How-To

5 Easy Steps to Modern Minimalism

After following these 5 simple tips, you will be well on your way to creating that gorgeous modern minimalist vibe you’re after.

The #1 Key to Minimalism

Ditch your clutter. Toss, sell, or donate anything that doesn’t resonate with you. If you haven’t used it in a year, you likely won’t miss it when it’s gone. Stacks of magazines you never touch, dingy linens, appliances that don’t work? Get rid of them, or take the steps to bring them back into rotation. If you must hold on to something that doesn’t quite work with your new aesthetic aspirations, store it out of sight in a cabinet or cupboard.

The Essentials

After you have diligently cleared out all your clutter to embark on your minimalist approach, you’ll be relieved to know that all you now need is a few items of furniture. Here is all you really need for a bedroom or living room:

  • bed / sofa
  • side table / coffee table
  • rug
  • some lighting

Remember the motto “less is definitely more” for the newly minted modern minimalistic you.

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Source: Decoist

Streamline Your Color

Keep your color palette simple and with as few hues as possible to achieve your new reductive expression of aesthetic elements. Since this style was born from Japanese traditional design, think sushi:

simple form + black and white + a bright fish color

I like to start with white and grey, then use either accent items or beautiful art for a dash of color. As a basic guideline, keep the palette to no more than 3 basic modern colors. Some good combinations are:

  • White + Grey + Blue
  • White + Grey + Yellow
  • White + Black + Blue
  • White + Black + Yellow

One thing to keep in mind is that the grey is a flexible color. Use a warm grey that has hints of brown or beige if you prefer the not-so-stark feeling.

Consider Line and Shape

Think geometric shapes and simplicity with every piece you allow to enter this space. Stay with clean-lined furniture pieces. Boxy, straight-lined sofas or beds will suffice. To add a twist, add an interesting chair with a curvy back or a carved wood coffee table.  Gauzy sheer curtains or solid linen ones will help keep the very light appearance you’re going for.

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Source: Behance

Personalize Your Space with Art

Art is the piéce de resistance to any room. For your space, abstract works that are minimalist in color would pair well with your design aesthetic. Feel free to let your creative spirit run loose emulating the modern art masters. This could include any of the following: a bold Warhol-like Pop Art work; a minimal metal sculpture á la Carl Andre or Donald Judd;  a geometric-shaped, single/double color work on canvas reminiscent of a Ellsworth Kelly or Sol Lewitt; or finally, perhaps a neon that reminds you of a Dan Flavin.

About the Author

Hayley Miner is Director of Art Advisory to the Trade. Before joining Saatchi Art, Hayley ran her own art consulting firm, advising private and corporate clients on building their art collections. Prior to that, she worked for Michael S. Smith, the legendary White House decorator.