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Interior Design and Style - Minimalism

The thought of a minimalist home can be a frightening thought for some people. You may think that you will have few possessions, nowhere to place a photograph or a scatter cushion. It will be stark and hard and white, but nothing could be further form the truth.

Minimalism simply means that everything in your home is both stylish and functional. Nothing will makes its way into your home unless it serves a purpose and offers a design element to the room.

While minimalism does encourage the use of whites, metals, gloss surfaces, natural and industrial materials; splashes of colour are also employed along with softer items such as rugs and cushions to take the edge off the harshness.

The most common form of minimalist design is to use furniture with clean lines and often square or rectangular shapes. Limited use of cushions can be used, but these should be in the same colour as the furniture. The furniture itself should take centre stage and if possible the odd designer piece can be used.

Creating space around furniture is also important. Minimalism is a way of creating an almost gallery like space. Plenty of wall space in light neutral colours, floors in wood, concrete, lino or tiles will work well. Carpets can also be used, but in very pale tones, accented with coloured rugs.

To add a splash of colour, an accent wall can be used or a large wall painting. Colours used on the walls should reflect any items around the home. For example a single large blue vase, might be highlighted by a pale blue wall. Or a green plant could be placed against a brown wall to add some warmth.

Storage is a key element of minimalism. Storage units should always have doors and hide away anything which is not an essential item for the room. Clean lines should always be employed and ideally any storage should be built in. For example, cupboards built into the space under the stairs. Cupboard doors should be painted the same colour as the walls to give the impression of not being there at all. To the untrained eye the home should look as though it were a show room, although still a relaxed and casual home.

Lighting needs to be clean and white. Generally single lamps work well, but fancy light shades are a no no. Spotlights in the ceiling and task lighting above design items to highlight can also be used. Natural lighting is also important. Large windows, no curtains and minimal use of blinds will give the required look.

Yes, living in a minimalist home can be hard work. Remembering to put away everything and taking care not to bring things into the home which might add clutter and detract from carefully selected design pieces, might take some getting used to. But minimalist interiors can be incredibly relaxing and the perfect environment for a calm evening or even as a work space. Perfect for adults, but not necessarily for children!