How to Pull Off a Minimalist Look Without Sacrificing Your Style

Minimalism doesn’t always mean white and characterless — it’s about playing favorites

By Jaana Bithell / Courtesy of 

There are many advantages to adopting a more minimalist agenda for your home’s style, and your Dustbuster is not the only thing that will love you for it. Minimalism boils down to being selective about the things you bring into your life, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to mean paring down to a white box. Here are some tips to help you achieve a more minimalist look in your home without minimizing your personality and style.

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Get rid of handles on fixed cabinetry. Push-to-open fittings and recessed handles work wonders — to add a little quirkiness, try teaming them with a few feature handles to create a point of difference.

To remove handles, unscrew them and apply a filler before sanding back and painting the cabinets (maybe it’s time to make a change and paint all your cabinet doors a fresh, new hue?). Push-to-open fittings, available in hardware stores, are easy to install.

Pare down display items. When displaying your housewares on open shelving, less is more, so exercise restraint! Be selective and display just your absolute favorite objects, then arrange them to your heart’s desire! 

Think of open spaces as your own personal art gallery, and change things up when you get bored.

Make an impact with modern art. Large-scale artworks help keep walls visually clean while creating an impressive backdrop for your furniture and housewares. Look for abstract works to bring color and interest into the room without being too literal.

Add color in small doses. Minimalist doesn’t have to mean devoid of color, so don’t be afraid to use those hues! If you’re nervous about using color, start with a neutral palette for the background and introduce small amounts of color via your furniture and artworks.

Consider alternatives to white. Minimalist also doesn’t strictly mean white box. Using a single material in a clever way is a supereffective way to create a simple minimalism. In the space here, mosaic stone tiles have been used on numerous surfaces for a look that’s big on texture but still minimalist in design.

Use curtains to your advantage. Floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall curtains ooze elegance and simplicity. Select sheer fabrics that give you privacy but also allow dappled light in, so you still have an open feel. 

Tip: If you have the luxury, recess pelmets (cornice boards) into the ceiling to disguise the tracking.

Remake your bed. Beds don’t always need to be drowning in pillows, throws and decorative cushions — pare down your bedding and keep it simple.

Tip: Stick to one or two neutral tones for a soothing and ultrachic effect.

Make use of vertical kitchen space. Using full-height cabinetry for bulk storage in kitchens can free up space for a gorgeous floating island top!

Tip: Full-height cabinetry can also hide your bulky fridge for a streamlined look.

Avoid cumbersome bathroom units. Moving your products into mirrored vanities can free up space below to create an interesting vanity, and works wonders in opening up a small room.

Be efficient with your lighting. Recessed tracks can make a feature of the light fixtures you choose, while keeping them contained to a single axis or two. This also clears ceiling space for nice, uninterrupted expanses of flush ceiling.

Tone it down. Pare down material palettes and use textural or colorful finishes in a restrained way. 

Tip: Using tones of gray, white and natural materials, such as wood, is a good idea for coming up with a refined, minimalist color palette.