Minimalist Interior Design: Everything You Need to Know

When you walk into a minimalist space, you might notice a lack of fluff and a room with a few bells and whistles. “It’s almost like you would come and think, Wow, this space is really well edited or really well curated,” Clarke says. You may even think the room is missing something. “But really, it has everything that someone needs for that environment,” she finishes. This may be the ultimate principle of minimalist design: an emphasis on what’s truly needed and important with little addition of anything else. It exudes peace, tranquility, and calm. “It doesn’t necessarily promote high energy,” Clarke says. “It means that your eye has somewhere to really rest.”

As Bascom describes it, minimalism is all about being purposeful. It’s not asking, How little can I live with? but rather, What can I get rid of that I don’t need? When working with clients, Bascom says he and Clarke often try to find the core of what someone really loves and moves them, and weed out all the rest. “We find what really inspires them, what really touches them,” he says. “Once we do that, then you don’t need any excess.”

When you think of minimalism like this, it’s clear that it doesn’t have to look any specific way. Although the style often does manifest as uncluttered and white-walled rooms with a few focal pieces of furniture, it’s important to understand that it doesn’t have to. “You can still incorporate your identity or your heritage within this aesthetic,” Clarke says. “Even in a minimalist style, it should still feel like something that really does belong to you.” For example, you could have a room that follows all the traditional design decisions of a minimalist room, only instead of white and neutral walls, yours are bright pink. Even though it may not look like a minimalist space in the traditional sense, the room can still follow many of the movement’s core principles—peaceful, purposeful, uncluttered—and remain true to you. “We approach minimalism as a desire to be mindful,” Clarke adds, which can be achieved in many different ways.

Examples of minimalist interior design

For some minimalist design inspiration, consider the following projects from Ishka Designs.

Minimalist living room

According to Ishka Designs, minimal spaces tend to feel extremely well curated.

Photo: Nya Bascom. Art: Ndidi Emefiele/Gallery Rosenfeld.

Minimalist dining room

A dining room by Ishka Design features a modern chandelier and a Scandinavian-inspired dining set.

Photo: Niya Bascom

How to achieve minimalist interior design in your home

If you’re ready to adapt both the minimalist lifestyle and aesthetic to your home, Clarke and Bascom have tips to make it possible.

How do you make a minimalist interior?

When it comes to a minimalist DIY home design, perhaps one of the most important things you can do is declutter, and this is especially true in small spaces. The most defining look of a minimalist space is one that isn’t overcrowded with things, and the easiest way to do this is to own less material items. When doing this, Bascom recommends you focus on keeping the things that matter most to you, not the things that most fit a certain look or vibe—this ensures that both you and your home are minimalist.

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