Home Decor: Minimalist Style

Our house can be clean and picked up, yet, if our decor is not also paired down, we may still find ourselves distracted from living a peaceful, minimalist life. I love decorating my home. A big part of why I am passionate about interior design is that I believe that the spaces we live in impact our moods and emotions more than we realize. I think that living in a beautiful, clean, peaceful space is an important anchor to our quality of life and to get us to where we want to go down the road. Cluttered decor, too much visual on the walls, furniture, etc. does not accomplish this. Too much of a good thing… is just too much.

As you begin to consider your home decor and how you might minimalize visual clutter, remember this principal: Less is More. While you want your house to be a welcoming place that offers comfort and beauty, you also want to keep decor simple. With the less is more principal in decorating your home, you will find that those special, unique decor items that blended in to the excess before will now have an opportunity to shine.

Here are some ways to begin your journey towards decluttered decor in your home:

Surfaces

To Do: Go around your house from room to room (don’t forget the kitchen) and clear everything off all surfaces you find. This, of course, excludes things like table lamps.

Whether it’s papers, toiletries, kitchen appliances, or decor such as figurines, photographs, and nick-nacks, items taking up surfaces of your home create clutter and work against creating a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Even though it’s “decoration” doesn’t mean it’s not also clutter. Don’t be afraid of empty surface space. Just because something COULD be placed somewhere doesn’t mean it HAS to.

To Do: Put away all non-decor items that usually sit on surfaces in your home. Or better yet, get rid of them.

To Do: Now that you have a blank space to decorate, carefully pick out just a few (or none, if you decide you love the way a completely empty surface looks and feels!) of your favorite decor pieces. Don’t put something back on every surface. Choose one or two surfaces to place one or two statement items on in an entire room. For example, If you place a decor piece on the coffee table, leave the top of your piano surface empty. Everything else, put away out of sight for a while. Chances are, you won’t miss them and they will end up at Goodwill.

Walls

We love to hang decorations on walls. Often, we tend to think that every wall needs an item. This is not so. By only hanging wall decor on a few main walls, you create beautiful focal points. For a decluttered, peaceful feel, let these few focal items that you do hang be mostly large, one piece items or a tight grouping of a few smaller items. Hang groupings in clean lines rather than catty-cornered to keep things looking neat and tidy.

To Do: Walk around your house a remove wall clutter. If you have a bunch of small decor on most of your walls, take down at least 50% of it. In fact, if you tend to have lots of small stuff, consider taking it all down, and then arranging only your favorites into one grouping that serves as one of your rooms’ focal points. In order for it to look like a grouping and not a wall full of clutter, make sure you hang them close together and not spread out. Don’t forget to leave many walls blank so that the focal walls pop!

Furniture

To Do: Go around your house and look for pieces of furniture that serve no purpose and take up space in your home. Remove them. If they are not being used, they are a form of clutter.

We think we have to “fill up” a room with furniture. So, often, we buy pieces we don’t need or use just so our houses don’t feel empty. We miss out on the beauty of a single comfy chair by a window with a floor lamp or how restful a bedroom can be without mass amounts of chest of drawers, vanities, and dressers.

Decorating our furniture with throws and throw pillows can be a fun way to add some color. Just remember not to go overboard. If you choose to decorate with some brightly colored throw pillows, consider simplifying your wall decor in that room even more so that you allow the pillows to be the focal point. Or, you may choose to have a clean sofa with nothing added yet have a large, colorful painting hanging above it.

Creating a beautiful, minimalistically decorated home is all about keeping things simple and clean, yet adding tasteful splashes of color and beauty that you let shine.

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9 comments

  1. Thanks for reminding us that less is more. I’m trying to keep this in mind as we move to a wee apartment mostly to have some studio space and very simple living space among it. The tendency will be to tuck too much into our storage cubicles, and thereby create clutter. Hobbies or artistic endeavors come with their own space challenges. Thanks for the nudge.

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  2. I really enjoyed this post. Decorating does not come easily to me, but since becoming a minimalist in the past couple of years, its actually gotten easier and I’ve realized the things I truly love. ha! Imagine that! 😉

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  3. I always begin with utility. What do I need in this space? What do I use and need to be able to access in this space? If I can find useful items that are also beautiful, then a large part of my work is done. Thencome the flourishes to add pops of color and visual interest, but only as much as is needed to make the space attractive without creating clutter.

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  4. Hi Janie

    Laura here from Enjoy Life Slowly. I just love your blog and your design!

    Mark and I are doing a series of interviews [http://enjoylifeslowly.com/interviews] with inspirational authorities in their field and people with a motivating story of how they have taken control of their lives by swapping complexity for simplicity. We’ll be talking about slowing down and simplifying including of course minimalism and decluttering,

    The aim is to give people who are looking to make a change, concrete actionable tips and inspiration to help them slow down, simplify and increase their quality of life.

    I know this is something you are passionate about so I wondered, would you be up for the idea of a quick 30 minute interview any time that suits you over the next couple of weeks? As it’s pre-recorded, we can fit in with you

    Best wishes

    Laura

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  5. I have used the phrase “reduce visual clutter” so many times when my friends ask me for decorating advice… i think when people aren’t happy with the way their homes look, they feel inclined to add more and to put more artwork up, when really, they need to reduce and put away their junk.. thanks for your post!!

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