Minimalism in interior design

Андрей Прокопенко

14.06.2024

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Minimalism in interiors gives a sense of freedom, fills the space with light and air. Repairs in this style are quite often requested in Prestige-Renovation for modern houses, apartments, villas, and cottages. Minimalistic design hasn’t gone out of fashion for decades and is considered an indicator of impeccable taste. Let’s cover the key features of the style and practical advice on how to recreate it in the interiors.

What is minimalism in the interior?

Minimalism is an interior design trend characterized by simplicity, brevity, and asceticism. Rooms bear no unnecessary details, no clutter of furniture, or an abundance of decorative elements. All objects have a functional load, meaning they are used for their intended purpose and not for mere decoration of the space.

The basic principles of minimalism

  • More than 65% of the space in a room should remain free of things and furniture.
  • Straight lines and simple geometric shapes are encouraged.
  • There shouldn’t be an abundance of decorative elements and ornaments, curls, or floral prints.
  • Only one color can be used as a bright accent.
  • Lots of natural light in the room.
  • Natural materials are used as much as possible.
  • Most items are placed horizontally so that the upper level of the room remains open. 

The history of minimalism

Minimalism in the interior originated in the 20-30s of the last century. One of the forefathers was the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He was arranging functional and practical housing for workers, and then transferred his ideas to the design of interiors for wealthy people. 

In the 60s, the style gained unprecedented popularity in Japan and the United States. People started to free housing from the clutter of furniture, striving to use emerging innovative technologies. 

Modern minimalist interiors undoubtedly differ from the design of space in the last century. It boasts built-in “smart” appliances and hidden storage systems, innovative lighting fixtures, and an expanded range of allowable colors. The style continues to develop and improve.

Advantages of minimalism

  • Visually expands the space. 
  • The entire area is effectively used.
  • Interior design does not lose relevance for a long time.
  • The level of visual noise is reduced, and therefore stimulates psychological unloading.
  • Cleaning is simplified and takes less time. 

Functionality and practicality

Minimalism in the interior emphasizes the functionality of each object. There are no excesses: each thing is used for its intended purpose. For greater practicality, transformer furniture is used. Just a light movement of the hand can turn one object into another or completely hide furniture in the allocated niches.

Space and freedom

The feeling of spaciousness and freedom is achieved by using light colors, panoramic windows, widening doorways, and combining space. The effect of free room can also be achieved in these ways:

  1. Do not place sofas, tables, and chairs along the walls. It is better to put them in the center of the room.
  2. Arrange interior items at a great distance from each other.
  3. Leave the wall free of complex reliefs and protruding decor.

Furniture and all horizontal surfaces are located at arm’s length. Therefore, it creates the impression that the upper part of the room is filled with light and air.

Aesthetics and beauty

The beauty of minimalism is achieved not through bright decor or flashy and flamboyant details but through the aesthetics of objects and materials, clarity of lines and shapes. In the manufacturing of furniture and textiles, mostly monochrome smooth fabrics without relief patterns are used.

Minimal processing of materials for finishing is welcomed. Even wood is chosen to be without a pronounced pattern, it is also not polished or varnished.

Sustainability and conscious consumption

Modern minimalism places a strong emphasis on using eco-friendly materials. The most common materials are:

  • wood of various species;
  • natural stone;
  • natural fabrics (cotton, linen, jute, bamboo). 

The number of things used in the interior is minimized. This means that the homeowner doesn’t clutter the space with unnecessary garbage, which further harms the environment when decomposing.

Versatility and variation

It is traditionally thought that minimalism is only appropriate in rooms with an area of more than 80 m². But modern designs show that the style is perfectly adaptable to smaller rooms and studio apartments. 

Minimalism has many variations, which can be selected for housing of any size:

  • eco – dominated by the use of natural materials, green and blue colors;
  • soft – is characterized by smoother lines and the use of warm tones (sandy, beige);
  • Japanese – has distinctive features in the form of rectangular shapes, a monochrome finish, and darker colors; 
  • Scandinavian – glass and wood predominate in the finishing. 

High-tech is also considered a type of minimalism, it allows the use of synthetics instead of natural materials.

Features of minimalism in design

Minimalism in the interior of the house has many distinctive features, and due to them, it is immediately recognized by devotees.

Color scheme

It is not allowed to use bold solutions and combinations of bright colors. The overall palette is very restrained, it includes various shades of gray, white, and classic black. To set accents, use red, orange, yellow, emerald, or shades of blue. 

The range of colors for decorating the room is limited to three shades:

  • main – background;
  • “support” background;
  • background contrast – a bright accent. 

More daring design solutions allow the use of up to six shades, but they should not go beyond the style.

Textures and materials

The following finishing materials are suitable for the minimalist style:

  1. For walls, use panels of natural wood, artificial or natural stone, monochrome wallpaper, glass, or textured plaster. 
  2. The best option for the ceiling is stretch canvas in light colors. For large rooms with high ceilings, it is acceptable to install multi-level designs, but they should be smooth and have right angles.
  3. For floors, porcelain tiles, laminate, carpeting, and poured floors of light colors are suitable. The materials used should have no patterns.

Furniture and interior items

For a minimalist apartment, furniture of simple geometric shapes without curved backs, legs, or armrests is selected. Most items can be transformed from one to another: a wardrobe-bed, sofa-table, coffee table-shelf and more. Materials of manufacture: wood, and glass, plastic is also allowed.

Furniture upholstery – light and monochrome. Storage systems – voluminous and hidden (built into the wall).

Lighting

There should be plenty of light in the room. The emphasis is placed on natural light, which is provided by panoramic windows without curtains and drapes. In the evening, rooms are illuminated by modern lamps with brightness regulators. Recessed lights, LED strips, and chandeliers in minimalist design with a ball-, cube-, or cylinder-shaped plafond are also used.

Decor and accessories

As decorations, these are used: 

  • vases of strict geometric shape (rectangular, triangular, ball-shaped);
  • clocks (electronic or with no numbers on the dial);
  • ikebana;
  • large indoor plants;
  • paintings with simple images without colored details and carved frames, or black and white photos.

There should be no more than 2–3 elements of decor in the room. 

Minimalism in different rooms

For room design, certain techniques and life-hacks are used.

Living room

In the living room, it is recommended to set accents with the help of bright shades of blue, red, orange, and beige. For furniture, use sofas with leather or textile upholstery, wooden or glass coffee tables. An eco-fireplace will also be a good decor element.

The TV is fixed on the wall, but some designers believe that it’s not appropriate to place it in the living room if the room is often used to meet guests.

Bedroom

The bedrooms are decorated in beige, gray, lilac colors. On the windows, you can use translucent, airy curtains or light roller blinds.

The bed is chosen with a neat rectangular headboard or even without it at all. Popular models are transformers, Japanese futons, and podium-beds. 

Don’t overload the bedroom with furniture: a bedside table or dressing table and a chair are more than enough. Cabinets are mounted on the walls.

Kitchen

For a minimalistic kitchen, use roomy headsets of straight geometric shapes. It is preferable that the doors have no handles or are as inconspicuous as possible. Devices are all built-in, with no multicookers, toasters, or coffee makers in plain sight.

Tables and chairs can be plastic or wooden, simple shape, straight legs.

The finishing materials are plastic, glass, stainless steel, and natural wood. Color scheme: beige, white, gray, brown.

Bathroom

As a finish in the bathroom, use metal, glass, wood, stone, or ceramic tiles. The color scheme should be light, from white and beige to gray. 

Bath accessories are stored on compact shelves or built-in cabinets. 

For washup, install a simple shower cabin with no frills or a bathtub of oval or rectangular shape without legs.

The lighting should not be dim or dull.

Study

In the center of the room, place a desk. It is desirable to choose models in a simple style with built-in drawers or in the form of a tabletop without any other elements. On the table, put an organizer, a monitor with a keyboard, or a laptop. The chair should be comfortable —not massive or gamer-like— but of a simple, elegant design. Cabinets for storing documents and stationery are built into the walls.

For windows, use blinds or roller blinds so that the bright daylight does not interfere with work. 

Nursery

In the child’s room, in the style of minimalism, use beds with drawers for storage purposes, bunk structures, or transformer furniture, which turns a sleeping place into a study area, and vice versa. 

For clothes, books, and toys, use hanging cabinets. For creative work and studying, set up a table without drawers and an ergonomic chair. Any other furniture is not required in the nursery room.

Tips for creating a minimalist interior

Layout and zoning

Before the renovations, carefully study the layout of the premises. To expand the space, unnecessary walls can be demolished, with only the load-bearing structures remaining in place. 

The zoning of space is achieved with the help of:

  • lighting; 
  • painting walls different colors; 
  • glass partitions; 
  • bar stalls;
  • folding screens;
  • shelf partitions.

Choice of materials and finishes

For renovations, choose natural raw materials of light colors: stone or wood. They are successfully combined with frosted glass, plain ceramic tiles, brickwork, and plaster with a rough texture. Chrome steel also blends well into a minimalistic interior.

A solid choice for finishing walls – paint or monochrome wallpaper.

Furniture and storage systems

The shape of furniture is mostly cubic or rectangular, mainly with sharp corners. Tables are low, with a smooth wooden or glass surface. Chairs, made of plastic or wood, are ergonomically shaped. 

Storage systems are built into niches or merge completely with the walls. Doors are opened by sliding them open or by pushing them open lightly. There should be no protruding handles. The surface is finished with mirrors or frosted glass.

Lighting

Lighting fixtures should not bear rich decorations. Their purpose is to emit soft, diffused light at any time of day. Designers advise using:

  • track and string systems;
  • floor lamps, sconces, and table lamps with monochrome lampshades;
  • spots;
  • spotlights of a large size;
  • LED strips.

Recommended materials for lamps: metal, polymers, glass, and natural materials (paper, wood). 

Decor and accessories

To enhance the coziness of a minimalism room, use:

  • abstract paintings or photos in a simple frame;
  • copper, bronze, or glass statuettes;
  • color-block cushions;
  • clay, plastic, or transparent glass vases in the form of a ball, cube, or rectangle;
  • non-flowering indoor plants, bonsai.

Minimalism in photos

We present photos of minimalism style in the interior from the company Prestige-Renovation.

Elegant bathroom with unusual marble pattern accents. 
Storage systems in contemporary minimalist style.
A minimalist bedroom with bright blue and green accents. 
Light-filled hallway with panoramic windows.
Ascetic minimalist kitchen with hidden appliances. 

Update Date:14.06.2024

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Andrew Prokopenko
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Update Date: 14.06.2024

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