Minimalism is becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons, especially with the “style de jour” being “effortless expensive” (as my boss has dubbed it), which has some very strong minimalism veins running through it and the use of a few VERY well crafted items vs, a shelf full of cheap clutter. Who knows why the minimalist trend is booming – It might be because a lot of people feel that life outside the house is getting SO hectic that a more minimalist design for the interiors will help counter that, or maybe because with the ever inflating prices on just about everything in the stores we think it is now ok to buy $400 linen blanket that is no different from a vintage version that costs an eighth of the price. Others may lean more minimalist simply because they want to get rid of the stuff they don’t need or use – which might also be to blame on the book that I read along with just about everyone else “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. Whatever it is, minimalism is trending.
But minimalism isn’t quite as easy to achieve as people may think. TBH, as someone who does a lot of prop styling for their job “less is NOT more” in my case, and getting that “just enough stuff” effortless minimal look is pretty hard. As a design methodology, minimalism has been misinterpreted and misused by many people, as far as I have seen online and through some images that are popping up, so we’re going to have a quick look at the common mistakes that people make when they try to turn their homes into a minimalist paradise. I mean, if you’re going to overhaul the look of your home and toss it all away to jumpstart said new lifestyle, then you might as well do it properly!
Forgoing Functionality For Style
Minimalism is, to some extent, about having what you need and nothing more. Some people make the mistake of taking this a little too literally. I have done this myself, thinking in my head “this bench is so simple, so refined and so stylish” when in reality it should be saying “this bench is comfortable enough to sit on it for .0234 seconds before you want to move to a different chair”. So when selecting your furniture, storage, or accessory choices keep this in mind. Because although it may seem chic to have a slick home office that is complete with a clear desk, a few small accessories and a lamp, that is REALLY just not practical. You need quite a bit more as this article shows. So, if you’ve stripped things to such an extent that functionality has been sacrificed, then you’ve gone too far!
Just because you are a new found member of the minimalist mafia doesn’t mean that you don’t need carefully considered storage. No matter who you think you are, or what style or decor you use, every human being on earth will need a little bit of storage, so find yourself a piece that will work for what you need (even if it is empty for the first little bit).
I covered this one a few days ago and it does somewhat fall under the “No Personality” section, but it does need calling out again. I am all for minimalism, but no matter how refined and minimal you are, bare and blank walls will make your space feel cold, empty and impersonal. So, although you might not be into a massive gallery wall, consider some very well situated art that works within your space to bring some life and color up on those walls of yours.
I know you may think that I absolute HATE color, but that is not the case. Yes, I do veer more towards the tonal and textural sides of things vs. infusing things with bright colors but it doesn’t mean that I hate it. Especially in the case of minimalism, when things might be very simplified, the case for color becomes even more important. If you are going to keep it simple think about infusing some refined color in to keep the interest in the room alive.
Minimal DOES NOT EQUAL a lack of personality, but often a bare room is often one devoid of just that. This is a common error in minimalist homes, but going minimalist with your design doesn’t mean that you need to get rid of the feeling of human presence and personality in your home. By all means, keep things simple and refined but give yourself some meaningful art, a plant or greenery, some books that work with your layout, and a few beautiful (but functional) accessories.
Bad furniture layout
A lot of people seem to think that you can’t really go wrong with the layout of the furniture in a minimalist home. After all, how much furniture can you really have when you take this design route of “less is more”? The problem is that the layout of your furniture can still seem chaotic and crowded; even if you have very few items in there and there’s a decent amount of space to lay it all out in. So, when you begin to go minimal still keep in mind the traditional rules of styling and furniture placement and don’t exchange your sofa for a slim lined bench and then two simple side chairs that may end of doing the opposite of what you had intended for the room.
So whether you are into it or not, just remember that minimal doesn’t mean nothing, and simple doesn’t mean without personality. Of course make your home work for you and for every rule there is a reason to break it. Just don’t leave your house looking like a stark, sad space void of well… anything. To help you get started here are a few of my favorite minimal yet beautiful and functional items.