Minimalism is a popular term you can hear in all spheres of life from design to web content. Different people mean something different by it; however, the term “minimalism” has its absolutely specific meaning in art (from where it spread all around the life including home interior).

Minimalism is all about simplicity and elegance achieved by using the minimum of essentials for the maximum of effect. Color, shape, and texture are the main elements that help create that signature minimalistic impression of “breathing”, uncluttered, and stylish space.

photo-1486304873000-235643847519 Crucial Aspects of Minimalistic Design

However, creating a minimalistic design is not that “simple”. Whether you are a professional interior designer looking to create online portfolio to gain new clients or just a newbie looking to improve the quality of your living space or office, you need a strategy.

Here are some key principles that will help you to understand the basics of minimalism.


Minimalistic interior design can be described by “Less is more”, the famous phrase by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the world-known architect.

Keeping forms, shapes, lights, textures, and colors simple and minimizing decorations are keys to creating an efficient, predictable, and straightforward minimalistic design. Simplicity applies to everything from wall finishes and covering to furniture.

Clean, uncluttered, well-lit spaces

Do you know why minimalistic interior design gives a sense of peace? It’s because airy, clean, and organized spaces make us feel calm and cozy while clutter is associated with a higher level of stress hormone cortisol (check this study by UCLA).

photo-1493809842364-78817add7ffb Crucial Aspects of Minimalistic Design

Clearing the space of unnecessary items (think of those piles of paper, books you never read, shoes at the front door, etc.) and increasing the amount of light it gets, you make the interior breathable, warm, and cozy.

Clutter is the biggest enemy of the minimalistic design. For this reason, minimalism is, first of all, a lifestyle, then a design. To create and then maintain a minimalistic design, one must be a pro in getting rid of unnecessary objects (or at least storing them out of sight).

If you are a collector deep down, investing in a stylish storage is a great minimalistic solution.

Minimum to none decorations

Avoid accessories and objects unless useful. Decorations (if any) must be simple though artistic to work as an attention center of the room.

Lights must be laconic, well-thought-out and stylish as light can be a decoration itself. Avoid baroque-style chandeliers; their very appearance is a true insult to minimalism.

Neutral color base

Minimalism tends to calm and neutral colors (such as whites, grays, and beiges) and avoids bold ones.

Bright colors can still be present in details and accessories, but make sure to choose easy-on-eyes natural colors that blend well with the basic color (such as greens, blues, and dark brown).

Quality, not quantity

Despite the simplicity of design and scarcity of visible objects, “less” doesn’t mean cheap here. It rather means “better”.

Every object that enters your room must be of good quality. Something that is built to last. Timeless rather than trendy. Opt for designer fittings, lights and classy storage spaces that hide the clutter and act as a decoration at the same time.

Different textures, similar colors

If you rely only on neutral colors while creating a minimalistic design, the result will be quite boring and lifeless.

The solution is in using different textures such as glass, timber, canvas, ceramics, cloth or even sheepskin which create a true sensory feast. While experimenting, make sure you combine textures in the similar tones that fuse well with each other (look for combinations you can see in nature).

Center of attention

The minimalistic design doesn’t have to be soulless. It is highly recommended to emphasize some very special elements such as a unique piece of furniture, a piece of art or decoration, eye-catching wall design, etc.

However, this accent is only possible if the rest of the view is uniform. This is another reason why you should keep the furniture simple.

Bottom line

Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”. A design in neutral colors with lots of empty, clutter-free space and little quality stuff is a quintessence of minimalism.