'How To' Guides
Littman Bros |  June 23, 2015

Less Is More, a Minimalist Approach

Drowning in clutter?  We’ve all been there.  You first look at a new space all clean and empty and think “potential!”  You paint the walls; add some furniture, décor, situate plenty of shelves for storage.   You think, “I’m going to keep this room clean and organized!  I don’t have much stuff, it’ll be easy!”  Then life kicks in.  Over time your cute room transforms into a clutter closet.  You sit on your couch wondering how did this happen?!  You started off so organized, everything was perfect!  Did you ever think your décor was to blame?  Some interior designers feel preparing for clutter in the first place is how you end up with knick-knack jungles.  By being so prepared, you enter a hoarder mindset, aka you are more hesitant to throw things away because you have storage for them.  Minimalist interior designers claim starting with a ‘less is more’ mentality is key to prioritizing your trinkets and tchotchkes.

The core to a minimalist approach is to appreciate space.  Consider both your vertical and horizontal space when designing.  Minimalism avoids breaking up space through color and busy décor, and instead uses lines and flat décor to carry the eye across the room.  Minimalism can even create the sensation that your given space is larger than reality through careful placement and strategy.  In an attempt to create space, walls are usually left bare or white.  Floors are also left bare, featuring hard, flat finishes to continue the illusion of space.  Lighter woods are can be found in minimalism to add warmth without compromising the illusion of space.  Furniture continues the bare theme, often in a solid white or black, in order to limit the dimension added.  Furnishings often feature furs or textures fabrics to add a bit of warmth.  Be sure to prioritize your wants and needs as only select pieces enter a minimalist room.  Benches are usually opted for over chairs, to limit the disruption caused by the piece without limiting seating.  Furniture is often situated at a lower level, such as beds or couches, to allow the eye to pass over the piece and continue around the room.

Color is used in minimalist design, but with extreme purpose.  Color is conveyed through a few select décor pieces, such as a limited throw pillows, accent pieces or artwork.  Artwork is usually limited to one large piece, adding limited dimension to a room, while allowing for some personality to shine through.  Artwork is often extremely large in order to emphasize the space of the room.  Mirrors are another common décor piece used in minimalism.  A fun or funky frame can add some warmth and color the room while the piece itself enhances the illusion of space.  Light fixtures are another opportunity to convey some personal style.  Fixtures should be limited as, given the open space and color scheme, a little light will go a long way.  Minimalists tend to use large and exaggerated light fixtures, such as a dramatic standing lamp or a looming pendant.  Plants also add warmth and color to the room.  Minimalist rooms commonly use succulents or cacti to limit dimensions.  You can also drape a fun and funky throw blanket across your couch or bed to add some personality.

Achieving a minimalist look can be difficult.  It requires you to prioritize what you need and throw away the rest.  Some criticize the style as cold and impersonal.  Utilizing a few choice pieces can add flavor to the room without detracting from the hyper cool, ultra-modern look.  Throw claustrophobia out the window and feel free to breathe in your open space.  You’ll find in your new room it’s harder to justify keeping knick-knacks, and cleanup will be easier than ever before!  If you’re feeling inspired and ready for a change, grab a trash bag, walk around your house and throw away what you don’t need!  Start enjoying your space today!