A Guide to Creating a Minimalist Home

I cannot say that my home is fully minimalist, but it is certainly not cluttered, and the most of my acquaintances would describe it as a minimalist home.
A recent guest to my kitchen observed, "I've never seen a kitchen that clean and devoid of clutter!" I do my best to keep everything tidy, but the trick is to get rid of the clutter.
On the floor of my kitchen/dining area, for instance, there are only a few essentials: a dining table (free of clutter), chairs, counter stools, a high chair, and a step stool for the children. There are simply a toaster, coffee maker, and microwave on the countertops. Is this type of minimalist dwelling devoid of personality, excitement, and life? Some may think so, but I get a peculiar sense of happiness and contentment when I observe a clutter-free environment. It is relaxing, freeing, and pleasant.

I could likely go on for quite a long about this, but allow me to highlight a few significant advantages:

It's less stressful. Clutter is a type of visual distraction, because everything in our field of view draws our attention in some way. The less clutter there is, the less visual tension there is. A simple house is peaceful.
Much more attractive. Consider photographs of messy houses and photos of minimalist homes. The ones that have basically nothing in them except some great furniture, some nice artwork, and a few gorgeous decorations are the ones that most of us like. Making your house more attractive may be accomplished by making it more minimalist.
It is easier to clean. Cleaning a large number of things, or sweeping or vacuuming around a large number of pieces of furniture, is difficult. The more things you have, the more cleaning you have to do, and the more difficult it is to clean around the items. Consider how simple it is to clean an empty room vs one with 50 items in it. Of course, it is an extreme example, as I would not advocate having an empty room, but it is meant to demonstrate the difference.

What Does a Minimalist House Look Like?

Of course, this depends on your preferences and how extreme a minimalist you wish to go. I consider myself a minimalist, but not to the extreme. However, the following are some traits of a minimalist home:
Minimalist furnishings. A minimalist room would include only a few key items of furniture. A living room, for example, may consist of a sofa, another chair or love seat, a coffee table, a minimalist entertainment stand (not one with a lot of storage), a television, and a couple of lamps. It may possibly be less (couch, chairs, and coffee table, for example). A bedroom may have a modest bed (or maybe just a mattress), a dresser, and possibly a nightstand or book shelf.
Surfaces should be clean. Except for one or two decorations, flat surfaces in a minimalist house are clear (see next item). There aren't many trinkets, and there aren't any stacks of books, papers, or other objects.

Decorations for the accents. Actually, a fully empty house would be really dull. Instead of having a completely empty coffee table, you may have a modest vase with a few flowers, for example. A clear desk might simply include a family photo. An otherwise empty wall might be adorned with a suitable piece of art (I use my father's artwork because he's a fantastic artist).

Quality trumps quantity. Instead of possessing a lot of stuff, a minimalist would chose a few truly wonderful things that he likes and uses frequently. A good table, for example, is preferable than five pieces of press-board furniture.
Examples. The photo at the top of this page is an excellent example of a minimalist house (it's not mine, but I wish it was). View more images of that gorgeous home. Traditional Japanese homes, like this lovely spread, are excellent examples of simplicity.

How to Design a Minimalist House

There are no defined processes to make your house minimalist, other than changing your mentality and aiming towards the principles mentioned in the preceding section. But here are some pointers I would provide to anyone attempting to live a minimalist lifestyle:

One space at a time. It's difficult to simplify a full house at once unless you're just moving in. Concentrate on one room and make it your center of tranquility. Use it to motivate you to simplify the next area, then the next, and the next. Then repeat the process outside!

Begin with the furnishings. Because the furniture is the most important part of any space, you should always start by simplifying it. The less furniture you have, the better (within reason, of course). Consider which pieces of furniture can be removed without jeopardizing comfort and livability. Choose a few pieces of basic, simple furniture in solid, muted hues (for example, a minimalist coffee table).

Only the necessities. When looking at your furniture or anything else in the space, consider whether the item is genuinely necessary. Get it out if you can live without it. Try to keep the area as simple as possible – you can always add a few extraneous objects afterwards.

Clear the floors. Your flooring, aside from the furniture, should be entirely clear. Nothing should be placed on the floor, and nothing should be stored on the floor. Once you've pared down your furniture to the necessities, take anything else off the floor - give, destroy, or store it somewhere out of sight.

Surfaces should be clean. The same is true for all flat surfaces. They have only one or two modest embellishments on them (See Tip 9 below). Donate, discard, or store everything else somewhere out of sight. It will make things look much more modest.

Clear the way. Some individuals display various items on their walls. In a minimalist home, nothing is possible. Except for one or two simple pieces of good artwork, clear your walls (see Tip 8 below).

Keep things out of sight. This has already been addressed in the preceding suggestions, but you should keep everything you need out of sight, in drawers and cabinets. Bookshelves can be used to hold books, DVDs, or CDs, but should have no more than a few modest decorations (not whole collections of things).

Declutter. If you're cleaning up flat surfaces and the floor and keeping items in cabinets and drawers, you should definitely tidy your storage locations as well. If you like, you may do this later.

Simple illustration. To avoid a space from becoming monotonous, hang a basic painting, drawing, or snapshot on each wall, framed in a modest, solid hue. If feasible, leave some walls unpainted.

Decorations are kept simple. As previously said, one or two modest decorations might function as highlights for a minimalist area. Two classic examples are a vase of flowers and a tiny potted plant. If the remainder of your room is muted in color, your accents might be a strong hue (such as red or yellow) to pull the attention and provide life to a simple space.

Simple window coverings. Bare windows, basic solid-color drapes, or simple wooden blinds are appropriate. Clutter is created by having too much fancy items surrounding the windows.

Patterns that are simple. Solid colors are ideal for floor coverings (if you have them), furniture, and so on. Visual clutter is created by complex patterns such as flowers or checkers.

Colors that are subdued. As indicated in Tip 9, you can have a burst of vibrant color in the space, but the majority of it should be more subtle hues - white is classic minimalism, but really any solid color that doesn't stress the eyes is excellent (earth colors come to mind, such as blues, browns, tans, greens).

Edit and remove. You can possibly do more once you've simplified a room. Give it a couple of days, then go through everything again. What can be omitted? Is it hidden away? What isn't necessary? You may revisit each area every few months, and you may uncover items that can be simplified even more.

Everything has a place. I've said it before, but in a minimalist home, it's critical to find a place for everything and remember where it is. What happens to your blender? Give it a home and stick to it. To make things more efficient, aim for logical places close to where the object is utilized, but the important is to identify a spot.

Sit back, relax, and take it all in. Take a minute after you've simplified a space to glance around and enjoy it. It's incredibly relaxing and wonderful. This is your prize for your efforts. Ahhhh. Very good!