Modern life is busy, hectic and at times even messy, so imagine how tempting it is to strip back your interior design ideas to the bare essentials to create a super clean, chic minimalist interior design.

This can be as daunting as it is exciting to anyone used to taking a more maximalist or laissez faire approach to interior design, but there is no need to worry. There are different degrees of minimalism and plenty of ways to add warmth to a minimalist interior.

What is minimalist interior design?

Minimalism is all about a decluttered lifestyle, clean architectural lines, hidden storage and usually a monochrome colour palette. The first step to achieving the perfect minimalist interior is to understand the main principles:

Less is more: Light and space are key elements to any minimalist design scheme. Furnishings and decoration should work harmoniously to create a functional and attractive scheme. Single impactful pieces of decoration can be carefully curated to add drama, without creating clutter.

Practicality: To give you an idea… Think of Scandinavian minimalist living rooms, open plan layouts bathed in natural light with unfussy practical furniture. The strong clean lines, functional designs, pale wood and muted tones add to the lightness of the room. Mid-century modern is also a classic minimalist choice, similar to Scandinavian furniture in its simplicity and practical design, both styles are influenced by the modernist movement.

One of the most iconic images of both modernism and minimalism is the Eames Lounge Chair. Bold, yet simple, functional and sturdy… in fact a staple item for any self-respecting minimalist living room.

Plain not patterned: Forget about highly patterned surfaces, fabrics and ornamentation, the simplicity of the form is the key. The typical colour palette is neutral, such as white, grey and beige, with either very subtle areas of colour or dramatic splashes such as a piece of art.

Making minimalist interiors more welcoming

If you like the idea of minimal design but would prefer a cosy minimalist living room, there are many ways to add warmth to bring the space to life.

Textures and shades

Forgive the pun, but a monochrome palette can be a little too black or white for some people. One way to add more warmth is to layer shades. For example, use a different shade of white on the wall, fabric and furniture and whenever possible use warmer tones.

Layers of different texture will always add warmth. For example, use different types and weights of fabric for flowing curtains, fluffy cushions, heavy rugs and soft throws to create an elegant and understated space with minimum colour that is temptingly tactile.

Decoration (in moderation!)

You can still be minimalist and have a few well-chosen pieces of art in your scheme. Consider breaking up a hard painted wall with a big bright painting or include a pop of colour in a brightly colour furniture. This would not only provide a focal point it would also be a huge talking point!


The right lighting is crucial. In a pale or white space, the last thing you want is to add a cold blue toned light, which is often the case when using LED. You can choose a simple yet dramatic light fitting with warm low watt bulbs that will create a soft glow, rather than a harsh glare. Find out more about the importance of lighting for day and night in our blog.

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