Design Styles: Minimalism

One of today's most popular design styles, Minimalism, advances function over form. Pieces of furniture or décor that don’t serve a specific and recognizable purpose are left by the wayside. This leaves open spaces with simple furnishings. Decoration is acceptable by a minimalist, however; it usually serves a very specific purpose in the feel of the room. Any room is composed of 5 main things: Color, furniture, lighting, art and decor, and space. Here are each of these five aspects as viewed by a minimalist.


The color palette for a minimalist design is generally muted. Minimalist design will usually use a lot of white, grey, and beige, with hints of black or other muted colors. A different technique that still adheres to minimalist design is using a single bright colored piece of décor or furniture that serves as the focal point to a room or home. Minimalist designers often recommend finding one piece of stand-out furniture or art that really brings color to an otherwise colorless room. 


For a minimalist, furniture should be functional above all else. Minimalists prefer furniture without accents or beading. Minimalists love simple, easy to clean fabric with sleek designs that don’t take up much space. Furniture is rarely the focal point of a room. The exception is when the furniture chosen is a bright color in an otherwise austere room. 


Minimalist design generally incorporates large windows for the admittance of natural light. The more natural light available, the better. In the absence of natural light, minimalism uses light in one of two ways. 1) Recessed lighting with no fixtures allowing for functional illumination, or 2) Using light fixtures as functional art to add character to the minimalist style. 

Art and Decor

When choosing art in a minimalist home, stick to the color rules. Choose one piece to be the focal point of each room. If furniture is colorful, either match the color or stick with black and white. If furniture is colorless, an art piece that brings color to the room is a great way to create a sleek and elegant feeling. 


Minimalists maintain this one important principle in everything they do: Keep it open and keep it clean. Minimalists tend to despise clutter. They keep things off the floor and tend to keep their walls bare when they can. If they have a fireplace, it’s a recessed gas fireplace. The TV is mounted on the wall. The floors are textured but free of rugs or runners. 

There’s a lot to learn about minimalist design. Using it well can be an art form. It’s important to note that minimalist design is more of a spectrum. You may be a true minimalist and hold fast to these principles, or you might only be 50% minimalist and choose to have some extra decorations on the walls, or potted plants spotting the whole house. A little bit of research can help you define yourself, and how you want your home to look. 

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