Minimalism Done Right: How to Simplify Your Space Without Erasing Personality

Published on 3 April 2024 at 17:25

When I think of minimalism, all I picture is Kim Kardashian’s barren, beige house devoid of any decorations or personality. No shade to Kim K, but IMO, her interior design style errs more on the side of an incredibly modern doctor’s office than a home. Despite our differing decor tastes, I agree with her sentiment on what a home should offer in your life. In a 2020 Architectural Digest interview, she said of her home, “Everything in the outside world is so chaotic. I like to come into a place and immediately feel the calmness.” Your home should serve as an escape from the stress of everyday life—not contribute to it—but you don’t have to strip your space down to a bland beige box à la Kim Kardashian to give it a more minimalist vibe.

It’s totally possible to simplify your space without ridding it of personality, and spring cleaning season is the perfect time to tackle this project. Keep scrolling for our best tips on how to take a more minimalist approach to home decor.

1. Figure out your personal style

Competing interior styles can be very overwhelming, which is why understanding your personal decorating style is essential if you want to give your home a more minimalist feel. Instead of trying to do everything at once, narrow down the colours, styles, and patterns that actually feel like you. Your style might not fit perfectly into a defined decor aesthetic, and that’s OK. However, if you’re simultaneously trying to decorate your home with grand-millennial, modern eclectic, and Scandinavian decor, the result might come across as confusing and crowded. Once you’ve determined your personal style, it also becomes much easier to pare down decor items based on what no longer makes sense in your home.

2. Embrace the purge

You may not want to hear it, but decluttering is crucial to levelling up your home. Yes, it can be a lot of work, but getting rid of items that don’t have a purpose or place anymore makes organising what you have so much easier. Go through each room in your home and get real with yourself—if you don’t love it, purge it. Then, take stock of what’s left and find ways to use those items more effectively, repurpose them, or store them out of sight. Editing out the unnecessary stuff will leave you with decor that genuinely represents you and serves a purpose in your life, which is what minimalism is all about.

3. Leave room for negative space

After honing in on your personal decorating style, your first instinct might be to immediately run to your computer and scour the internet, purchasing everything you find to fit your new aesthetic. Trust me, I get it. Decorating a space can be exciting, and it’s tempting to cover every blank wall with art and fill every empty corner with furniture. However, negative space can be a powerful decorating tool. It allows your rooms to look curated instead of chaotic and makes the decor you do have stand out even more. By leaving some breathing room in between your furniture and decor, you can strike the perfect balance between decorated but not over the top.

4. Prioritise hidden storage

Have you ever felt like you’ve organised your space a million times, and even though everything has a place, it still feels scattered? If the answer is yes, it’s time to invest in hidden storage options. Open shelves are great, but if you have a lot of stuff, no matter how organised it might be, it can be a lot visually. Instead, opt for furniture with built-in drawers or cabinets, baskets and bins that can hide items in plain sight, and organisers that can make use of the spaces behind doors, inside cabinets, or under your bed. When it comes to clutter, out of sight, out of mind.

5. Get intentional with knickknacks

Whether it’s a sentimental piece passed down from your grandmother or something you picked up at an antique store on a road trip, knickknacks always tell a story. It’s easy to fall victim to the urge to purchase a million little decor pieces to spice up your space, but the line between cute and cluttered is thin. You don’t want your home to look like a museum featuring a special exhibit of “things you bought that have no purpose but are just too adorable to get rid of.” I’m not saying you have to donate all of your beloved trinkets—instead, pick a few of your favourites and display them intentionally (remember that negative space!). Showing off a few carefully chosen trinkets will allow your personality to shine through without veering toward messy.

6. Don’t go overboard on throw pillows and blankets

Accent pillows can act as the “cherry on top” for a room, the final touch that brings everything together—but there’s a reason there aren’t 10 cherries on an ice cream sundae. When piles of pillows take up the entire couch or bed, it makes your space look cramped, especially when most will end up strewn across the floor when you actually go to sit down. The same goes for throw blankets. You want the room to feel cozy while still looking put together, so choose only a handful of pillows and throws to spruce up the room without taking over the furniture. Another tip: Prioritise comfort so your pillows and throws have a purpose. Instead of piling on options that are just for show, consider what you’ll actually use when you curl up on the couch and watch a movie.



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