The first steps towards minimalism are simple and clear-cut: get rid of a lot of “stuff” and stop buying so much “’stuff.” Once you’ve achieved those goals, the next steps become harder. For instance, your existing home is probably full of furniture, shelving, and storage as well as ornaments and appliances that you rarely use.
To truly master minimalism, your living areas should be clean, tidy, and free from as many distractions as possible. Do you really need those ornaments that gather dust or that chair nobody sits on but you always bang your shins against? If you’ve answered no to any of these questions, then maybe designing a minimalist living room could be a good option for you—read on to learn how.1,2
Decluttering Your Living Room
Designing a minimalist living room is easier than you think, but it might take a shift in the way you approach interior design. A good minimalist room layout is one that is clean and airy, focusing on high-quality items and using space as effectively as possible. Some key features of a well-executed minimalist design include:
- A neutral color palette
- Clean lines and a sleek flow
- Working with the shape of the room
- Leaving a lot of open space
Most importantly, minimalist designs go with the flow. Rather than trying to change a space into something that it is not, they will embrace new focal points and let the space itself dictate the layout. If you have a huge window, frame it with long drapes rather than trying to hide it. If you have a Gothic fireplace, let it dominate the room and use it as the focal point instead of trying to make the TV the center of attention. If the room is bare bones, then pick something that you want to show off, and design the room around that one thing rather than trying to fill it with stuff.
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Clean hardwood floors with a single great rug and matching drapes can brighten up a minimalist living room and are a good option for people who are looking to try that kind of design.
Minimalist designs will usually have fairly bare walls, with perhaps one piece of art on display rather than a gallery worth of smaller paintings. You can use flowers and plants, and even ornaments, but they should be used sparingly. Less is more is not just a truism—it’s an important part of minimalism.
Create a Space You Feel Good in
When you make your living room a minimalist one, it should feel refreshing. Instead of being surrounded by clutter that stresses you out, you will enjoy having more space to do the things you enjoy, and you won’t arrive home to think “I have to tidy this mess up.” It’s a small change that makes a big difference.
With minimalism, you will have a clean fresh and relaxing space to call your own. Additionally, you can use potpourri, plants, or essential oil diffusers to make the great-looking space a great-smelling space, and you’ll find that you associate those lovely smells with your home and with a feeling of safety and calmness. For a more portable option that you can take on furniture or art-hunting adventures, try a terpene pen like Zen.
If you’re on a tight budget, it can be hard to find the money to get the decorations you need, but as you get further along your minimalism journey, you’ll learn that it is worth spending money on good furniture. Well-made hardwood tables, quality chairs with comfortable cushions, and thicker, heavier curtains or blinds can make things so much more comfortable. A luxurious rug that feels good under your feet is worth every penny. A quality diffuser to replace your artificial air fresheners will make your home smell more inviting and less like the perfume counter of a chain store.
The same goes for appliances. There are differences in the quality of light depending on the type of lamp you use. A nice set of speakers is better than a cheaper set. If you find that you need storage, try to look for furniture that includes concealed storage so that you don’t ruin your efforts at minimalism with boxes and shelves overflowing with “stuff.”
Find Your Sense of Style
Decorating is a highly personal thing. For instance, some people will love a soft, wicker and wood look, while others lean towards all-white with a single accent color. There are many who love the Scandinavian style or think that chrome adds a touch of class. No preference beats any other. The key is to pick one look and run with it rather than mixing many together.
So, head to Pinterest and consider the looks that you like the most. Make a list, and start working towards that look. You may end up having to pull up carpets, change your curtains, or sell some furniture, but it will be well worth it. Save up and spend a little extra to get a sofa that feels extra comfortable.
So, when it comes to designing a minimalist living room, the most important tip would be to find your sense of style, think about what really makes you happy, and then build a home around those ideas. If a minimalist living room is too much to tackle right now, start with a minimalist bathroom, and work from there. Do one room at a time, and eventually, you’ll have a home that you truly enjoy living in and that brings you inner peace.
Whether you go all the way with minimalism or just scale down your existing decor and aim for “simple chic,” shifting how you think about your home and your possessions is a high-impact change that will really help your mental well-being and your bank account.
Photo credits: Rakic/shutterstock.com, Marina_D/shutterstock.com