your ideas on how to create a cozy minimalist design 🙂