Bare Necessities: Decorate Like a Minimalist

For many people, home is the place to showcase their treasures in a shrine to the places they’ve been and the things they’ve done. Others like to keep it simple when it comes to decorating, preferring to take a “less is more” approach with a minimalist design theme throughout their homes.

Fans of minimalist design often claim the appeal of this approach is that it’s easier to keep their homes clean due to less clutter. It’s a great option for people moving into their first home or apartment as well as those who are starting over and looking for a smooth transition. The minimalist approach allows you to create a trendy look without having to buy a lot of furnishings and accessories. You could stick to a plan of slowly acquiring pieces or opt for furniture rental as a temporary solution.

Although it sounds like a simple idea that should be easy to accomplish, decorating with a minimalist design scheme is actually harder than it seems. The trick is to create a balance with the bare-bones look so you still have an interesting, inviting place to entertain guests or just relax at the end of a long day without tripping over “stuff.” With the right approach, you can transform your space with minimalist design.

Know What You Need

Understanding what minimalist design is all about is your first step to achieving it. This style uses very little furniture and accessories, so each item in the room is important and has a specific use. For example, instead of a full bedroom set with a dresser, two nightstands, a built-in bookshelf, and perhaps even a chair and entertainment center, the bedroom would only have what is essential, such as a bed with a small headboard — or none at all — and perhaps a single nightstand and dresser.

In the living room, this means no giant entertainment center with shelves packed with video games and movies. This room’s contents could be as simple as a small stand for the television, a couch, a chair, and possibly a small table.

Throughout the minimalist home, there is very little clutter or décor, although a few simple, stylish items are necessary to keep the space from looking vacant. Instead of a desk or sofa table lined with framed family photos, choose a strategic place to display a single photo. Likewise, you don’t want walls that are completely bare, but you should stick to no more than a single, simple piece of art per wall.

Making It Work for You

If the minimalist design aesthetic appeals to you, the best way to try on this style is to do it gradually. Focus on one room at a time to get used to the new, streamlined look, and have some fun experimenting with what works best for you. It’s a great style to work with when you move into a new place, and renting your furniture rather than buying allows you to create the look you want without the hassle and cost of owning it.

One of the easiest ways to start is to tackle the furniture first. Look closely at your room, and decide which pieces could be removed without harming the functionality of the room. The idea is to make it livable and comfortable — and to eliminate what isn’t truly necessary.

Furniture tends to dominate a space, so these selections are usually the easiest. After you’ve pared down the furniture in a room, turn your attention to more complex areas. Which remaining items are essential? You may find that with part of the furniture gone, other items in the room — such as a lamp or freestanding bookcase — no longer seem to fit the design theme.

One of the hallmarks of minimalist design is a lack of clutter, and that means flat surfaces should be clear. If you leave a coffee table in the living room, don’t toss stacks of magazines on it or add a decorative centerpiece. Keep it bare and simple. You could add a couple of carefully placed decorations around the room to give it some personality, but it shouldn’t be excessive.

Once you master the art of decorating in the minimalist style, you can find ways to streamline every room in your home. If you’re moving to a new space, it’s the perfect opportunity to try out the minimalistic approach for yourself. CORT Furniture Rental is a great resource that allows you to easily try out this design concept while furnishing your space with minimal fuss.