Mini Guide to Minimalism
A minimalist approach can make the most out of your space by focusing attention exactly where you want. These 12 rooms show you how
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design is collected, not decorated, and that homes should always be as comfortable and functional as they are chic. In addition to writing for Houzz, I work as the Head Copywriter for Layla Grayce and Zinc Door.
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design... More »
So often, we approach spaces and wonder what can be added. However, what about those things that can be taken away? Certain spaces — those with great architecture, incredible views or small dimensions — may be best enhanced with a minimalist approach, whether that means minimal furnishings, removing artwork or even toning down the color palette. Read on for 12 living areas that successfully embrace a minimal aesthetic, along with some ideas for making it work in your own home.
If you’re lucky enough to have incredible wood flooring, don’t feel pressured to cover it up with rugs. Instead, go minimal by keeping it bare. If you’re worried about cold toes and have the budget, consider an electric floor heating system.
Minimalist arrangements really allow the architecture of a room to breathe. Beautiful built-in shelves, a stone fireplace and a natural-wood second-story railing take center stage when only a single chair, a rug and a drum fill the space. Is this practical for a full household? Probably not. But if you lived alone, this setup could be an option.
Perhaps you have a wall made of stone, brick or another type of eye-catching material. It may be tough to fight the urge, but don't feel like you have to cover it with artwork or shelves of knickknacks. Walls like this are unique enough to stand on their own. Plus, their texture will provide enough visual excitement for the room.
Browse more textured walls
Couches are pretty much a go-to piece in a living space, but it’s possible one isn’t necessary for you. If you are planning to use your living area more for social situations than for lounging in front of the television, consider filling it with individual chairs. If your space is coupled with an incredible view like this one, choose chairs in a minimalist style so they don’t detract from it.
In this space, an additional couch or chair could have easily been placed where the larger pouf is. However, it’s a small area, and an additional heavy piece of furniture could have resulted in a cramped feel. Leaving it out helps the room feel open and airy, and the pouf provides extra seating if necessary.
Even if you have a larger space, you don't have to fill it entirely with furnishings. By using only a sectional couch, an ottoman, a coffee table and side tables, this designer created a functional and comfortable living room without interrupting the walking flow from living space to kitchen area.
If you do add a rug that makes a statement on its own, let it be the focal point by keeping the furniture's style and color palette minimal.
Mantels are commonly adorned with large pieces of artwork, which can be truly impactful. However, if you’ve got a lot going on in your space — lots of patterns or colors, say — you may want to keep the mantel minimal. Too many engaging elements in a room can cause a space to go flat if you’re not careful.
Don’t forget that you can achieve a minimalist style with the actual furnishings you choose. In this space, a contemporary clear coffee table provides function without distracting from the home’s incredible architecture.
In this space, two small coffee tables and minimalist chairs round out this seating area. You can improve functionality while still keeping the look with small, clean-lined side tables near the chairs to provide a spot for drinks.
This living space could have easily employed a large coffee table to serve both couches. However, two smaller choices help to define the two seating areas while also providing a center walkway through the room.
When you have a view this incredible, the last thing you want is a distracting furniture arrangement. Make the view the focal point by using minimal pieces in calm neutrals that won’t compete.
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