wikiHow to Create a Minimalist Home

Minimalism is one of the crowning architectural achievements of the 20th century. Spare and streamlined while still being inviting, minimalism is charming in almost any space. With less clutter to wade through and mentally process, the innate beauty of each piece of furniture or art in the home really starts to stand out.


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    Change one room at a time. Unless you’re just moving into a place, it’s hard to simplify an entire house at once. Focus on one room, and let that be your center of calm. Use it to inspire you to simplify the next room, and the next. Then do the same outside!
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    Start with furniture. The biggest things in any room are the furniture, so it is always best to begin simplifying a room by looking at the furniture. The fewer pieces of furniture, the better (within reason, of course). Think of which furniture can be eliminated without sacrificing comfort and livability. Go for a few pieces of plain, simple furniture (here, an example of a minimalist coffee table) with solid, subdued colors.
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    Keep only the essentials. Whether looking at your furniture or anything else in the room, ask yourself if the item is truly essential. If you can live without it, get it out. Try to strip the room down to its essentials — you can always add a few choice items beyond the essentials later. Keep the whole design (house) on paper as simple as you can initially, with required components, and then slowly add décor as desired.
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    Clear floors. Except for the furniture, your floors should be completely clear. Nothing should clutter the floor, nothing should be stacked, nothing should be stored on the floor. Once you've gotten your furniture down to the bare essentials, clear everything else on the floor — either donate it, trash it, or find a place for it out of sight.
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    Clear surfaces. Same thing with all flat surfaces. Don’t have anything on them, except one or two simple decorations. Donate, trash or find an out-of-sight storage spot for everything else. It will make everything much more minimal-looking.
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    Clear walls. Some people hang all kinds of stuff on their walls. No-can-do in a minimalist home. Clear your walls except for one or two simple pieces of nice artwork.
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    Store stuff out of sight. This has been mentioned in the above tips, but you should store everything you need out of sight, in drawers and cabinets. Bookshelves can be used to store books or DVDs or CDs, but shouldn't have much else except a few simple decorations (not whole collections of things).
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    De-clutter. If you are clearing flat surfaces and the floor, and storing stuff in cabinets and drawers, you’ll probably want to de-clutter your storage areas too. You can do this in a later stage if you want.
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    Use simple artwork. To keep a room from being boring, you can put a simple painting, drawing or photo, framed with a subdued, solid color, on each wall if you want. Leave some walls bare if possible.
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    Use simple decorations. As mentioned in the above tips, one or two simple decorations can serve as accents for a minimalist room. A vase of flowers or a small potted plant are two classic examples. If the rest of your room has subdued colors, your accents could use a bright color (such as red or yellow) to draw the eye and give a plain room a splash of energy.
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    Prefer plain window treatments. Bare windows, or simple, solid colored curtains, or simple, wooden blinds are good. Too much ornate stuff around the windows is clutter.
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    Adopt plain patterns. Solid colors are best for floor coverings (if you have any), furniture, etc. Complex patterns, such as flowers or checkers, are visual clutter.
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    Make the most of subdued colors. You can have a splash of bright color in the room, but most of the room should be more subtle colors - white is classic minimalist, but really any solid colors that don’t stress the eyes are good (earth colors come to mind, such as blues, browns, tans, or greens).
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    Edit and eliminate. When you've simplified a room, you can probably do more. Give it a couple of days, then look at everything with a fresh eye. What can be eliminated? Stored out of sight? What’s not essential? You can come back to each room every few months, and sometimes you’ll discover things you can simplify even more.
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    Have a place for everything. In a minimalist house, it’s important that you find a place for everything. Where does your blender go? Aim for logical spots that are close to where the thing is used, to make things more efficient, but the key is to designate a spot and stick with it.
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    Sit back, relax, and enjoy. Once you've simplified a room, take a moment to look around and enjoy it. It’s so peaceful and satisfying. This is the reward for your hard work.


  • Accent decorations. A home completely clear of things could sometimes be a bit boring, actually. So instead of having a coffee table completely free of any objects, you could have a simple vase with a few flowers, for example. Or a clear desk might just have a family photo. An otherwise empty wall might have a tasteful piece of art. Modern minimalist home décor is not plain and empty, but rather is an attempt by the owner to produce home beauty with simpler or less ornamentation.
  • Clear surfaces. In a minimalist home, flat surfaces are clear, except for one or two decorations. There is not a mindless array of knick-knacks, and there are definitely no stacks of books, papers or other items.
  • Quality over quantity. Instead of having a lot of stuff in your home, you as a minimalist (or minimalist in training) would choose just a few really good things you love and use often. A really nice table, for example, is better than 5 pieces of press-board furniture.
  • A minimalist home is less stressful. Clutter is a form of visual distraction, and everything in our vision pulls at our attention at least a little. The less clutter, the less visual stress we have. A minimalist home is not only more calming, but also more appealing. Think about photos of homes that are cluttered (for example the A&E series Hoarders), and photos of minimalist homes. The ones with almost nothing in them except some beautiful furniture, some nice artwork, and a very few pretty decorations, are the ones that most appeal to us, even if only subconsciously.
  • A minimalist home is easier to clean. It's hard to clean a whole bunch of objects, or to sweep or vacuum around a bunch of furniture. The more stuff you have, the more you have to keep clean, and the more complicated it is to clean around the stuff. Think about how easy it is to clean an empty room compared to one with 50 objects in it. That's an extreme example, of course, as this article doesn't recommend you have an empty room, but it's just to illustrate the difference. Minimalist architecture uses the idea that less is more; ornamentation must be quality rather than quantity. The building (house) is stripped to the bare minimum leaving only necessary walls, simple large windows and a flat roof. This can produce the "great room" — the combining of the living room, kitchen and dining room that looks spacious. The style can use natural colours that can easily be seen in nature and the beauty of natural materials for finishes like real stone tiles, real metal and smooth wood panelling, etc. Such a style uses modern building materials and modern manufacturing processes, and not surprisingly, modernists may like the look and feel of such a home style.
  • Examples. The photo at the top of this article is a nice example of a minimalist home. Traditional-style Japanese homes (think wabi sabi for example) are another great example of minimalism.
  • Minimal furniture. A minimalist room would only contain a few essential pieces of furniture. A living room, for example, might only have a couch, another chair or love seat, a coffee table, a minimalist entertainment stand (not a huge one with a bunch of shelves), a television, and a couple of lamps. It could even contain less (couch, chairs, and coffee table, for example). A bedroom might have a simple bed (or even just a mattress), a dresser, and perhaps a night stand or bookshelf.

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  • Original source of article from the very generous Zen Habits. Please feel free to visit and support copyright free information providers.

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