I can’t claim that my home is completely minimalist, but it certainly isn’t cluttered compared to lots of my friends' houses. After explaining why I like a minimalist home my friends and I got onto the topic of how to make your home minimalistic.
There are actually no set steps to making your home minimalist, except to change your philosophy and shoot for minimalistic ideals. With that in mind, here are some tips that I would offer to anyone trying to shoot for minimalism in their homes:
Focus on one room at a time
Unless you’re just moving into a place, it’s hard to simplify an entire house at once. Focus on one room, and let that be your center of calm. Use it to inspire you to simplify the next room, and the next. Then do the same outside!
Start with furniture
The biggest things in any room are the furniture, so you should always begin simplifying a room by looking at the furniture. The fewer pieces of furniture, the better (within reason, of course). Think of which furniture can be eliminated without sacrificing comfort and livability. Go for a few pieces of plain, simple furniture (example of a minimalist coffee table) with solid, subdued colors.
Only the essentials
Whether looking at your furniture or anything else in the room, ask yourself if the item is truly essential. If you can live without it, get it out. Try to strip the room down to its essentials — you can always add a few choice items beyond the essentials later.
Except for the furniture, your floors should be completely clear. Nothing should clutter the floor, nothing should be stacked, nothing should be stored on the floor. Once you’ve gotten your furniture down to the bare essentials, clear everything else on the floor — either donate it, trash it, or find a place for it out of sight.
Same thing with all flat surfaces. Don’t have anything on them, except one or two simple decorations. Donate, trash or find an out-of-sight storage spot for everything else. It will make everything much, much more minimal-looking.
Clear walls and windows
Some people hang all kinds of stuff on their walls. No can do in a minimalist home. Clear your walls except for one or two simple pieces of nice artwork. Also, look carefully at your windows. Do you want those beautiful sash windows from London spoilt by tacky decor? I think not.
Store stuff out of sight
This has been mentioned in the above tips, but you should store everything you need out of sight, in drawers and cabinets. Bookshelves can be used to store books or DVDs or CDs, but shouldn’t have much else except a few simple decorations (not whole collections of things)
If you are clearing flat surfaces and the floor, and storing stuff in cabinets and drawers, you’ll probably want to declutter your storage areas too. You can do this in a later stage if you want.
To keep a room from being boring, you can put a simple painting, drawing or photo, framed with a subdued, solid color, on each wall if you want. Leave some walls bare if possible.
As mentioned in the above tips, one or two simple decorations can serve as accents for a minimalist room. A vase of flowers or a small potted plant are two classic examples. If the rest of your room has subdued colors, your accents could use a bright color (such as red, or yellow) to draw the eye and give a plain room a splash of energy.
Plain window treatments
Bare windows, or simple, solid colored curtains, or simple, wooden blinds are good. Too much ornate stuff around the windows is clutter.
Plain patterns and subdued colours
Solid colors are best for floor coverings (if you have any), furniture, etc. Complex patterns, such as flowers or checkers, are visual clutter. You can have a splash of bright color in the room, but most of the room should be more subtle colors – white is classic minimalist, but really any solid colors that don’t stress the eyes is good (earth colors come to mind, such as blues, browns, tans, greens).
Edit and eliminate
When you’ve simplified a room, you can probably do more. Give it a couple of days, then look at everything with a fresh eye. What can be eliminated? Stored out of sight? What’s not essential? You can come back to each room every few months, and sometimes you’ll discover things you can simplify even more.
Place for everything
In a minimalist house, it’s important that you find a place for everything, and remember where those places are. Where does you blender go? Give it a spot, and stick with it. Aim for logical spots that are close to where the thing is used, to make things more efficient, but the key is to designate a spot.
Once you’ve simplified a room, take a moment to look around and enjoy it. It’s so peaceful and satisfying. This is the reward for your hard work.