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The Characteristics of Minimalist Interior Design

Minimalism is a term that started in the mid 20th century. It was first used to describe a painting, and later found its way through music, literature, technology, and even in design and architecture.

Flip through any interior design or architectural magazine and you’ll notice something – houses with little to no ornaments; rooms with little furniture; windows with no treatments; clean and sterile walls; kitchen with minimal detailing. This powerful technique is called Minimalism.

As more and more young homeowners adopt the less is more ideology, the Minimalist theme is now becoming a trend as individuals realize the ease of living a simpler life. In our hectic, fast-paced world, it could really be a nice treat to come home to a clutter-free, relaxing environment.

However, because of its simplicity, many are still getting intimidated by the minimalist interior design style. Some people think that it’s cold and sterile. But many are unaware that the concept of minimalist interior design is not completely taking away everything. 

It’s about reducing down until only the essential items remain – revealing the natural beauty of a home, which is simple yet functional. Just as how Dieter Rams, a German industrial designer, described it: Less, but better.

If your goal is to create a simple, calming, and functional space to live in, then a minimalist interior design style is a great option to consider. Just remember these five important characteristics when designing your minimalist home.

Minimal Furniture


Image & Design by Ritchie Creative Design

A minimalist home would only contain a few pieces of furniture, but not so few that it would make the room look so empty and cold. The trick here is to know how many items you really need.  

If you have more than one table in your living room, for instance, ask yourself, “Why do you need the extra one?” 

Unused items do nothing but take up space. It is also best to stick with multi-functional or smaller pieces of furniture with simple, geometric shapes as they make the room much more spacious.

Make sure that your furnishings are also arranged in a way that they provide sufficient walking space. 

Blank Walls



When it comes to minimalist interior design – less is more, so leave your walls as bare as possible. Hanging too many pictures on the walls makes a room look cluttered. Not to mention that they only collect dust, giving you another thing to worry about.

If you want to hang some pictures, make sure to keep it to minimum – one or two pieces of abstract or modern artwork will work just fine.

Clear Floors



Another important thing to keep in mind when designing your minimalist home is to keep your floor free from clutter. Aside from your furniture, nothing else should be seen on your floor area. 

Get rid of those unused boxes, stack of papers, unnecessary decorations, and even those expensive carpets that are hard to clean. Books, CDs, and DVDs should be properly stored in shelves/ storage with cleanly defined profiles or suspended forms. 

One crucial element of minimalism is the emphasis of clear, open floor space, so as to create an illusion of bigger and airy interiors.

Minimal Colors


Image & Design by The Local Inn.Terior Pte Ltd

When people think about minimalist design, it’s commonly visualized as being only in “black and white”. Not true.

When it comes to choosing the right colours for a minimalist home, for instance, the combination of white, beige and brown still makes an outstanding impact. A neutral composition such as this gives good balance and would be an absolute safe bet.  

Similar to other interior designs, you can also use vibrant shades, such as yellow, red or orange, to make your space more interesting. The only rule is to keep it as minimum as possible, and make sure that they match to the overall design of your living space.

Simple Décor



Having a minimalist home doesn’t mean you can’t decorate. Putting accessories and other decorations is also important to creating a perfect minimalist space – but do not overboard. A vase with flowers and an art piece are a perfect addition as they keep your space from being boring. 

You can also add a few smaller decors, such as potted plants, candles, and framed photos as long as they complement the room and are not too distracting.

When it comes to windows, it’s best to not use any window treatments to let natural light in and create a sense of cleanliness; but if you want to add a little privacy, you can use a simple roller shade or wooden blinds.


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