Since the 1960s when it evolved, the minimalist theory has grown from describing structures to define fashion, music, interior design and architecture. It was first used in the middle of the 20th century, specifically to describe the sculptures of Robert Morris and Donald Judd. Today, minimalism plays a major role in the interior design industry.

Minimalism and the style of minimalistic interior design are becoming popular with each passing day. In contrast to old times when cold and harsh motifs were preferred, today minimalistic designs focus more on softer and less harsh forms of interior decoration. The basic principles of minimalism are sharp lines, low set furniture, pastel shades, solid surfaces and quality over quantity principle. There is also the inclusion of softer shapes, colours and texture; all defined well with a perfect balance.


In the world of interior design, a minimalistic approach means that there are spacious rooms with minimal clutter. There is minimal focus on the furniture and detailing of that furniture. The main elements draw attention to colour, shape and texture. There is no concept of multiple walls separating rooms and the furniture, curtains, wood and glass partitions act as walls to separate the rooms.

In this modern form of minimalistic interior design, accent is carried out on sharp geometric shapes and on creating asymmetry. All the furniture must have streamlined and non-detailed shapes that take up minimal space.


Typically, neutral coloured leather or any thick material cloth like suede is preferred for sofas and chairs. Shiny surfaces and straight lines are the most preferred form of look for minimalism. The kitchen and bathrooms should have stainless steel or chrome fittings and surfaces. The main concept is keeping the number of accessories at a minimal. Floors and walls should be made up of single piece units that are easy to clean. This may be wood, linoleum, stone or marble. All the belongings should be kept in a small yet easy-to-access wardrobe.

What are the roots of minimalistic design

Minimalistic style interiors are now known to be at the prime of their trends. This gives an elevated style of balance and forms by letting any space light up with lights of the sun.  Minimalism has its roots embedded into music, where quality music that is created with minimal instruments speaks a great deal about its creator in golden words. This concept of minimalist interior design has stemmed from the idea that less is more. It is the unification of the space with the furniture that is only a must-have. This style of design has been seen in Oriental culture especially in Japanese interiors where all the elements in the room are stripped down to the bare necessities.

What role does colour play in minimalist interior design?

Ideally in minimalist interior design, white is the main colour that gives the best sense of spaciousness and openness. White should generally form the walls, the floor and most of the furniture. However, pastel colours like pale green, light blue, dull yellow and beige can also be used as the main hue of the living space. As a rule, there is to be one colour per room. The base should be one dull colour while bright colours can be used to create accents, but only one colour can be used.  Bright red and royal blue are the most popular choice by a huge number of minimalist interior design globally. These colours are very effective in highlighting the details on a white and dull background. 

There is no rule of thumb while decorating one’s home as per one’s personal taste and preferences. Neutral colours are always the preferred ones to maintain the intended look of minimalism. Dark colours dominating the room create the illusion of clutter and stuffiness, which defies the basic rule of minimalism. The basis cannot at any cost have a bright or dark colour at any cost while accents should be limited to one bright flashy colour. Even though the traditional choice for minimalist style designs is choosing red as an accent but one can exert their freedom of choice here as per their taste.

How is lighting playing a part in minimalism?

Big windows for lighting are an integral part of a minimally designed home. The concept of shades and curtains is considered to be obsolete as they block out the light. Huge window that let the sunlight in are a major element of the minimalistic home. The windows are large and rectangular with smart design that helps keep the house lightened up all day and soft dispensed electric lights are used at night. One main element is that everything is in view of the home owners. There are no dark shabby corners and no clutter rooms devoid of sunlight.

The notion of open space in minimalism.

Another integral part of the minimalist style is open space. It may sound absurd but is it entirely true that ‘space’ can play an important part as an element in a home design but this is the case with the minimalistic approach. The freedom of movement is given utmost importance. Nothing should come in the way of the people living in that home as they move across the living space. The minimal furniture makes sure that space is maintained without any hindrance.

Space also implies the fact that cluttering is to be reduced. The cupboards, drawers and mantel-pieces are to be kept clutter free. It takes no times for us humans to fill up our closets, drawers and shelves with absolutely unnecessary things. This is to be avoided at any cost to maintain the element of bare necessities in the minimalistic home.

Here’s where Colleen Madsen’s rule comes in.

To make sure that one does not cutter their home with extra things that will only end up gathering dust, the Colleen Madsen’s “one in, one out” rule is to be applied. This rule states that for everything that comes into a minimalistic home, another must go in turn. This is to ensure that one knows that the cost of one thing would mean losing the other. This is found to be very effective in minimalistic home living, as one is basically replacing things continually; making sure no clutter is created.

Why is minimalism popular?

The reason to why minimalism is popular is because it gives the home-owners a sense of lightness and freedom. It is a form of lifestyle that preaches the control on the desire of cluttering to by taming it into perfect order and organization. This sort of living is more popular with businessmen and busy people as it helps them save time and mental strain when they come home. It is proven by psychologists that a minimalistic design lowers stress levels and elevates mood. Minimalism allows one to express one’s self without the aid of unusually bully furniture or impractical accessories. It creates a lovely amalgam of beauty, simplicity, sophistication and practicality.

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