Minimalism in the Living Room: Stylish and Modern

Decorating a room in the apartment minimalist does not mean abandoning furniture and decoration, but choosing a few things with a style whose shape and color harmoniously fit together. We have compiled a few tips for implementing the minimalist interior style in the living room and living comfortably.

Make a conscious decision to forgo small items and go with quality exclusively for the essentials for a minimalist interior
Make a conscious decision to forgo small items and go with quality exclusively for the essentials for a minimalist interior.
Photo: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Vanit Janthra

What Is Minimalism?

Minimalism refers to the conscious restriction to doing what is necessary and thus having more clarity. The visual arts movement of the 1960s, which originated as opposition to gestural painting, soon spilled over into other areas of life, and 20 years later came to architecture.

As an attitude to life, the minimalism movement has been increasingly in vogue for a few years because its core message of “less is more” captures the spirit of the times. Many people feel the need to simplify their lives, not wanting to burden themselves with so many thoughts. They want to own fewer things and live in a smaller living space perfectly tailored to their individual needs. Other ideas have therefore been born around the minimalism movement, such as consistent decluttering, tidying up, the zero-waste movement, and living in a Tiny House.

Living Room Minimalist Furnishings: Here’s What to Consider

Straightforward design and achromatic, sober colors form the basis of a minimalist living room. Furniture and objects provide the desired coziness – a few individual pieces, but just the right ones that fit together perfectly, each serving a precise purpose and contributing to the overall picture of order. Clutter has absolutely no place in a minimalist living room. After all, the mind and thoughts should be distracted as little as possible in a living room following the minimalism movement to guarantee a high level of relaxation. How this is implemented in detail differs slightly in every living room. For some, a very bright room, without color and with a few pieces of furniture that look very cool, is what they want. For others, colors and furniture with storage space are necessary, even if they want to decorate a living room with minimalism.

Furniture Without Frills

Therefore, simple, clear furniture is absolutely indispensable, without embellishments and decorations as basic equipment. Furniture with oval, organic shapes goes well with this. On the other hand, bulky, expansive pieces of furniture do not belong in a minimalist living room. Multifunctional furniture is best suited for the reduced interior style, as it helps to equip the room with everything important without visually overcrowding it or placing too much furniture – for example, the classic stool with storage space or a coffee table that is at least partially adjustable in height and can be used as a desk with storage space.

Since a minimalist lifestyle has less small stuff than in other apartments, the issue of storage space also plays a less important role. However, there should still be enough storage space in a minimalist living room to accommodate everything important to you. Preferably, you should focus more on cabinets with doors and less on shelves because shelves can quickly look messy. Display cabinets are recommended if they are furnished with much thought – this means sorted by color in the case of a minimalism living room.

Still, of course, the furniture itself can be made of any material that you find beautiful and helps you express your style and personality, despite minimalism: Wooden furniture brings storage space and visual warmth to the room. Wood and glass combinations bring more lightness with a tendency to less storage space, and if you choose metal or metal and glass furniture, you add clean accents that emphasize the coolness of the room and the very modern look. As you can see, there can be different approaches and ideas, even for a minimalist living room.

The Furniture Is, at the Same Time Decoration

In a minimalist living room, the furnishings also serve as decorative objects. Predestined for this are all textiles. Starting with the carpet. Unicolored and best made of wool fibers, sisal, or raffia, runners or rugs provide warmth under the feet and, at the same time, a cozy feeling of space. Curtains also easily fulfill the dual function of furnishing and decorating. For the minimalist living room, we recommend plain curtains that go to the floor. The sofa cushions should be one color with the sofa itself and also have no pattern.

Of course, the lamps and lights are in the category of decorative everyday objects. Slim floor lamps or floor lamps provide a minimalism effect. Lampshades of linen, rice paper, glass, or metal emphasize the no-frills interior style and still provide sufficient light. Fans of indirect lighting go for LED strips.

Plants Are a Must

Plants fit into any interior style and room and provide a better indoor climate everywhere. Of course, in color and style, matching cachepots and vases. A bouquet of dried flowers and one or two potted plants do very well in a reduced-furnished living room as their colors usually match very well with the prevailing colors of the minimalist style.

These Colors Fit Into a Minimalist Living Room

Light walls create calm in the room; a darker floor contrasts pleasantly. For the wall design, it’s best to choose warm whites, pastels, or other more subdued colors, and light to dark brown or black for the floor. However, you should not use more than three colors in a minimalistic living room – this means: The wall colors and the floor color automatically represent the possible color spectrum for furniture and decoration – but these colors can vary within their different hues. Meaning: every color you use can also be used in its gradations, thus providing an opportunity to rely on several color tones even in a minimalist living room.

Colorful Patterns in a Minimalist Living Room?

Yes, patterns and graphics are allowed even in a minimalist living room, as long as they have large-scale designs and are kept in calm colors that fit into the existing spectrum. Tip: Avoid small-scale, small-scale, and very colorful patterns – even and especially on pillows, rugs, or curtains. Unfortunately, this does not provide a livening-up splash of color but destroys the tidy overall picture and, thus, your carefully planned minimalist living room.

Minimalism, Yes; Barren and Dull, No!

Minimalism in the living room can quickly slip away and make the room look rather barren, cool, and dull instead of stylish and modern. As if the living room had not been completely furnished or as if furniture, decoration, and personality were missing. To prevent this from happening, here are four tips to keep in mind when it comes to minimalism in the living room:

  1. Quality over quantity: minimalism in the living room necessarily involves the selection of high-quality furniture and materials. They provide, despite fewer objects in the room, a feel-good atmosphere.
  2. Go for natural products: Wood, wool, linen, clay, ceramics, cork, seaweed fibers, and leather – they all have a naturally warm aura and provide the coziness factor in the minimalist living room. By the way, natural products with a positive warming effect also include plants. Minimalism is, after all, about reducing objects and not having no beautiful things anymore.
  3. No snow-white walls: Bright, even white, are expressly desired in minimalism. But pay attention to the shade of white. Snow white, crystal white, arctic white – all white tones that want to be whiter than white and possibly already slide into bluish are taboo. They would make the living room look sterile and deprive you of the possibility of feeling comfortable from the very beginning.
  4. Wall design with care: Actually, the walls in a minimalist living room should remain bare, i.e., without pictures, photos, posters, and also without pattern wallpaper. However, if you do not feel comfortable with this, hang an XXL picture in the middle. In no case, hang a small photo in the middle of the room’s long wall; that would make the minimalist style ridiculous—second option: wallpaper one wall with patterned wallpaper in a large-scale design but with muted colors.
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