Design & Inspiration

Minimalism 101

A new year is a time for resolutions and a great way to start afresh is to declutter. With a more minimalist approach you can refine your interior style and best of all you’re likely to become more organised in the process.

STEP 1 – DECLUTTER

The key to minimalism is to find your style and stick to it. But before getting to the fun stuff, most of us need to edit what we own. To commit to the process properly you need to be ruthless, assess your belongings, work out what you actually need, what brings you joy and get rid of the rest.  While it might be difficult to part with things you’ve had for years, it’s important to declutter so you can reclaim space and appreciate what you have. The best way to start is to tackle the house systematically room by room. Sort your wardrobe into seasons and consider donating anything you haven’t worn in the past 18 months. In the kitchen be realistic about how many of the utensils, pots and gadgets you use on a regular basis. If you’ve got limited storage space it might be time to part with that pasta machine or bread maker which has sat collecting dust for years. Don’t rush the process, take as much time as you need to thoroughly go through every drawer, cupboard and box. You’ll be surprised how good it feels to let things go.

STEP 2 – REFINE YOUR PALETTE

One of the aims of a minimalist scheme is to create spaces which are calming. With just a few simple elements within a room it can be easier to relax and just be. To get the foundations right, opt for a tonal scheme in varying degrees of intensity and for a timeless appeal go neutral and natural. If you like lighter shades, a wool flooring in bedrooms like Ashington, Elliyton will sit well alongside living areas in a lighter toned timber like Quick-Step Variano, Painted White Oak. Alternatively, if you prefer the cool, cavernous feel of darker shades you might like to opt for Plantino Engineered Oak Royale Wideboard, Pompeii and Cavalier Bremworth Wool Loop carpet in Tussore, Sumac. The same applies to soft furnishings, stick to shades in the same family and add interest with different textural fabrics and subtle patterns.

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STEP 3 – CURATE DISPLAYS

To avoid interiors looking bland and lifeless, it’s important to showcase your treasures and interests, you just need to do it cleverly. Often it’s best to group like objects together, whether it is a collection of books, ceramics or photos and remember less is often more – you want to accent a room, not overwhelm it. Rather than crowd a shelf or wall with family photos, choose your favourite three frames and rotate the pictures you have on show. Another option is to create a subtle theme where every room echoes a similar feel, in a slightly different way. A great way to do this is with plants and lovely linen.

STEP 4 –BUY MINDFULLY

Rather than picking up a cute decorator piece because it’s on sale, only buy pieces you truly love and have a suitable place for. The same applies to furniture. In living and entertaining areas work out how you like to use the space and choose pieces of furniture accordingly. There’s no point having occasional chairs that never get sat in, or nesting tables that don’t get pulled out.  A good rule of thumb is to invest in fewer, quality pieces. Another benefit in paring back furniture is it will free up floor space and make rooms feel more spacious.

STEP 5 – INSTALL STORAGE

The only way to maintain a minimalist scheme is with great storage and organisation. Everything should have a designated place where it can be easily put away and accessed. Once you’ve decluttered and have less stuff, you should find it easier to create functional storage. Think labelled boxes in a uniform size and colour, pull-out baskets, hooks and inner drawer dividers, which will keep things neat behind closed doors. For the system to work, it’s important to store items in handy spots, close to where they’ll be used. If your blender is in a storage tub on a shelf in the garage it will never be used.


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