What Is Warm Minimalism?

Try out this inviting, soothing design style

Warm minimalist living room

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Minimalism has held a top spot on the list of popular interior design trends because of its clean, simple aesthetic. The look is marked by straight lines, open spaces, and toned-down color palettes dominated by whites, grays, and blacks. While many people appreciate minimalist design for its calming effect, it can also make a space feel cold or uninviting. For those who like the simplistic approach of minimalism but question its sparsity, warm minimalism is the answer.

Warm minimalism combines the paired-down ideals of minimalism with warm, earthy tones, natural materials, and cozy, organic textures. This new take on minimalism instantly warms any space, making it comforting and welcoming without losing a sense of simplicity. Learn the key features of this interior design style and how you can incorporate it into your own home. 

Key Features

Warm minimalism is set apart by its earthy tones, simple, clean spaces, and welcoming feel. The following components work together to establish this style’s iconic look. 

Warm Neutrals

As the name suggests, warm minimalism focuses on warm colors and feelings. The quickest way to achieve this is by using warm neutrals as the base color palette. Think creamy whites, ivory, beige, tan, oatmeal tones, and soft browns. Some spaces are made up entirely of these neutral shades, while other warm minimalist rooms include soft, earthy accent colors—like terra-cotta, burnt orange, mauve, or soft sage green. 

Warm minimalist living room in sage green

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Organic Shapes and Personal Touches

To go along with a more natural, earthy look, warm minimalism incorporates organic, rounded shapes into its furniture and decor items. These can still be blended with the clean, straight lines of minimalism, but there are always rounded, soft-edged items present in a warm minimalist design to usher in a feeling of comfort. 

Warm minimalism also invites this feeling of comfort by creating an opportunity to include personal items of special meaning. While minimalism tucks personal items away for a space that is as streamlined as possible, warm minimalism welcomes personal touches into the room. However, be sure they are added with intention, as warm minimalist spaces still rely on clean, uncluttered spaces to create a calming feel. 

Warm minimalism bedroom

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Layered Textures

Warm minimalism adds visual interest and an inviting atmosphere by layering multiple textures. These include linen, cotton, leather, wood, rattan, jute, and other natural materials. Adding a few plants here and there is another way to layer texture, add visual interest, and incorporate natural elements into the space. Stay away from plastic and other unnatural materials, as these take away from the look.

When layering textures, textiles are most often used. Think linen or cotton curtains, throw pillows and blankets, and natural rugs. Metals and stone can also be used in this style, just be sure the object has a warmer tone, like what you’ll find in copper, brass, or creamy granite. 

Simple, Purposeful Spaces

Warm minimalism creates calm, simple spaces by keeping a room clean and clutter-free. Each piece placed in a space is chosen and used for a purpose. This keeps the space feeling functional, uncluttered, and calming. It also gives each piece a powerful hold on how the space feels. This is why fewer, quality pieces make up these spaces, rather than a large number of items. As mentioned above, though, warm minimalism is more lenient in this regard, as it welcomes the incorporation of personal items that are special or tell a story.  

How to Achieve The Look

By keeping a few key elements in mind, you can easily incorporate warm minimalism into your home. Whether you wish to completely redecorate a space or simply add in a few features of warm minimalism, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep tones warm and neutral. If you decide to add accent colors, be sure to choose soft, calm, earthy colors and use them sparingly. 
  • Place items intentionally. Take a good look around your room and analyze each item that is out. Does it serve a purpose? Does it add a special or meaningful personal touch? If it isn’t essential or meaningful, store it away somewhere. By decluttering a space and simplifying what is out, you can change a room tremendously. 
  • Incorporate layered textures and natural materials. Add some soft, textured pillows and a rug. Grow your houseplant collection. Just be sure to stay away from synthetic or unnatural materials.