Skip to Content

Minimalist Home – Guide to Creating a Happiness Refuge

A minimalist home is open and uncluttered, organized and efficient.  This type of home can save time, space, effort, and even money!  Let’s talk about minimalist homes.

A minimalist home is created from any size home, with minimal furniture and accessories, and maximized space and comfort.  Tips for a minimalist home include focus on needs, organization, storage solutions, and functional furniture.

Have you ever considered adapting to living in a minimalist-style home?  Are you interested in saving time and space in your home and maximizing comfort?

What Is a Minimalist Home?

A minimalist home is one that is open, spacious, and minimally decorated.  It is not cluttered, it is clean and organized, and it is definitely comfortable.  Minimalist homes are based on the minimalist principle of “less is more”, so you won’t see a great deal of stuff or clutter.  Minimalist homes are efficient with just enough-and no more. 

Minimal living room - Minimalist Home - Gone Minimal
Minimal living room

In interviewing minimalists, researchers Eunjeong Cheon and Norman Makoto Su from Indiana University Bloomington found that empty spaces in homes are purposefully created, signify achievement, and are sanctuaries away from busy lives and city spaces.  This sounds wonderful in theory, but let’s take a look at how you can make your own minimalist home.

How to make a Minimalist Home

Anyone can create a minimalist home, regardless of size.  All it takes is a little patience, flexibility, and some planning.  Let’s review some tips and essentials for a minimalist home.

Minimalist Home Tips

Because there are no rules when it comes to creating your minimalist home, there’s a great deal of flexibility.  It does help, however, to take into account some tips on designing and maintaining your space:

  • Buy only what you need.
  • Keep things organized.
  • Everything has a home (storage).
  • Prevent clutter by putting things back and cleaning up in the moment.
  • Maximize space and comfort.
  • Utilize simple furniture and accessories with multiple purposes.
Sofa with side table - Minimalist Home - Gone Minimal
Sofa with side table

Minimalist Home Essentials

There are some things that every minimalist home needs in order to contain the clutter and maximize the space.  Here are just a few minimalist home essentials:

  • Reusable items (water bottle, silverware, towels, shopping bags, etc.)
  • Basic furniture (bed, couch, table, etc.)
  • Comfort items (pillows, blankets, sheets, etc.)
  • A few (living) plants
  • Natural light
  • Clear surfaces (table, desk)
  • Storage/organization system for every room (and closet)

Your essentials will vary based upon how many people are in the home, the size of the home, and of course how minimalist you want to practice.  There are no rules-it’s whatever makes you comfortable (and less stressed!).

What are Some Aspects of Minimalist Home Design?

There are some key aspects of minimalist home design, which research student Erin Rachel Lee from Whitman College broadly defines as rejection of ornamentation, open spaces, and harmony with nature.  We’re going to look at some minimalist home characteristics individually and you can see how this definition fits.

Simple reading nook - Minimalist Home - Gone Minimal
Simple reading nook

Minimalist Home Décor

When it comes to home décor in a minimalist home, think less is more.  There usually aren’t a lot of decorations in a minimalist home, but there aren’t a great number of blank white walls either.  The minimalist aesthetic is taking simply beautiful and even functional pieces which add interest and flair to a room, but don’t draw attention.  Minimalist home décor could be a simple frameless mirror, a simple line painting, or even a glass vase with a single rose. 

Minimalist Home Accessories

The accessories in the minimalist home tend to be minimal to prevent cluttering up a space.  Many accessories will even serve multiple functions, such as the shelving unit that also serves as stairs to a loft.  Priority is always placed on the essentials rather than the accessories, so you may not actually see accessories in some cases!

Priority is always placed on the essentials rather than the accessories.

Minimalist Home Furniture

Minimalist home furniture is usually simple and functional.  Kept to only the essentials, you’ll find the furniture in a minimalist home is comfortable but not oversized.  It will be just enough for daily use without making a room feel smaller, like many modern furniture pieces can tend to do.  Minimalists prefer to stick with just the furniture they need, rather than collecting for entertaining guests.

Couch and table - Minimalist Home - Gone Minimal
Couch and table

Minimalist Home Colors

The colors in a minimalist home tend to be from neutral palettes, so lots of whites, grays, and beiges.  Every once in a while you may find a contrasting color in a brightly colored painting or throw pillow, just to keep things fresh and interesting.  You’ll usually find the majority of the home painted in the same color for some uniformity and to help the space feel large, but no patterns or wallpaper or even faux finishes are usually utilized in these spaces.

Minimalist Home Exterior Design

Minimalist home exterior design tends to be focused mainly on the essentials, which is safety, shelter, and energy efficiency.  There are usually many windows to allow the natural light in, sustainable materials for maintaining green energy and warmth, and a simple setup for maximum efficiency.  Minimalists are not interested in impressing the neighbors with their home’s exterior, they’re interested in comfort and simplicity.

Minimalist Homes by Style

Modern Minimalist house - Minimalist Home - Gone Minimal
Modern Minimalist house

Cozy Minimalist Home

A cozy minimalist home is both comfortable and functional, with spaces that may have some additional creature comforts like extra pillows and blankets.  There will also be spaces that are uncluttered and simple, to balance things out in the home.  Not every space is stocked with only the essentials, but every space is maximized for function.  It’s cozy because it’s actually flexible in its décor and space.

Small Minimalist Home

A small minimalist home can be maximized for space through functional furniture and neutral wall colors.  You can have all of the comforts with just what you need, while embracing the space with minimal accessories and décor.  Consider a sleeper sofa, storage ottomans, and clever use of outdoor views to make it feel even larger.  Small minimalist homes still have everything needed for comfortable living while optimizing the available space.

You can have all of the comforts with just what you need, while embracing the space with minimal accessories and décor.

Japanese Minimalist Home

A Japanese minimalist home is considered somewhat modern, and this style focuses on architectural innovation with materials, lighting, and open spaces.  There’s also a great deal of focus on “micro-living”, based on limited space in many urban environments.  Some Japanese minimalist homes will even have little furniture, which brings you closer to Earth and nature.  All space is maximized with natural light, outdoor views, and with privacy maintained.  This keeps an organic flow with living space, structure, and environment.

Modern Minimalist Home

The modern minimalist home is simple and elegant, with open spaces and simple designs.  It’s an open floor plan with lots of natural light, clean lines, uncluttered and uncomplicated.  It has a sleek feel and is bright and airy without a lot of décor or even furniture, but there are spaces for gathering as well as comfort. 

Futuristic Minimalist Home

A futuristic minimalist home is similar to the modern style, with open floor plans and lots of natural light.  There are clean lines and flow of space throughout, with the added interest of angles and shapes of walls and the exterior of the home itself.  These abstract angles and shapes bring more space, more light, and more interest without adding décor-the angles are the décor! 

Here is a super helpful video with 7 tips to reduce clutter in your home.

Related Insights

Can I Be a Minimalist in a Big House?

You can absolutely be a minimalist in a big house-there are no rules!  You can maximize your space by minimizing the clutter, furniture, and decorations to really create flow.  Especially with open floor plans you can have a great deal of space and interest, without breaking the bank.

Is It Cheaper To Build a Minimalist House?

It is often cheaper to build a minimalist house because they use more sustainable materials which tend to be more energy efficient, but also because they come in so many different sizes.  From a tiny house on wheels to a shipping container, minimalist homes can save you a great deal of money!

How do I make my house look minimalist?

In order to make your house look minimalist, start by decluttering.  Get rid of all the excess furniture, decorations, and stuff you don’t need and don’t use.  Maximize the space by utilizing a neutral color palette, remove those heavy drapes to maximize natural light, and simplify the furniture to keep it comfortable.

Simple bedroom - Minimalist Home - Gone Minimal
Simple bedroom

Minimalist Makeover

I asked several friends and family members to 1) think of one room in their home that might benefit from being changed to a minimalist room. Then list it. 2) Then, I asked them to list the one item in the room that they would want to change first (decor, furniture, color, accessories.) Here is what they shared and what I learned from the poll:

Room/Item To ChangeTally of Family/Friends
Bedroom-furniture2
Living room-furniture5
Kitchen-accessories3
Office-furniture2
Bathroom-accessories3
Closet-accessories1
Bedroom-color4
Living room-color3
Dining room-furniture2

Other Resources:

As you can see, minimalist homes don’t have to be bare or empty.  Minimalists focus on space as well as comfort, and you can have both in any size home.  From colors and décor to furniture, you can make your minimalist home how you want it.  With so many styles to choose from, where will you start?