There’s something about each new summer season that brings a need for home rejuvenation. After months of dark and rainy nights there is finally the opportunity to throw open the doors and windows, let a little light and air into the house, and even entertain a few guests. Sounds simple enough.
However, if you’re anything like the rest of us, there is usually one thing standing in the way of this this open airy feel – clutter. Ask yourself how much stuff do you really need? Do the make-do furniture purchases and accumulated trinkets really deserve their continued pride of place? When you start stripping away what you think you can live without, you could be left with very little. But is that a bad thing? Let’s look at going minimalist.
Beautiful vs Useful
There is an old saying that goes ‘have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. There are a few basic steps to getting this evaluation right.
For example, a gaudy light fitting can be replaced with simple elegant lighting solutions that take up less space and deliver a cooler more clean-cut light. See here for ideas on slimline LED filament bulbs. Furniture is another great example of ‘beautiful vs useful’. A bookcase of dusty old hardbacks, a rarely used nest of tables, a glass ornament cabinet that acts as a make shift surface for keys and small change. Sound familiar? From overflowing magazine racks to rugs that you’ve never liked, the list of items is going to be a lot longer than you anticipated.
There would be little point in creating a minimalist living space if the furniture that sits in that space doesn’t match the stripped-down theme – a puffed out reclining leather couch is going to look mismatched in a room that takes its style from reduced materialism. Instead opt for slim-line structures based on making the best possible use of straight lines and block colours.
The same applies to adding a little greenery to your décor. Lush flowers and tumbledown windowsill dwellers are great for adding movement and life to colourful multi-function rooms but won’t work if placed in a minimalist theme.
Think small and chunky or long and thin. We’re talking a single cactus for a side surface or a long stem potted plant such as a bamboo or dracaena for room corners – avoid flowering plants that could shed petals (flowering plants will also require more maintenance in terms of frequent watering, so consider investing in faux greenery to make life easier).
Which Colour Scheme is Best?
Making the switch from a lived-in look to a minimalist living space needn’t be all about dull greys, whites, and washed out pastels. The important thing here is to match your décor to the purpose of the room.
If you live alone and you don’t have much experience in interior design, for example, you may wish to opt for a simple colour palette that reduces the amount of design time. Choose colours within the same family to avoid bright clashes that could take away from the minimal aesthetic.
On the other hand, if you have children, you may wish to go colourful to try to cater to everyone’s tastes. Again, try to stick to a limited choice of colours and shades within a colour family to help promote the stripped-down feel.
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