Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.
Minimalism is all the rage for good reason — recent studies indicate those who surround themselves with clutter experience higher levels of stress. And who wants that? The clean lines of minimalism instantly put the mind at ease, and those who follow the ancient art of feng shui find this type of design helps encourage the flow of chi.
How to get started with minimalist decorating? It’s easier than you think! Here are seven tips for transforming your pad into a simple paradise you’ll be proud to come home to day after day.
1. Think Neutral Colors
If you rent, you’re likely in luck — the color of ecru paint many refer to as the landlord special works perfectly for minimalist decor. Inhabit a fixer upper covered in floral wallpaper? You’ll have a bit more work to do, so get the scrapers ready. Think white, off white, grey and beige tones. Fortunately, unless you’re covering heavy duty maroon paint, you’ll only need one or two coats to achieve the look you desire.
2. But Embrace Texture
Different textures enliven minimalist space. Think plush Ikea throw rugs — the kind they used to create the fur at the top of the black cloaks in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
Toss soft, fuzzy blankets over clean black or white couches for a dash of color. Pick one color accent, such as a lively yellow for living areas and cool lavender for the bedroom, and select accents in different shades of that color scheme for easy, simple elegance.
3. Quality Over Quantity
Minimalism is all about cherishing the special pieces you bring into your home. Ditch the college futon which still smells of senior-year Budweiser and invest in a couch with clean, even lines. Elegant, modern chairs and throw pillows bring the look together.
Even your lamps and ceiling fans should represent quality, not quantity. The same goes for kitchen appliances. Take your time when you shop and save up for one top-notch piece at a time.
4. Buy New, Recycle Old
Clutter causes stress, and certain spaces in your home tend to accumulate more unused items than others. Clothing closets, for example, represent 46 percent of clutter in most homes, followed only by paper like old bills, etc.
Clean out your closets and, going forward, pledge to recycle or donate one item each time you bring home something new. To clear paper clutter, invest in a scanner or simply run a stack of old documents to your local office supply store to have them scan items to a USB device. This way, you keep on top of documents needed come tax time, etc., without having your home begin looking like “Hoarders” should feature you on an upcoming episode.
5. Use Some Plants
Houseplants lend a perfect minimalist touch to decor, plus they pull double duty in keeping your indoor air clean. Plants take in carbon dioxide and release fresh oxygen.
No green thumb? Start with easy to care for plants such as succulents, spider plants and ficus. Pay attention to the care instructions — if you dwell in a basement apartment, for example, you’ll want to select plants which can thrive in low light.
6. Choose Accent Decor Carefully
Minimalism means reducing clutter, not adding to it. Therefore, you do well to display simple pieces which represent aspects of your personality.
Coffee table books which grab your interest make great, simple accents. For example, if you adore wine, a tome on the craft of making it creates a nice accent to a kitchen counter or coffee table. Simple, elegant sculptures add focal points of interest, and paintings in simplistic black frames add interesting color to neutral wall tones.
7. Make the Most of Limited Storage
When you practice minimalism, you naturally have less to store. Make the most of what you do have by letting it double as decor in the case of matching cups and glasses in visible kitchen cabinets. Have a ton of cables behind the entertainment center? Select a model with cabinets to hide the cords.
Hit the local dollar store and stock up on plastic dividers in multiple sizes to arrange anything from spoons to socks in drawers. Install sliders for trash and recycle bins to keep them hidden away.
Enjoy Your Minimalist Living Space
Minimalist living creates inner peace by inventing a place for everything and putting everything in its place. Plus, simple living means never having to search through piles of stuff to find the one item you need. Follow the tips above, and get started on de-cluttering your space today!