When someone thinks of a minimalist house design, they feel that it’s dull, boring, easy, or too simple — baring off your things and just going for the essentials. Therein lies the challenge of minimalism: how can you let go of the things you want and only keep the things you need? Even more, how can you make a minimal design unboring?
Being a minimalist is a state of mind. If your mind is deeply focused on clearing out the clutter every time there’s an opportunity for one, then it would be easy for you. Otherwise, allow us to help. In this article, we’ll be talking about minimalist characteristics, essentials, materials, house design ideas, and tips on how to avoid making your minimalist house look dull.
Ready? Let’s get right to it!
What is a minimalist house?
Minimalism is the concept of reducing ornamentation and design and sticking to the bare minimum, where the whole space is clean yet has streamlined structures. Doing so will surface the real essence of architecture, thereby showcasing architectural space.
Minimalist architecture started as an art movement from the 1960s to the 1970s. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe led and emphasised openness in the said movement.
Today, modern minimalist house designs are incorporated with steel, concrete, and glass, still keeping the essentials and maximising the space. They keep everything simple in terms of interior walls and storage spaces. There was also an emphasis on daylight, the latter being a defining factor of Scandinavian design.
Minimalism in residential architecture embraces open floor plans. The walls and doors that separate the areas of function (living, dining, kitchen) are removed and stuck in the said areas in one room. In most cases, the furniture acts as partitions.
Here’s an open-plan kitchen design from our Partner Inspirer.
A minimalist room would only contain the essential furniture. In the example above, the living room on the left only has a couch, a wall-mounted flat television, and two pots of plants. On the other hand, the kitchen has a benchtop, faucet, sink, four stools, a stove, and wall cabinets.
What are the characteristics of a minimalist house?
- Simple and plain materials. In interior design, minimalism comes in form, function, and details. It goes with the belief that it should both be beautiful and functional at the same time. Every piece of décor or furniture has to have a function, or else it won’t have a space in your room.
For a simple design, choose only the well-made and thoughtfully designed elements that will make the room elegant and beautiful. Such is an essential part of the design process as it will determine if minimalism is done right.
- Clean lines and neat components. As mentioned, minimalism is a state of mind. A minimalist mind is straight, has less clutter — and is clean. A clean mindset is often put into work and will result in a stressless environment.
- Infinite space. There wouldn’t be minimalism without space. Space brings clarity and allows every aspect of the room to breathe. That’s why open-plan home plans are on the rise and appreciated.
- Has less decor. Minimalist home has little to no decor. It sports small detailing to your home, making your space a soothing environment that will, later on, be beneficial to your overall health and well-being.
- Geometric shapes. These are essential since they help a minimalist house not to look redundant.
- Neutral colours. Minimalism doesn't come in a package. Other people thought that minimalism is about sleek black, clean white, or other neutrals. The truth is, the designers just pick simple colours and it doesn't always have to be fixed on these neutrals. You can experiment with other colours to pair with your neutral base.
- Clear and open. Modern minimalism features the use of glass. Most minimalist house designs have wide glass windows to help extend the room outdoors and invite natural light.
- Strategic use of materials, fixtures, and furniture. Usually, the clutter in a traditional household consists of different furniture, each only serves a single purpose. Minimalist houses tend to invest in furniture which has strategic functionality — customised yet expensive.
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The mathematics of creating a minimalist house
Minimalism is a simple mathematical process — of addition, subtraction, and elimination. The question is, what do you add and remove to achieve your dream minimalist house design?
Add: Texture. Putting in a specific feel or finish to the whole space touches up the whole appearance.
(Superdraft tip: Texture gives consistency and quality to the design and doesn’t allow your minimalist space to become dry and dull.)
Subtract: Clutter. Removing the unnecessary things to maximise the space and focusing only on what’s important are the highlights of this design. Focus on the things that you love, cannot do without and use every day.
Add: Modern and simple storage. Modern storage helps minimalist homes achieve proper decluttering techniques by employing dual-purpose, optimizing, and streamlining storage space to avoid wasted space.
Subtract: Useless furniture. Stick with the essentials like bed and dresser for the bedroom; and shower, vanity, benchtop, and toilet for the bathroom.
Here’s an example of a traditional Japanese home, where the use of clean lines and less furniture is reflected. Minimalism and Japanese home designs have a common denominator — the concept of grace in style.
Add: Some colour to give a little variety to the look. Neutral and natural colours may look monochromatic to some, but that’s not how minimalism works. You can add colour and use it to frame, emphasize, and put a great impact on a space.
Subtract: Decorations. This design shouldn’t be devoid of any decoration but just keep it simple. The idea here is to keep everything to a minimum for them to be appreciated.
Add: Opportunities to invite natural light. In addition to the calming effects of a decluttered space, natural light makes one feel relaxed and rejuvenated. You can increase natural light by having large windows, placing window treatments, or adding skylights to the gloomy parts of your home.
Subtract: Broken, unused appliances; plastic containers; glass jars. You may think you can recycle these but save them for the junk pick-up.
For a minimalist design to function, you can follow these mathematical equations. The technique here is maximising the potential of your space without looking packed. There has to be a balance between the elements of your design or else it would appear like a badly performed design.
If you have doubts, reach out to professionals near you. We have a draftsman, engineer, or building designer expanding to different areas in Australia including Gold Coast, Perth, Hobart, Adelaide and more.
Materials used in building a minimalist house
- Wood has been a favourite material since it warms and gives character to any minimalist house design. A plain and neutral colour shows a dull note but combined with a touch of wood, the overall design gives a nice, natural, and earthy touch. It’s also rich in appearance and has a variety of colours, from light to dark hues; from oak to timber.
There are different ways to blend wood into any design — in doors and window frames, coffee tables, chairs with thin cushions, etc.
Cottagecore design is one of the designs which highly incorporates wood. Aside from requiring natural materials to achieve its style, its use of wood is beneficial as it’s also water-repellent and resistant to mould.
- Concrete is widely used in modern industrial buildings and homes. Some examples of bad architecture make concrete a cold material. On the other hand, a minimalist house design can make this warm with the right amount of combination with other materials.
- Since minimalism loves the use of space and openness, glass is one of the construction materials that was widely used in minimalist architecture. It’s versatile and has numerous applications. Before, its use was limited to only glass doors and windows, but now buildings were constructed with wide glass frames for walls or partitions. Such was used for viewers to enjoy the view and aesthetic of the outside, showing sophistication at the same time. More and more home designs incorporate this technique, especially tiny minimalist houses that would want to give the illusion of a larger space.
- Steel is a staple in commercial designs, having a striking visual appearance and a sleek look, but later on, became a used material in residential spaces. There are warm and cool metals used in minimalist architecture and interior design.
Warm metals include champagne, copper, bronze and brass, which impact the design in more ways than one. Some of these metals offer a comforting edge to the modern look.
On the other hand, cool metals such as stainless steel and chrome are usually used in kitchens. From an industrial design look, steel made its way to be widely used in the kitchen and bathroom. From kitchen cabinet hardware to stainless steel finish of kitchen appliances, steel helps emphasise the durability and functionality of the space.
Minimalist house design ideas for your home renovation
This living room sported a concrete floor, black steel structure, and dark brown leather sofa set with a coffee table in the middle. The only decoration in this photo is the white pot of plants on the table. The white brick wall on the right was added to give a texture to the whole design.
This design showed its love for neutrals with its plain white walls, wooden floor, black and wooden benchtops and dining table, and a black wall on the right. If you notice, the black wall was used to emphasise that the area is a cooking space. You may also observe the handleless storage space in strong white paint.
With only a benchtop, sink, stove, kitchen utensils, and handleless cabinets, this space is a generous representation of a minimalist space. A shade of grey was used to highlight the cooking area.
This bedroom is simple and bare. The only furniture in this room was the wooden bed and the nightstand with a dried flower arrangement in a glass vase and a framed sketch. Moreover, there was no attempt to cover how the concrete frameworks are unfinished; which is consistent with the water-based stain concrete flooring.
In this gallery, see how passionate our partner inspirers are in their craft. Their pieces are perfect to incorporate in a minimalist house design.
This black and oatmeal white bathroom has a marble benchtop in a black storage; clinical white one-piece toilet, sink, tub; black hardware; and wide framed mirror.
The full glass window made it possible for the natural light to come in.
This outdoor patio maximised the use of wood in its table and chairs. The choice of soft powder white cushions defined the look.
Keeping in balance
A design is a recipe. It has certain ingredients that need to be measured first to keep the balance of all the flavours. If you think about it, a minimalist house wouldn’t function without balance at play — it can never be too plain, it can never be too spacious, and it can never be too white. It takes a good eye, and years of experience to fully understand and execute one.
If you want a quality minimalist house design, don’t hesitate to ask for an expert. Let Superdraft help you renovate your house and kick-start your dream home. We have different branches all over Australia, and we’ll match you with professionals near you. If you need a draftsman or a building designer in Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, etc. we got you covered.
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