inspiration4 min read

Interior trends: what is minimalist decor style?

Minimalist interior decor style

WordsMegan Lambert


The phrase "less is more" embodies the concept of minimalist decor. In our manic modern-day lives, sometimes the best thing we can do is get back to basics. That's just what minimalist decor does. With the rise in popularity of tiny homes and nomadic living, sometimes it's more of a necessity than a choice. Whatever your reasoning, minimalist decor is a great way to simplify your life and your interiors.

What is minimalist decor style?

Minimalism is all about using the bare essentials to create a simple and uncluttered space. It's characterised by simplicity, clean lines, and a monochromatic colour scheme. An exercise in restraint, minimalist decor champions open-plan living, natural lighting and carefully selected yet few and far between decorative flourishes. Sharing some influences with Japandi decor style, minimalist decor is thoughtful and paired-back. The result, however, is a design that delivers maximum impact.

The history behind minimalism and minimalist decor

Inspired by the modern decor trend, minimalism stems from the artistic movement by the same name of the 1960s—art that was comprised of geometric shapes, clean, straight lines and simple monochrome or primary colour palettes. The trend soon trickled down to the world of interiors. As the celebrated minimalist artist Frank Stella famously said about his painting, "What you see is what you see", the same applies to minimalist decor.

Key characteristics of minimalist decor style

Minimalist decor characteristic: white and neutral colour palette

And keeping it simple applies to your colour palette too. Go easy on the eye and let your furnishings take centre stage with a monochromatic colour palette. From whites to black accents, you could even add a bit of Beige 04 or Green 09 masquerading as white for some subtle warmth. You can layer on the texture by choosing textiles in a similar neutral colour palette—think a thick Flokati or Beni Ourain rug or a stylish curved bouclé sofa. 

Take a look at the best colour palettes for a minimalist bedroom from some inspiration.

Minimalist decor characteristic: less is more

The golden rule when it comes to minimalist decor. Less is more in every aspect, whether that refers to minimal decoration and ornamentation or a pared-back colour palette. You need to apply a little Marie Kondo magic to your decor. If in doubt, use the 'one in one out' rule. Ask yourself what items are essential? What can be stored out of sight? And most importantly, what can be removed completely? This means no clutter, no over-dressing, no beds or sofas piled high with cushions and throws. Keep. It. Simple.

Minimalist decor characteristic: clean, sleek lines

Unsurprisingly, minimalist decor focuses on clean, sleek lines, but this doesn't just apply to architecture. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the kitchen. Clean, sleek, open-plan kitchens are the heart of a minimalist home. From removing all things clutter to lots of natural light, shining marble surfaces and stylish storage. You can apply these elements into your minimalist decor style throughout your house, but to get the look in your kitchen, take a read of these 6 tips to create a minimalist kitchen

Minimalist decor characteristic: simplicity in form and function

One of the key factors of minimalist decor is that it should provide a soothing space that seeks simplicity in form and function. A Corbusier-style chaise longue not only looks beautiful but also creates a place to relax. A sleek dark wood futon style bed (no, we don't mean the sofa-bed kind, we're talking traditional Japanese-inspired bedding) allows for a simplistic bedroom as well as great storage space. In fact, attractive storage allows for the chaos of life to live on the inside whilst your decor appears sleek and minimalist on the outside. 

Minimalist decor characteristic: clean, open, light-filled spaces

A must in minimalist decor is to take advantage of natural light. If you're doing a complete home renovation, this could mean installing floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors or skylights. If you're working with existing architectural elements, this means leaving windows bare. Add more light to a room by placing a large mirror close to a natural source of light. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book for making a room appear bigger and light-filled. Alternatively, furniture choices like a perspex desk or glass dining tables are not only practical but will prevent light from being blocked and allow it to flow throughout your space.