I’ve learned over the years that the less you have in your home the larger your place will feel no matter what the size. I now always choose to create abundant space in my home versus the goal of filling it up with things. Although I sometimes enjoy the look of maximalist decor, it isn’t my preference for my own living space. The less is more philosophy completely rules my approach to decorating.
For starters whenever someone asks me how to declutter their home, I often refer to The KonMari Method for downsizing. I say that they can accomplish in 6 months what took me 6 years by committing to that decluttering method. Decluttering is a HUGE part to having a streamlined look to your home. But let me share exactly how I begin this process for myself.
Here are five tips that I use to create a minimalist aesthetic in my home.
1. Take It Out
To create a minimalist aesthetic in any room I find it key to take out any unnecessary furniture. Even if you store items inside the furniture, most likely you can declutter the storage and get rid of the furniture piece all together. Whatever is remaining can be consolidated and stored elsewhere.
Above is a photo of the third version of our living room in this apartment. I moved the ornate corner table from the bedroom to the living room after my son was born. There used to be two side tables in the original design which I removed, then added back to then remove again from the space completely. Although I could say that I need the side tables to place ______, I opted for the space instead.
Many times we keep furniture in a room because it can be used for A, B, and C. The truth is you don’t need to have everything in reach to be comfortable. If you notice, I’ve excluded all furniture from the space that doesn’t really need to be there. The corner table is the only large furniture piece for decor only. By taking out as many unnecessary large and small furniture pieces from a room, you create space. You can then use your creativity to fill in the artistic gaps.
For example, in my apartment tour you’ll notice that there isn’t a dresser in the bedroom. Our bedroom in this apartment is small. Instead of having a dresser, we hang up all of our clothing and use fabric bins in the closet for socks and undergarments. Although having a dresser serves a valid purpose, having more space is more valuable in my opinion. Being creative solved the issue. I’ll be sharing updated photos of the bedroom/nursery soon.
2. Eliminate Knick Knacks
I absolutely despise knick knacks! The ill feelings towards them started when I was young still living in my parent’s house. I’m not exactly sure what turned me off to them, but I have a feeling it is the constant maintenance. They always need to be dusted, rearranged, and organized to look nice. I have better things to do!
To create an artistic element to a room, I pick a few grand pieces that I want to stand out as the focus, and keep the rest as streamlined as possible. I look for items that will add texture and interest to a room. For our living room I used the detailed corner table, African masks (pictured below), wall art of birds, the drum, and the tall basket vase next to the bookshelf for this exact purpose. The room isn’t completely bare as that would be boring, but it also isn’t heavy on decor either. Choosing larger pieces and specific details to be the focus while keeping surfaces as clear as possible is everything!
3. Don’t Be Afraid Of Bare Walls
I think that having beautiful artwork is a wonderful thing. Finding balance between art and bare walls is one thing that I focus on with decorating. Every wall in our home is not covered with decor.
You will notice in our living room that there is nothing hanging on the wall above the television. I kept that side of the living room wall bare and only have decoration on the opposite wall. I use this principle throughout our living space.
4. Create A Theme & Color Palette
Just like with fashion, it takes time to develop your decor style. Slowly over the years I developed a simple color palette for our home by focusing on purchasing dark ebony wood furniture. From there I was able to create different looks to further discover the aesthetic I loved.
When we moved into this apartment with dark wood floors, I realized I desperately needed to find ways to brighten the room. That was the main reason I use white as much as I can. Finding the white couch secondhand last year was transforming to our living room. I also use white to decorate our bedroom. If I hadn’t loved dark wood so much prior to this apartment, I may not have had to focus on using white to balance dark wood floors and furniture.
Once the initial base colors were established, in my case dark ebony wood and white, I add small pops of color with artwork, books, plants, flowers, or other items such as the shower curtain in our bathroom. You can also use throws or pillows for color. I prefer a throw since fluffing decorative pillows is time consuming. I actually need to find a nice throw for our couch since it’s secondhand and isn’t aging as gracefully as I would like.
5. Rearrange What You Have
I always begin with decluttering then focus on what else I can take out of the space. I also rearrange furniture and decorations within my home to freshen up the look versus buying new things. By moving artwork around and rearranging furniture, you can create an entirely different feel to the space. Our bookshelf is actually two organizers stacked. If you look at other photos of our living room over the years, you will notice that I have had them stacked, side by side, as well as separate for a different look. This idea is also the same when deciding to have a blank wall versus it being filled with decor.
How do you enjoy decorating?
Please share your thoughts and questions. I’m here for you!
(Image by Dawn Michelle)