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Addition by Subtraction: Why sometimes Minimalism is More

By Rick Schafer

Feeling that your home is lacking that certain ‘je nes sais quoi’? Perhaps it needs to lack a little more! Before setting off on a large-scale makeover, take a step back and assess your current decor. You might find that what you take away, not what you add, makes the biggest difference to your home’s appeal.

Find out how you can champion the ‘less is more’ ideal in your own home with these four top tips.

Why is the minimalist trend so popular?

While this style takes things back to basics, by no means is it boring. Instead, by reducing decor to its necessary elements, homeowners can create spaces that are clean and contemporary, focusing on high-quality stand-alone pieces that deliver an impression of moderate luxury.

These fashionable yet functional decorating practises are championed in the Scandinavian/Scandi trend, where simplicity certainly reigns supreme. Within this decorating style, furnishings are straightforward yet stylish, comfortable and contemporary, and all emit a sense of understated elegance and sophistication.

Minimalist styling may look fairly simple to pull off, but homeowners must put in enough time and planning to really do this popular style justice.

So how can it be done?

Within this decorating style, furnishings are straightforward yet stylish, comfortable and contemporary, and all emit a sense of understated elegance and sophistication.

Step one:  Evaluate, declutter, organise

To embrace minimalism, you must first assess your existing decor items to see what you do and don’t need.

Don’t feel obliged to keep everything, especially if it’s something that has been collecting dust in a cupboard for the last three years. Be ruthless when deciding what should stay and what must go. Make one pile for necessary items that you can’t live without, another for sentimental treasures that hold too much personal value, and another that can either be given to charity or recycled if damaged.

This decluttering stage is a fantastic opportunity for homeowners to make a fresh start, allowing you to view your existing material possessions and rediscover and repurpose things you may have forgotten about. Of course, whatever you decide to keep must have a purpose and its own place within your home to avoid your new decor scheme becoming ruined from the start.

Step two: Opt for quality over quantity

When deciding on which decor pieces are right for your new minimalist space, it’s important you feel confident in their ability to provide enough impact when acting as stand-alone pieces. More often than not, a range of inexpensive trend-based items won’t possess half the amount of wow factor as one, high-quality and classic investment piece.

Not only will these quality items help create a sophisticated and attractive living area, they’ll also stand the test of time and maintain your interest levels compared to something that is likely to go out of fashion come the end of the season.

Taking the time to carefully consider each item will result in your room feeling more put-together and sophisticated, which is your ultimate goal when adopting the characteristics of this decor style.

A range of inexpensive trend-based items won’t possess half the amount of wow factor as one, high-quality and classic investment piece.

Step three: Discover the importance of furniture placement

After assessing your furnishings, your next job is to find each piece its own home where it doesn’t run the risk of competing with those around it. Spacial awareness and placement are both key aspects of pulling off minimalist design.

On the one hand, you need to give each piece room to breathe so that they can be appreciated in all their glory, without running the risk of being lost in a sea of other items. However, it’s also important that they aren’t placed in areas where they feel too sporadic and lonely, as this can make your space feel more like a gallery than a home.

A great place to start is with your most ‘statement’ piece. Once this has been placed, you can then work to add your other items in a way that leads the viewer’s eye to the main point you want them to land.

Step four: Allow accent colours to shine through

When decorating with minimalism in mind, it may seem logical to paint walls in neutral colours. While there is nothing wrong with opting for more subdued shades, it’s important to choose hues that emit a sense of warmth to avoid creating sterile spaces.

Another effective way to avoid the above issue is by adding a pop of colour. Accent shades can help bring a room to life and show just the right amount of personality, without coming across too garish or overpowering. This can be done through decorative cushions, vases or graphic artwork.

By taking your time to create a decluttered and well-thought-out space, you can create your very own minimalist living areas that the whole family will want to spend time in.

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