A wise person once said, “Less is more,” and that has since become the mantra of the modern minimalist. If you’re looking to create a space that’s contemporary, fresh and to the point, take a look at these tips to get the feel you’re after.
What Is Minimalism?
The Scandinavians are perhaps the most credited with popularizing the minimalist style, for reason that were more practical than aesthetic. It emerged in the 1930’s in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland from a lifestyle that required functionality, practicality as well as a connection with the natural environment. Today, minimalism is sometimes characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity. Strict minimalists apply this ideology to all aspects of their lives; however, the goal of this style in home decor is to create the maximum effect with the fewest items possible. How minimal you want your decor to be is a personal choice, but incorporating a simpler style into your living space can be achieved in varying degrees. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing; however, it’s helpful to consider what’s truly necessary to the form and function of your space. Each room may vary in its needs, but when you concentrate on eliminating non-essential items you’ll find it easier to create a cohesive feel within your home.
How to Live with Less
One of the first steps towards achieving a more minimal home aesthetic is to simply reduce. Living with less has a multitude of benefits that reach far beyond just decor. Not only is it eco-friendly, it’s more cost efficient, makes it easier to clean, allows for more freedom and productivity and allows for investment in higher quality items. Having less is also better for your health. Modern minimalism has also borrowed elements from Japanese culture, which focuses on directing energy and creating feel-good or “Zen” spaces — because when you reduce stress, you increase overall health. Check out The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo at TidyingUp.com. Kondo’s minimalist approach challenges readers to only keep things that spark joy or provide an essential function. Or, try reading the Joy of Less: The Minimalist Living Guide by Francine Jay who encourages readers to begin simplifying their homes to lead happier, more productive lives.
Concentrate on Quality
When you have less, you spend less, which frees up dollars to go towards higher quality items that will last longer. Spend money on things that make you feel good and concentrate on the important areas of your home; namely, where you sleep and where you gather most. Take extra special care with your bedroom. If there’s any space in your room that should strictly follow a minimalist approach, it’s here. Craft a space that allows for restoration and calm. When it comes to essentials for each space you’ll want to spend extra for quality. For example, in a bedroom, make sure to purchase good linens and look for high-quality bedding for the modern-styled home. As for furniture, invest in two or three well-made pieces of furniture for your bedroom or living space, or select items that you truly love. Think comfort, but also remember to eliminate non-essentials from side tables, dressers and other surfaces.
Incorporate Natural Elements
As for accessories and seasonal decorations, consider opting for natural elements. Bringing the outside in is not only inexpensive, it lends an organic feel to your space with little effort. Better yet, you don’t have to take up storage with items you only have out for a small part of the year. Go for a nature walk in the fall and pick up pine cones to artfully arrange in a small bowl. Use real pumpkins and gourds instead of plastic decorations. And, throughout the year, instead of spending money on decorative home accents to fill your space, opt for house plants instead. Plants are relatively inexpensive, add color, shape and life to a room. They’re also very versatile and work very well with a minimalist approach, but work as a room’s major feature or soft a detail.