How to achieve the minimalist look

How to achieve the minimalist look

Minimalism is a decor style that is making a big impact. Once thought to be cold, impersonal, and lacking in character and warmth, it is now seen as a way of decorating that is in lock-step with busy lives and our increased awareness of good design. Here are our tips for achieving it.

Clean lines, simplicity

It’s as if we have all suddenly realised that clean lines, simplicity and quality are the design pillars we have been searching for. ‘Less is more’ makes sense in all sorts of ways:

  • The atmosphere is calm and peaceful
  • You have a strong direction for your decorating and future purchases
  • The house always looks tidy
  • You will no longer feel the need to waste money on cheap impulse buys

Making it work

There is no secret to making minimalism work – one gorgeous bunch of flowers in a stylish vase rather than a collection of fussy ornaments, clear surfaces rather than a pile of papers that should have been put away last week, and one dramatic pot plant. Done. It’s a style that clears the mind and allows the best of your taste to shine through.

If you are starting out in a new home, not only is it an easy look to achieve, it’s also economical and logical. When you have a clear direction for the look of your home, you don’t make expensive mistakes.

The furniture

Buy good-quality furniture when you can afford it and don’t settle for cheap items that will look shabby in no time. Minimalism is all about choosing well-designed pieces in natural materials that are timeless, so you won’t feel the need to update whenever a new style trend comes along.


The colours

Use neutral colours as a base with bright or patterned accents. Neutrals work well together and are the ideal base for adding a blast of colour in the form of cushions, wall art or rugs. Interior designers recommend that the predominant colour should be used for 60 per cent of the room, a coordinating secondary colour for 30 per cent, and the remaining 10 per cent should be the accent colour. Change the rug and the cushions and you have a new look instantly.

The textures

Textures add layers of visual interest and warmth without detracting from the cohesive, elegant minimalist look. Use texture to create depth and contrast – a soft wool rug on a hardwood floor, for example, or rough-weave cushions on a leather couch.

Stuff and storage

There is no place for clutter in a minimalist interior, which is one of the reasons why it’s so popular with busy people. The key to making this work is to have storage for everything and to make it easy for everyone to put stuff away.

Think about how you use items. For example, if you have to move saucepans every time you want to put the toaster away, you are going to give up after a while. In the kitchen, clear benches not only look fabulous and efficient but make the kitchen a much easier place to use.

Your routine when arriving home may also need a hand. If you have the space, a coat cupboard near the front door is perfect for dealing with bags, work gear and other things you tend to drop as soon as you get in.