Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.
Minimalism is an idea where you only live with the things you need. Instead of surrounding yourself with excess stuff, a minimalist is all about practical items that can make day-to-day life easier. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a TV or a couch or other comfort items. It just means getting rid of stuff that truly isn’t needed.
Those who have adopted the minimalist approach say the home style has helped them:
- Live in the moment
- Experience true freedom
- Focus on passions
- Grow as individuals
- Discover life’s purpose
Just because minimalism is focused on necessity doesn’t mean it has to be boring or drab. In fact, sleek and stylish versions of minimalism are popping up in houses all over the country, from small starter homes to luxury mansions.
1. Clear All Clutter
Look around your home. What’s the first thing you notice? Most of us say shoes, stacks of junk mail, unwashed dishes and haphazardly strewn clothes. In fact, 90% of Americans say unorganized clutter is negatively impacting their lives. The key to minimalism is taking all the clutter and getting rid of it — or at least finding a place for it.
To start, take stock of all the items in your home and start organizing. Sell or donate items you’ve determined you don’t need. Clear out main areas and store your essentials out of sight. And keep clutter at bay by designating a spot for each item.
2. Focus on Functionality
Minimalism is about how rooms function, not just how they look. Take stock of each room and decide what you want the purpose to be. Do you invite guests over often? Perhaps you’ll want a kitchen with spacious countertops and plenty of table space. Or maybe a living room with multiple seating options.
Do you work from home? Then you might want a distraction-free room with features conducive to productivity, such as natural light, plant decor and blue accent colors. A dedicated minimalist will even search for multi-functional furniture, such as a sofa that can pull out into a guest bed or an ottoman that doubles as a storage container.
3. Keep Colors Neutral
The minimalist style is clean and simple — something you can depict through color choice. While a pop of burgundy or emerald green can look nice, it detracts from the rest of the room and takes away from the minimalist goal of cohesion. Choose neutral tones like ivory, beige or tan. If you want something warmer, feel free to branch out into shades of gold, blue and peach.
When choosing your colors, try sticking to the 60-30-10 rule, which breaks down into:
- 60% of the room one dominant color
- 30% of the room one secondary color
- 10% of the room as accent colors
This rule isn’t written in stone. But it is a helpful guideline to follow when you’re searching for the right minimalist aesthetic.
4. Let in Light
One big marker of a minimalist home is plenty of natural sunlight. Natural light makes rooms look larger, warmer and more inviting. By eliminating shadows, homeowners have a cheerful spot to relax. Not to mention all the health benefits associated with natural light, which can help boost vitamin D, prevent autoimmune diseases and aid in sleep.
You don’t have to strip your windows of curtains to make the most of your light. Instead, opt for floor-length sheer panels which match your room’s color scheme. Curtains will add soft hues to the room while still allowing light to shine through.
5. Choose Decor Wisely
It’s a common myth that a minimalist home means having no accessories or decor. Spaces without any type of decoration tend to look unfinished, no matter how well designed. The addition of some well-placed accessories can add to your home’s overall style without detracting from the minimalist aesthetic.
Types of decor that look best in a minimalist home includes:
Choose your decor wisely. Even too many practical pieces like candles or blankets can leave your home looking cluttered.
How to Design an Attractive Minimalist Home
Designing a minimalist home doesn’t mean dumping everything you own and painting the walls white. Instead, it means clearing out the clutter and letting the light in to create a warm, inviting space.
Use neutral tones like beige and ivory, but don’t be afraid to add warmth with golds and blues. Choose furniture that is both comfortable and practical — especially multi-functional pieces like futons and drop-leaf tables. And don’t forget to add some character with carefully selected decor meant to enhance the overall aesthetic.