If you're seeking to adapt a more minimalistic lifestyle, we're here to help. While the concept of designing a minimalist apartment may feel ultra daunting, there are some key, concrete actions you'll want to take in order to cut the clutter for good. Below, interior designers share their top tips for embracing minimalist habits at home. You'll be ready to say goodbye to the excess and get everything organized and tucked out of site in no time.
Be Judicious When it Comes to Storage Solutions
Not every furniture item is equal in a minimalist apartment. "Storage needs to be really evaluated when looking at furniture pieces," designer Linda Hayslett explains. "Each piece will need to have more than one duty." And at the same time, those pieces doing double duty should still appear sleek, Hayslett notes. "For example, an ottoman needs to have storage in it, but not look like it's a clunky piece that can house things."
Choosing storage pieces can be artful and beautiful. "I like to find beautiful boxes or if bigger storage is needed, an antique armoire," designer Ann Flanagan says. "This way, the piece itself becomes art in the space, but it is also functional. Minimalism doesn't have to mean clean and cold. It can be very purposeful."
Be thoughtful about what types of items you need to store, and where. "In your office space, get yourself some file organizers, pen and pencil storage, multi-purpose bins, and paper drawers," designer Alex Nino suggests. "In your bedroom, make use of the space under your bed and grab some storage bins for seasonal clothing. If you don't have the benefit of an entryway closet, get some cute rattan or woven storage bins and use those to hold extra shoes, accessories, etc."
Be Intentional With Accessories
Accessories should be purposeful, not excessive or random, Hayslett notes. "Accessories are all seen as artwork," she shares. "When placing a vase or displaying an item, the piece should be something that can make the space feel like a living piece of work that can be touch and felt."
Pay Close Attention to Color and Texture
You're likely not going to find bright neon hues and bold patterns in a minimalist apartment. "Minimalist palettes are normally neutral or monotone," Hayslett states. "Keep the colors either similar or in the same family, as being minimal means creating an easy, calming look for the brain and visually when you walk into a room."
That said, you can still have fun integrating various textures throughout a minimalist room. "Focus on a play of subtle textures and tonal differences within the same hue," Melissa Lee, founder and creative director of Bespoke Only, suggests. "It is a way to create depth and interest while retaining a minimalist quality." Then, consider the flow of a space, she adds. Pay attention to "how each line visually leads to the next, be it from a piece of furniture or artwork or the view from a turn in the room."
Say Goodbye to Excess
If you're a minimalist, the items you do choose to keep in your space should be useful and meaningful. "We always recommend keeping objects of personal importance that mark our unique journeys and purge utilitarian items that you have multiples of," Lee states. If you must keep extras on hand, hide them out of site, designer Elaine Burns advises. "I find that smaller decor pieces can add up and create the feeling of clutter, so having a collection of baskets, drawers, or cabinets to store away similar items (think candles or vases) is a win-win," she says. "Items are organized by category and tucked away for a calm, clear room."
As for things you really can live without? Let them go—there's no point in keeping them around for a rainy day. As Hayslett notes, "Items you should purge are things that you haven't really used or seen in at least six months to a year. If you have something that you're keeping in storage and don't use or see, then what's the point in keeping it?"