Clutter and materialism can take a toll on some people, in a social climate which encourages excess, a coherent and enduring aesthetic movement that rejects waste and embraces simplicity has gained momentum, Minimalism. Radical, clean, airy and, well, Minimalist, this style has had significant social repercussions, with even non-Minimalist decor styles adapting to suit more Minimalist tastes and seem appealing.
So, what exactly is Minimalism? What does it offer beyond a neat, ordered room, and how can it be replicated on a budget?
What is Minimalist Home Decor?
Minimalism is defined by as few items as possible, each having a distinct utility, neutral base colours, few clashing textures, and simple decor.
Minimalist home decor is typically associated with the ‘mid century’, or ‘modern design’ style, but in spite of this it doesn’t have a defined aesthetic, as much as it has a set of shared themes. This is quite a positive feature, and means it can be blended with several other different interior decor styles, Rustic, Art Deco, and Transitional Interior Design, to name a few.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to creating a Minimalist display is to view your display as though it were a silhouette, and do as much as you can to reduce that silhouette down, until it looks distinct, uncluttered, simple, with as few adjoining items as possible. This may seem a strange means of visualising your home, however, this flattening technique will not only ensure that your decluttering attempts are held to a higher standard, but also that your decor layout reaches the lofty standard of simplicity to which Minimalist decor always aspires.
Where did Minimalist Home Decor Come From?
It’s widely believed that Minimalism rose to prominence after the Second World War, championed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It’s also believed that Minimalism first developed as an architectural style, with interior styling following suit shortly after. However, the term ‘Minimalist’ likely came from the New York Minimal Movement in the 1960s. Before then, Minimalist style would likely be considered a divergent branch of Bauhaus style, which often emphasised the creation of items and decor utilising the least amount of material possible.
How to make a Minimalist home on a budget.
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to budget Minimalism. Firstly, the good news is that the precepts of Minimalism lend themselves quite well to budgeting. While the ‘quality over quantity’ means that initial costs may be quite high for some items, there are second hand alternatives, and without a defined aesthetic, you can feasibly utilise other styles (I.e. a ‘Boho’ mahogany table with a lot of storage drawers) to create a Minimalist home style.
The bad news is that Minimalism requires a lot of upkeep, a lot.
While we all try to keep our homes uncluttered, Minimalism has a higher standard of uncluttered than other home styles. If you live with other people, if you have kids, if you’re busy, you will be spending a lot of time keeping your home uncluttered. Again, these aren’t new challenges when it comes to home styling necessarily, but if you’re on a budget and your time is limited, a Minimalist style may become a little harder to maintain.
This, however shouldn’t discourage you from attempting this style, Minimalist Interior Decor is innately related to the Minimalist lifestyle, and as such, it’s very possible to pick up in time, given that you practise said lifestyle. Minimalism isn’t inaccessible, it just requires more adaptation than most other home decor styles. We’d advise time, research and consideration before you adopt this radical home decor styling.
Minimalist Home Advice
So, given everything that we’ve said so far, we’ll do a quick roundup of what you need to make a perfect Minimalist Home.
- Research and consider, is Minimalism really right for you?
- Clear clutter and dispose of everything you can’t do without.
- Choose and keep furniture with purpose, clear what you don’t need.
- Adopt a neutral base colour.
- Reduce clashing textures.
- Minimise silhouettes.
- Emphasise clear, straight lines.
- Minimise colour contrasts (but don’t remove them entirely.)
- Ensure lighting is present, to accentuate the bright open space you’ve created.