Minimalism is all about keeping things simple, so it makes sense that minimalist furniture features clean lines and monochromatic color schemes with a “less is more” aesthetic. In short, minimalism accentuates the attractive features of a space without overwhelming the senses.
You’ll see minimalist influences in transitional, Scandinavian, and modern interior design. Scandinavian design, in particular, carries the torch for minimalism, keeping it on-trend and relevant. In this guide, we’ll give you a quick overview of the principles of minimalist design, plus we’ll share some of our favorite minimalist furniture pieces so you can easily update your home decor.
Understanding minimalist home decor
The word “minimalism” was initially used in the 1960s to describe American visual artists such as Robert Morris and Anne Truitt. These days, it’s used to reference everything from pantsuits to silverware. The aesthetic itself draws from traditional Japanese design, particularly with the clean lines and open spaces that create a natural flow of movement through the home.
Most people are familiar with the concept of minimalism, which involves stripping something down to its most basic form. You’ll see common minimalism traits reflected in all mediums because most minimalist design focuses on:
- Clean lines
- Monochromatic colors
- Open floor plans
- “Less is more“
It’s hard to deny the simple beauty and serenity of a well-designed minimalist interior. But achieving this look requires you to deliberately select your pieces of furniture, color palette, and styling. A poorly-planned minimalist space can look unlived in and cold, while a well-designed one can help you breathe a sigh of relief after a stressful day.
Benefits of minimalist design
If you’ve ever met a fan of minimalism, they’ll probably tell you it changed their life. Some adopt minimalist principles throughout every aspect of their lives, whereas others just enjoy a simple home. As it turns out, a pared-down space comes with benefits that’ll make a believer out of almost anyone.
Some of the top benefits of a minimalist home include:
- Less stress: Mess causes stress. Minimalism eliminates this source of stress, allowing your life to be more peaceful and soothing. Clutter is a visual distraction, and it changes how we think and feel about everything, including our workplaces, homes, and ourselves. A messy space can leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
- Visual appeal: Look at photos of cluttered homes versus minimalist homes. Spaces with a few beautiful pieces of furniture, artwork, and the occasional accent are usually more appealing. Minimalist furniture and home decor can make your home ready for guests or photos at any time.
- Less cleaning: The more you have, the more you have to clean. Cleaning isn’t usually fun, and it’s less fun when you need to clean tons of objects or clean around a bunch of furniture. Part of having a home that’s soothing rather than stressful is having less stuff to keep clean.
- More space: While minimalism won’t make the square-footage of small spaces larger, it can make it feel that way. The less stuff you pack into a small space, the bigger it seems to be. And this is perfect for today’s world, where small spaces aren’t just increasingly common, they’re downright trendy.
Mixing minimalism with other styles
Minimalism plays well with other styles, and it’s integral in most Scandinavian and modern designs. Many pieces of Scandinavian and modern furniture are designed with minimalism in mind. With Scandinavian decor, for example, the primary differences are in the materials used.
Minimalist design often uses materials like chrome, stainless steel, and acrylic. On the other hand, Scandinavian design often uses organic materials like solid wood, hemp, and cotton. But Scandinavian design still relies on minimalist principles, banning clutter and promoting open, clean spaces.
In short, if you have a style that you’d like to pair with minimalist furniture and styling, go for it! For example, you could create a boho minimalist bedroom or a French country minimalist living room based on your preferences.
Characteristics of a minimalist home
Minimalist spaces vary depending on your taste and how minimal you want your design to be. But across most homes with this aesthetic, you’ll see common characteristics, such as:
- Minimal furniture: Most minimalist rooms contain just a few pieces of furniture essential to that space’s functionality. For example, a minimalist living room might feature a couch, a secondary loveseat or chair, a simple entertainment stand, a television, coffee table, and a lamp or two. It might contain even less, forgoing the entertainment stand, television, and secondary seating. Likewise, a minimalist bedroom might feature a simple bed (or a mattress on the floor), a dresser, and a nightstand or bookcase.
- Clutter-free surfaces: Most minimalist homes feature clear surfaces, save for a decoration here and there. Tabletops and other flat surfaces rarely feature a ton of knick-knacks or stacks of items like books or mail. For example, instead of mail stacked on the end table, it’s more likely to be hidden away (and neatly organized) in the end table’s drawer.
- Accent decorations: A home with no things would be quite dull, and most minimalist homes feature some accent decorations. For example, instead of keeping your coffee table clear, you might place a simple vase of flowers in the center. And instead of an empty desk, you might include a heartwarming family photo in the corner.
- Quality over quantity: A minimalist chooses high-quality items over having lots of stuff. These items are usually well-loved, functional, and personal. Owning one beautiful table that you love, according to the minimalist philosophy, is better than having several pieces of cheap press-board furniture.
7 pieces of minimalist furniture you’ll love
Picking suitable minimalist furniture for your home can be challenging. You must consider what you need and what you can do without. Some people like to make a list of the furniture they can’t do without in each room to get started. Others arrange one room at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Whatever the case, having some minimalist furniture in mind can inspire the best outcome. Remember, minimalist design can encompass many styles, so you don’t need to limit yourself. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite pieces of furniture below to help you get started.
1. Serene Upholstered Sectional
The Serene Upholstered Sectional offers minimalist living room furniture that you can expand as needed. It comes with a corner piece, an armless chair, and an optional ottoman. The linen upholstery provides textural interest and natural beauty, and the earthy neutral color lends itself to relaxed decor.
With a modular sectional like this one, you can forgo secondary seating options for a truly minimal living room. The sectional pieces can also function alone as chairs.
2. Wing Back Accent Chair
This Wing Back Accent Chair can add extra seating without complicating your living room furniture. With linen-like upholstery and graceful curves that add softening touches to the minimalist design, it can breathe new life into any room.
This lounge chair would fit in nicely alongside other minimalist, Scandinavian, or modern furniture. The light wood finish legs add to the refreshing minimal appeal of this beautiful chair.
3. 1-Shelf Chairside Table
The 1-Shelf Chairside Table features a minimalist design with subtle curves and slightly bowed, tapered legs. It’s versatile enough for almost any room with a stunning cappuccino finish and a Scandinavian charm.
This side table’s lower shelf can serve as both display and storage, while the tabletop can easily hold a lamp or vase.
4. Wethersfield 7-Piece Dining Set
This Wethersfield 7-Piece Dining Set would make an ideal addition to a Scandinavian, modern, or minimalist dining room. Minimal doesn’t mean not having room for guests, and this table seats six to accommodate gatherings of family and friends. With a minimalistic, rectangular table and six upholstered side chairs, you’ll love this solid wood set.
This set includes one solid wood dining table and six dining chairs with an exposed wood-framed back made from Asian hardwood. If you have a small space or don’t need so much seating, this 5-piece dining set is a great alternative.
5. Jessica Queen Platform Bed with Rail Seating
The Jessica Queen Platform Bed with Rail Seating can create a modern minimalist look in any bedroom. The bed frame features crisp, clean lines and a bright finish, and it’s augmented with bar hardware for a modern minimalist style. The headboard is simple and sophisticated while the platform has an open silhouette with elongated lines and smooth details, enhancing the minimal appeal. You can even skip the box spring to save money and space.
This bed is also available in a cappuccino finish for a more Scandinavian appeal. The set also includes options like a 2-drawer nightstand, 6-drawer dresser, 5-drawer chest, and rectangular mirror.
6. 1-Light Dome Shade Floor Lamp
This 1-Light Dome Shade Floor Lamp in brass has a minimalistic style that’s great for any living room, bedroom, entryway, or home office. It’ll brighten up a modern minimalist space with clean lines, sleek design, and a brilliant brass hue. When you turn on the light inside the shade, the metal finish gives your lighting a warm and welcoming glow.
If you’d like something in stainless steel and chrome, which are more common in traditional minimalist spaces, check out this Arched Floor Lamp instead.
7. Johansson 5-Shelf Bookcase
The Johansson 5-Shelf Bookcase features minimalist-inspired sides and an antique white finish, perfect for Scandinavian, modern, transitional, and minimalist design. It’s ideal for adding shelving to living rooms, home offices, and even bedrooms.
This five-tier bookshelf is sturdy and sleek with a simple silhouette. It’s constructed from poplar, MDF, and ash veneer.
Rediscover your home with minimalist furniture
As you shop for the perfect minimalist furniture for your space, look for items that you love. If you choose wisely, you’ll end up with high-quality pieces you’ll cherish for years to come. Plus, with less cleaning to take care of, you’ll have more time for the things in life that matter most.
If you’re still searching for the perfect furniture for your minimalism makeover, check out Coaster Furniture’s entire product catalog. Alternatively, you can narrow down your options by entering “minimalist” in the search bar.
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