The aim of a minimalist home is to create a calm, stress-free environment – something that many of us with busy modern lives would appreciate.
But somehow, rather than being seen as calm spaces, minimalist homes are often viewed as uninviting, and considered particularly difficult to live in comfortably with a family.
But is this really true? Could there, in fact, be a solution to our hectic family lives in embracing minimalism? By doing so we could lead calmer, less stressful lives and that is surely good for us and for our families.
A typical minimal home is viewed as having a white backdrop (or at least a very pale neutral) but this does not equate with being bland in the eyes of the minimalist. Instead it has a calming influence and can be made welcoming and comfortable with the addition of statement accessories and artworks. Living in a minimalist space does not mean a space with no personality, the personality and comfort are simply injected in a controlled way so that the environment is calm and stress-free.
But it is not necessary to be strictly minimalist in order to enjoy the benefits of this way of living in your home and it may be that a less rigid adherence to minimalism will better suit your way of life, particularly if you have a family. But even so don’t lose sight of the essential elements in order to achieve the benefits of being better organised and less stressed – these essential elements are:
Ensure all flat surfaces are enclosed behind cupboard doors, including bookcases and other shelves. The only exception to this is the kitchen worktop on which only the essentials such as the kettle should be on view.
Forget furniture with fancy turned wooden legs, instead go for simple, Scandinavian type designs in pale wood with clean lines. Keep soft furnishings and major upholstered items like sofas in neutral, or pale, muted colours.
Plenty of hidden storage
No minimalist home can do without plenty of hidden storage units – a minimal lifestyle would be completely impossible for most people, and especially those with young children if there was not adequate space to hide away the essential belongings. The storage also needs to be well organised so that it is easy to just pop an item back in it’s allotted space once it has been used.
Simple Window Dressings
Stick to blinds or plain curtains with a simple rail and absolutely avoid tie-backs, pelmets or fancy curtain rails. If your home is not overlooked, why not just leave the window unadorned?
Plain Neutral or Muted Colours
The most common method of creating the calm environment of a minimalist room is with the colours that are used for major items like the walls, floor, sofas and cabinets. Only use neutral or soft, muted pastels here and never use a pattern (even in a neutral shade).
Homes should always reflect something of the personality of the owner so select your favourite contemporary art prints, a few family photos and an elegant bowl, for instance to show your personality. Artworks are an important part in the design of a minimalist home because they bring colour to a room without taking up space or cluttering a surface.