You like to keep things simple, especially when it comes to your home decor. Aside from the attractive modern aesthetic, creating a minimalist design in your new place can be beneficial to your sense of well-being: namely stress relief. Minimalist homes also tend to be more charming and inviting – they appear more spacious, and tend to focus on the innate beauty of a single piece of furniture or work of art. It’s not bare; it’s artistically restrained.
And, as a plus, they are much easier to clean. Think about how easy it is to clean a home without having to maneuver around so many unnecessary objects or pieces of furniture. So how do you create a minimalist style in your new home?
Maybe you’ve moved with a ton of stuff. Well, if you’re unsure of what to keep and get rid of, here are some things that can go: excess magazines and newspapers; unnecessary furniture; unused glassware, hardware, kitchen gadgets, pots and pans; clunky pillows, candle holders, magnets and vases; tired artwork, office supplies, seasonal decorations, sports memorabilia and old mirrors. For a successful modern minimalist design, these items are not necessary. They can be thrown away or donated (after all, there must be someone in your life who can use those old pots and pans).
As you de-clutter your space, you are naturally going to want to keep some items. These should be organized and stored away in a very specific place, which is another perk of the minimalist home: succinct organization.
The mantra here is “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” That means, with some exceptions, showing only the bare essentials. Whether it’s the bedroom, kitchen or living room, you want to keep things off of the floor and out of sight.
Keep it Simple, Start Small
Focus on one room at a time. For example, start with the bedroom, move to the living room, and so on. If you live in a loft or studio, it’s easy to get going because there’s only one room to worry about. Though a single room offers new sets of challenges, lofts or studios can benefit greatly from a minimalist design’s dedication to openness.
Pay great attention to the furniture choices, as this is what takes up the most space. Keep in mind, when it comes to sofas and couches, sharp lines, narrow construction and smooth curves are a minimalist staple. One way to keep minimalism consistent throughout an apartment is to find a bunch of pieces you like, come up with a plan or theme, think it through and then start to eliminate any unnecessary furniture from those you’ve picked – without sacrificing comfort, of course.
Flat surfaces, like countertops and coffee tables, should be sparse and clean, aside from maybe a few appliances or art books, respectively. Remember you want to keep only the essentials. You can always add decorative accents later.
You only want to keep a few pieces of simple furniture in the room, such as a couch, a comfortable chair or two, and a coffee table. What’s more, all of these items should be solid colors – make the hues stark whites and bold blacks for a more dramatic effect.
There should not be a lot of artwork on display – just one or two pieces at most. These works should be very simple as well, with a solid colored frame. For instance, simplistic cubist paintings and designs complement minimalism extraordinarily well. On the other hand, you can certainly keep some walls bare.
As far as window treatments go, windows can be kept bare, or treated with solid color curtains or wooden blinds. Similarly, while natural light provides a minimalist space with subtle accents, the right indoor lighting fixtures – whether strategically placed wall mounts or hanging options – from sites like We Got Lites are integral to a seamless interior design.
Decorations should be kept to a minimum as well, but feel free to add a splash of color with a standing potted plant. The natural greens will liven up the room a bit and contrast nicely with the whites, beiges and tans. Keep in mind, the rest of the room should be filled with solid, neutral colors like these.
On the surface, minimalism seems easy, but if a home is too bare, that’s just as noticeable. With these tips in tow, your new apartment will astonish, welcome and relax everyone who walks in.
Photo Source: 1. Apartment Therapy, 2. Stadshem, 3. NYCID, 4. C+M Studio, 5. Kareem Osama, 6. Pinterest, 7. DTJ Interior Architect, 8. Halo.Architekci, 9. Esé Studio, 10. Dwell, 11. Norsu Interiors, 12. Interior HomeScapes, 13. Katty Schiebeck, 14. Meredith Baer Home, 15. My Living, 16. Norsu Interiors, 17. OLOVO, 18. Anna Kvarnström, 19. Studio Santalla Inc, 20. Ian Moore Architects, 21. Pinterest
The 29 Square Meters project is the makeover of a small flat to maximize space, completed in 2012 by architecture studio 3XA, located in Wroclaw, Poland. As the name suggests, the entire apartment only covers an area of 29 square meters, which is equivalent to 312 square feet!
29 square meters is a rather small space to live in. Therefore the priority of this makeover was to maximize the space and to create an independent bedroom.
The ceiling at 3.7 meters didn’t allow the designer to create two equivalent levels, but it was possible to build a semi-mezzanine. Above the bathroom and the hallway there is a huge bed area 1.35 meters high, whereas above the wardrobe there is a passage 1.85 meters high.
Moreover, to increase space, the living room, kitchen and dining area are combined into one room. Additionally, to deceive senses, a blind door was put on one of the walls.
The slight industrial features of the painted brick walls and composite wood accents make for a clean living space, one that feels much larger than it actually is. The home’s entryway passes a bathroom on one side and wall storage hidden behind curtains on the other. It opens into a large room with a restored wood floor, comfortable seating, a desk space and a bookshelf staircase on the left.
It wraps around into a kitchen and dining area with modern appliances and attractive hanging lamps. A loft-style sleeping area peers over the flat from above, using the vertical space to squeeze more room into the 29 meter volume. In total, it’s a marvelous use of such a small space, one that makes small living a charming endeavor.
Apartment LA has undergone a rustic contemporary renovation for a family with two children, by architect David Guerra, located in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. When the first child started to go to school, the couple bought an apartment in the city, letting the country house where they lived be just for the weekends. The new home combines the coziness aspect of a country house and the urban and practical style of the big city. To attend the needs of the couple with two children, a renovation was needed.
The walls that divide the living room from the balcony were demolished to combine the ambient with larger, fluid and comfortable space. The balcony became a gourmet bar/kitchen that can be used for the wine with friends and breakfast in family with a view of the mountains. Linen sofa and chairs and a vintage armchair appear as a relaxing living area also in the balcony.
A small fireplace has become a major element of the living room wall. The new warming ambiance mix colors, rustic and natural materials with modern and technological ones. They are wool, natural linen, nude tones, leather in different colors – honey, whiskey and chocolate, wood and demolition wood, gray Mister Cryl, Silestone rock, stainless steel, yellow metal, bronze, mirror, glass and acrylic, all materials that combined, gives a great ambiance.
The choices of the furniture, noted the concern of creating a place that prioritizes comfort, warmth, elegance and relaxation. That way we can see a mix of Brazilian designs with Sérgio Rodrigues, Pedro Useche, Frederico Cruze and international designs like De Padova, Minotti of B&Bitalia, Maxalto, Muuto and Mooi.
In the living area a big sofa with a chaise was reformed by JRJ and gains a new linen covering. Pillows by Entreposto, a Jensen leather armchair from Minotti and an armchair Louisiana from Depadova proves the pursuit of comfort and elegance. The Sullivan low tables from Minotti (gray glass round and wood triangular) along with the Still table, also from Minotti and Lens by Patricia Urquiola add a touch of fun and relaxation to the room.
The dining table with an American toned oak that highlights the beauty, lightness and comfort of the Tombly leather chairs from Minotti and also the chandelier by Mooi.
The entire floor of the apartment, except the wet areas, had been replaced by wide planks of mahogany field bought from a farm. The floor has gone through a bleaching process, maintaining the identity and rusticity from the wood and giving a more light and modern touch to the place. On the wall, gray Mister Cryl which brings wellbeing, in addition to panels of different types of wood as mahogany field, pink mahogany, cedar and cinnamon that brings color and warms the room.
In the gourmet kitchen, a block of graphite Silestone sustains the table of mahogany field, design by the architect; Sérgio Rodrigues chairs indicate the relaxed and comfortable way to receive friends for a dinner or even a drink.
The kitchen also provides a mix of materials, the technology of Italian glass Panna and reflective glass, Italian chairs Papiro by B&Bitalia, graphite Silestone on the floor and silver one on the countertops, walls with black and gray hydraulic tiles, wood doors and mahogany table – design by the architect. The kitchen becomes a mix of cozy and contemporary at the same time. That mix can also be seen in the toilet with gauzy Silestone floor and countertops, burgundy Mister Cryl, Hansgrohe mixers that contrast with the tile of the wall and the Indian mirror.
In the master bedroom, the highlights are for the headboard with mahogany with stailess steel profile, Glam lampshade from Pradina, French dresser, linen Selene bed by Maxalto and Pantosh wooden chair. Nude and caramel tones and natural materials, linens, leathers and woods, provide a welcoming place that facilitates relaxation.
In the master bathroom, the priority was the elegance, which was achieved by the Limestone Persiano, cabinet with Italian glass and Rimadesio door
In the boy’s room, the colorful and playful furniture design denotes a hip and timeless style.
Photos: Jomar Bragança
This Tribeca Loft project encompasses a complete modern renovation of a 10th story loft by architect Aaron Schump, located in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. Extensive glazing on three facades presented a unique design challenge for this project.
A bar of walnut housing the kitchen and service areas organizes the plan. Bedrooms were pushed to the south and west, leaving the north-west corner free for entreating and unobstructed views of the Hudson river. Aaron Schump served as project manager at SPaN overseeing the entire project from design to construction administration.
AS//A is an architecture, urban design and research studio operating at the intersection of civic and ecological systems, urban and rural environments, and digital and physical processes. We explore the complexity of these relationships through a rigorous and collaborative design process aimed at uncovering the specifics of place, culture and materials to create buildings that are environmentally and culturally responsive. Focused on crafting value at multiple scales, we aim to achieve maximum aesthetic and social influence while employing minimum economic and environmental impact. We believe that well crafted spaces can positively affect our quality of life by creating sustainable places to live, work and play while maintaining respect for people, cities, and nature.
Photos: Courtesy of Aaron Schump
Upper West Side Combo is a prewar apartment renovation by design firm StudioLAB of two dark and tightly configured units into a single unified space, located in Manhattan, New York. The designers were challenged with the task of converting the existing arrangement into a large open three bedroom residence. The previous configuration of bedrooms along the Southern window wall resulted in very little sunlight reaching the public spaces.
Breaking the norm of the traditional building layout, the bedrooms were moved to the West wall of the combined unit, while the existing internally held Living Room and Kitchen were moved towards the large South facing windows, resulting in a flood of natural sunlight.
Wide-plank grey-washed walnut flooring was applied throughout the apartment to maximize light infiltration. A concrete office cube was designed with the supplementary space which features walnut flooring wrapping up the walls and ceiling. Two large sliding Starphire acid-etched glass doors close the space off to create privacy when screening a movie.
High gloss white lacquer millwork built throughout the apartment allows for ample storage. LED Cove lighting was utilized throughout the main living areas to provide a bright wash of indirect illumination and to separate programmatic spaces visually without the use of physical light consuming partitions.
Custom floor to ceiling Ash wood veneered doors accentuate the height of doorways and blur room thresholds. The master suite features a walk-in-closet, a large bathroom with radiant heated floors and a custom steam shower. An integrated Vantage Smart Home System was installed to control the AV, HVAC, lighting and solar shades using iPads.
Photos: Courtesy of StudioLAB
This Upper West Side Manhattan apartment has been designed by 1100 Architect, comprised of a neutral color palette, minimalist details, and refined materials, creating a warm, modern atmosphere. Throughout the space, sleek materials like concrete, marble, and white lacquer are complemented by accents of softer materials including Belgian linen and bleached wood. 1100 renovated this duplex apartment in 2008 and returned for a second renovation when the neighboring unit became available in 2010.
Careful detailing and a cohesive design approach allowed us to seamlessly combine the two apartments into a single home. A breakfast area was added to the existing kitchen, acting as a transitional space and opening up views across the apartment. Two new bedrooms and a utility room were also included in the addition.
1100 Architect is the New York- and Frankfurt-based architectural firm, best known for works of architecture that are timeless manifestations of place, at once distinctive and modern while always thoughtful about site, setting, and environment. Fundamental to this pursuit is the belief that building design is a progressive process informed by client aspirations, site, history, available resources, and time. We believe that design can motivate and inspire users, and make an affirmative, lasting impact on individuals and communities alike.
Photos: Nikolas Koenig
Boathouse Home Office has been refurbished and transformed by design studio Bean Buro into a live / work / play three bedroom apartment, located in Aberdeen, Hong Kong. The 1,200 square foot apartment is located inside a high-rise residential building. Designed in response to the growing trend of working-from-home culture, the apartment showcases large panoramic windows facing the sea boating sceneries in Aberdeen, as a balanced calm and dynamic home office for an expat couple with three cats.
The new concept demolished two existing partition walls to create a large bedroom and a larger lounge adjoining to an open studio space. The opened up spaces increases panoramic window views, thus allowing the external Aberdeen boating environment to be experienced inside.
The material palette is calm and refreshing, with a tranquil blue color chosen for the continuous blue wall to reflect the sea, while the timber finish for the floor and joinery brings warmth to the live & work space.
Drawing inspirations from traditional French boathouses in Brittany, the main architectural concept was a continuous ribbon-like blue wall that ‘floats’ and connects all the different areas of the apartment together. The blue wall starts from the lounge, with subtle computer generated display niches. It then forms the main circulation space with various shelves for displaying art. It creates an intuitive experience by linking up the lounge with the office and ending its blue color in the bedroom.
The main table, Bean Table, has two large pendant lights that form the centrepiece in the lounge. The bespoke CNC cut table shape is wiggly and playful, acting as a meeting table by day and dinning table by night.
Wrapping the entry space with full height hidden storage doors, it then falls to seat-height along the panoramic windows to create a an infinity-pool effect, and provides informal seating along the bay. Rising again as a half height timber wall, it partitions the office and the lounge while preserving open panoramic window views at eye level. On the other wall of the office is a full height bookshelf that acts as the main spatial element for storing and displaying personalized items.
The new timber surface was conceptualized as a ‘cats landscape’ that would rise and fall to provide different functions: it creates a beach threshold along the windows with an infinity-pool effect, an island dinning table to stage activities, a dynamic open studio, and a bed unit that faces the calm Aberdeen life.
The bed is an island unit that faces the panoramic windows, allowing the calm Aberdeen boating sceneries to be fully experienced. Full height mirrors are installed at the edges of each room’s end walls to create an infinity effect of the panoramic windows. The resulting experience is connected, intuitive and calm.
‘Boathouse’ Apartment was shortlisted as “Best 10 Living Space” for the APIDA 2013 (Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards). The project was also featured in the APIDA publication.
Photos: Courtesy of Bean Buro