Minimalist Design For Your Home: A Guide Worth Reading

The Complete Guide To Creating A Minimalist Design For Your Denver Home

There are countless ways that you can plan the interior design of your Denver home. However, one of the biggest challenges of creating a successful interior design is finding a way to balance form and function. It’s not uncommon for a homeowner to focus so much on their home’s decor and style that they end up sacrificing function. On the other hand, those that focus solely on each room’s function often end up lacking something aesthetically. A solution to these potential problems is to implement a minimalist design.

What Is A Minimalist Design?

Minimalist design is a design concept that embraces the principle, “less is more.” The idea is to use furnishing and decor that’s more minimal in style, less extravagant and eye-catching, and more focused on function. You would also only use what is needed for any given room. By following these principles, you ensure that the function of a room isn’t lost. At the same time, the form remains essential. Using less furniture and decor, the furniture and decor you do use will play a more significant part in your overall design’s success, no matter how minimal it is. The fewer pieces of furniture and decor you use, the more visual weight they will carry. 

Embracing minimalism means adopting a neutral color scheme. Bold colors detract from the minimalist concept. Clean lines are essential as well, which is why ornate decorative items and furniture are rarely used.

This balance of form and function through the “less is more” concept may seem a little basic on the surface. It helps to dive a little deeper into the origins of minimalist design, how minimalist design is applied today, and the benefits of using a minimalist design. The following are two types of minimalist design principles from which most modern minimalist interior designs can trace their roots:

The Scandanavian Principles Of Minimalist Design

The Scandinavian style of interior design first gained prominence in the 1950s when Elizabeth Gordon, the editor of House Beautiful magazine, put together a traveling exhibition called “Design in Scandinavia,” which brought attention to their minimalist style. This style embraces the “Lagom” lifestyle, a Swedish principle founded on the “hygge” philosophy. This principle aims to create a balance between modernism, comfort, and functionality to create a cozy and balanced space. This philosophy is achieved by using muted colors, natural lighting, a decluttered space, plant life, wood accents, and modern furniture, all with a “less is more” principle in mind. 

The Japanese Principles Of Minimalist Design

One of the essential concepts in Japanese culture is that of “balance.” It’s where their ideas of minimalist design come from. The importance of balance in Japanese culture goes back thousands of years and can be found in Zen Buddhism. One of the most critical components of Japanese minimalist design is balancing a space with nature. They embrace a decluttered design and a less is more mentality while also employing natural elements and textures (such as wood, stone, and plant life) and emphasizing the use of natural light as crucial parts of a successful minimalist design.

Minimalist Style In Today’s Culture

Even if you aren’t aware of the minimalist design style as a concept, you most likely are aware of ways in which minimalism has entered the mainstream in today’s culture, even if you don’t realize it. For instance, few people haven’t heard of Ikea, which became the largest furniture producer in the world by 2008. Of course, Ikea is a Swedish company whose furniture design embraces the Scandanavian principles of minimalist design. 

The Japanese principles of minimalist design are quite apparent in today’s culture as well. Just look at all of the technology coming out of Japan — they produce some of the most cutting-edge consumer electronics, but their aesthetic is firmly planted in minimalism. For instance, take a look at their TVs, Blu-ray players, and video game consoles. They are designed using neutral colors, a lack of decorative flourish, and clean, elegant lines. You can also see their influence on cooking — top tier chefs use Japanese design principles in their plating techniques. When you think of a high-class meal, you don’t think of a plate overflowing with food. You think of a plate with a few very carefully laid out elements and a lot of negative space.

The Millennial Minimalist

One could argue that it hasn’t been until recently that Americans have come to embrace the minimalist design principles that the Scandinavians and Japanese have been using for decades. It’s difficult to forget the gaudy excess that existed in American culture in the 80s and 90s. However, the Millennial generation has seemingly done a 180 from American generations before them in embracing minimalism. There are many reasons for this:

  • The technological revolution – Physical items people collected before, such as music, movies, and books, are all available in electronic form.
  • The emphasis on experiences – Millennials prefer to experience life instead of obtaining material possessions, leading to many people using their money to travel instead of buying more material things.
  • Smaller living spaces – Many millennials have preferred to live in urban settings, where space comes at a premium. As a result, a minimalist design is more feasible given the space they have to work with.
  • Debt – Millennials have more debt than other generations due to education costs and a lack of job security. The minimalist lifestyle is more financially realistic.

The Celebrity & Ultra-Wealthy Minimalist

Although many Millenials have adopted minimalism because it better suits their lifestyle (a lack of space and financial wariness being significant factors for many), that doesn’t mean that a minimalist design is only suitable for those without the means for extravagance. Many of today’s wealthiest celebrities have embraced minimalism as a design choice for their homes. 

There’s a certain elegance and sophistication to the minimalist style when properly implemented. Just look at the home of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, a celebrity couple who can afford any style they want — yet they fully embraced minimalism, which also allows them to emphasize the unique architecture of their home’s interior as well. Too much furniture and decor can cause unique architectural details to disappear into the background.

The Benefits Of Using A Minimalist Style Interior Design

At this point, you should have a pretty accurate understanding of what a minimalist style is. However, why should you choose to implement a minimalist design? The following are three significant benefits to consider when deciding what type of interior design to plan for your Denver home:

Less Clutter Makes It Easier To Keep A Clean Home

Decluttering is an essential principle of minimalist design. Having fewer things lying around is part of the less is more mantra, so most minimalist designs incorporate various storage options to help with decluttering. Using fewer pieces of furniture and decor items helps as well. A decluttered home will look much cleaner — and will be easier to keep clean as well.

Less Clutter Creates A More Relaxing Space

Our mental state is affected by our surroundings. If your home is always a mess, it will hurt your ability to relax. In fact, it can be downright stressful. A minimalist design allows for a more open space that eliminates clutter, creating a more relaxing atmosphere to live in and enjoy.

Improve Visual Look Of Interior Design

The principles of minimalist design help to create a more balanced use of space. The clean lines, symmetry, and use of negative space contribute to a modern look. For many people, a minimalist design can significantly improve the interior design’s overall aesthetic, and we tend to agree.

10 Minimalist Design Ideas To Incorporate Into Your Denver Home

If you have decided to adopt a minimalist style for interior design, then it’s time to dive a little deeper than just “less is more.” While “less is more” is undoubtedly one of the style’s defining principles, there’s a lot more that goes into creating a successful minimalist interior design. Keeping that in mind, the following are ten minimalist design ideas that you may want to use for your home’s interior design:

1. Only Use Furniture That Serves A Function

When a person has a large room to work with, they often fill it up. After all, why waste the space? The thing is, a spacious room is more inviting than a cluttered room. Adding furniture to a room that you don’t intend to use just because there’s space is unnecessary, like adding decorative chairs to the living room that nobody will ever use, for example. Stick to using furniture that services a specific function in the room you place them in.

2. Make Sure Your Furniture Is Appropriate For The Space

If you already have a small room that you’ve converted to a home office, do you need to set up a desk in your bedroom even if you have space for it? Focus on the primary function of each room. When you add furniture to introduce a secondary function to a room, you take away from the primary function. In some cases, adding a desk to your bedroom can take away from your efforts to create a relaxing space. It will only remind you of work you have to do while you’re lying down to go to sleep. Try to use only the furniture that contributes to the primary function of the room.

3. Stick To A Limited And Subdued Color Scheme

Too many colors can result in a space that’s a bit overwhelming to the senses. Stick to two to three colors and consider colors more on the neutral end of the spectrum. Bolder colors can take away from the balance you’re trying to create. Consider the 60-30-10 rule when choosing furniture and decor items for each room (60 percent should be your primary color, 30 percent should be your secondary color, and 10 percent should be your accent color). Of course, you don’t have to completely eliminate bright colors — don’t be afraid of adding a pop of color here and there to add a touch of contrast.

4. Keep Your Surfaces Clean And Clutter-free

Decluttering your home is crucial to implementing a minimalist design. If your surfaces are covered with knick-knacks, decorative items, and clutter in general, it’s not going to feel very minimalist. Keep all of your surfaces as clean and clear as possible. One way to do this is to make sure that you have plenty of storage options. Homeowners who implement a minimalist design will often use furniture with a secondary storage function to aid in this—for instance, a coffee table with a top that opens up to reveal storage space inside.

5. Embrace Quality Over Quantity

When buying new furniture for your home, always go for quality. Since minimalist interior design calls for a less is more approach, you can invest in higher-quality furniture pieces. It makes more sense to invest in a couple of very nice pieces of furniture for a living room space instead of twice as many average pieces. Not only will higher quality furniture last longer, but it will also improve the aesthetic of your interior design significantly. Buying more furniture at a lesser quality will only negate minimalism’s benefits while bringing down any given space’s overall visual appeal.

6. Focus On Symmetry When Arranging Furniture

There will be a lot of open space in each room if you’re applying minimalist design principles. This means the way you position each piece of furniture is critical to a balanced interior design. How each piece of furniture is placed will draw more attention due to the space surrounding it. If things are positioned unevenly, it will stand out more so than usual. It’s why you should consider the symmetry of a room. Use symmetry when arranging furniture and setting up your decor to ensure balance. Of course, this doesn’t mean that asymmetrical positioning is out of the question. Strategic positioning of your furniture and decor in an asymmetrical fashion can be effective. But it’s when things are positioned in which they aren’t obviously asymmetrical that makes it seem like something’s off about their placement, throwing your layout out of balance.

7. Add Texture

Neutral colors, clean lines, sharp angles, symmetry, and modern furnishing can make a room feel a little cold. You will want to balance this out by adding texture. Texture will help soften the room’s overall feel and add a bit of contrast and be added in various ways, such as an area rug, throw pillows, or curtains. 

8. Embrace The Use Of Negative Space

Don’t be afraid of blank space. Negative space helps bring balance to a room. For instance, if there’s room for another chair in your living room, even if you don’t need it, consider just leaving the space as is. Negative space helps open up the room, making it feel bigger and more inviting while also placing a greater emphasis on the furniture and decor you did populate the area with. Keep this in mind when you decorate your walls as well. There’s no need to fill up all of your wall space with photographs, artwork, and shelving. Leave some of your wall space blank.

9. Introduce A Few Contrasting Elements

A little bit of contrast is critical to creating a balanced interior design of any type, whether you’re going for a minimalist design or not. Because minimalist designs often consist of many neutral colors and modern furniture, a touch of color and texture will go a long way in adding contrast. You should also introduce a few natural elements to your interior. Details such as plants, stones, and wood will make your space more inviting and bring in the contrast you need. For example, you could install butcher block countertops in a kitchen filled with stainless steel appliances and white walls. 

10. Implement Effective Lighting

Because you’re using less furniture and decor than you might have used in a different type of interior design style, you risk having a space that lacks visual depth. In other words, it might feel a little bland. This is where lighting comes in. Good lighting will bring a minimalist interior design to life by adding visual depth where you need it, whether it’s to highlight various architectural features or to bring attention to your focal point. Remember, overhead lighting is not enough. It would be best if you had both task lighting and accent lighting in every room as well, whether it’s through the use of table lamps, floor lamps, strip lighting, or wall sconces, to name a few options.

General Tips For Implementing A Minimalism Throughout Your Home

The previous ten minimalist design tips will help you get started planning your interior design. While these tips can be applied throughout your home, the following are a few general tips to keep in mind for specific rooms throughout your house:

The Bedroom

Keep the primary function of the bedroom in mind: sleep. A minimalist design is an excellent choice for the bedroom because it will help promote relaxation, making it easier and more comfortable to sleep. Use plenty of storage solutions, such as under-bed storage, floating shelves, and a dresser, to ensure that your bedroom remains clutter-free. You should also avoid trying to fill the space with furniture: stick with furnishings that support your bedroom’s primary function, such as the bed, the dresser, and bedside tables. A reading chair can be appropriate as well as long as you have the space for it.

The Kitchen 

If you have white appliances, consider an all-white kitchen. Removing most of the color out of the kitchen space will emphasize your interior design’s shape, lines, and space. An all-white kitchen can also create a seamless aesthetic. Another way to create that seamless look is to hide your appliances inside custom-built cabinets and go with hardwareless cabinets and drawers. Finally, make sure that there are plenty of storage solutions to keep your counter space clean and clear.

The Bathroom

Bathrooms tend to be the smallest rooms in the house. Since the bathroom should provide you with a relaxing and private environment, focus on making it feel less cramped by choosing lighter, neutral colors (a white-on-white design works well for bathrooms as well) and by creating a seamless aesthetic. You can do this by installing a curbless shower and using glass doors so that no visual obstructions are dividing the room. Because bathrooms can feel a bit sterile, add a plant or two. Plants add a pop color along with a natural element to contrast the white porcelain and tiles.

The Living Room

One of the keys to designing a successful minimalist living room design is the focal point. If you don’t have a natural focal point (such as a fireplace), create one yourself (such as the main couch). Then design the living space around it, ensuring that there’s plenty of space to move around in. Avoid using too much furniture, even if you have a larger living room – too many furniture pieces can make the area feel smaller and cluttered. 

Balance Form And Function By Embracing A Minimalist Interior Design

Despite the term “minimalist,” the minimalist design style actually has a lot of depth. There are many components to consider, from the type of furniture you use to the way you use your space — and much more. By applying minimalist design principles to your interior design, you can create an elegant and sophisticated style without sacrificing comfort or function. Few interior design styles are capable of balancing form and function in such a way, which is why we strongly recommend adopting a minimalist design style in your Denver home.

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