Small Space Decorating: Minimalist Design Ideas

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When it comes to small space decorating, using minimalist design ideas is most conducive. Small spaces tend to look even smaller when the decorating is “busy” or when you don’t pare down your belongings beforehand. Keeping it simple, stream lined and clean is the best way to land a winning aesthetic in your small apartment. Take some of these tips and ideas as you begin decorating.

Keep the Walls Light

Apply the idea of minimalism to the color pigment on your walls. While minimalist design certainly can include bright and bold colors, for small spaces you’ll be better off keeping the walls a lighter shade of any color. Just a hint of color can add interest to your room without making it feel like a cave. Think of sage greens, muted blues and barely-there browns.

Use Nature as Decor

Words commonly associated with minimalism are modern, airy, clean, sharp and natural. Adding a natural element to your small space is easier than ever, especially as you begin accessorizing your room. If you’re looking for minimalistic accents, consider filling a glass vase with rocks you find outside. A simple bamboo plant makes for a nice accessory on your fireplace mantle or side table. A simple sketch or water color painting of outdoor scenery will look nice framed and hung on the wall.

Clear the Clutter

Nothing ruins a minimalistic design faster than clutter. In order to keep your room looking streamlined, you need to strategically place everything your own. Minimalism should make the room appear orderly and calm. Having stacks of books, trinkets and mass amounts of belongings piled—even in an orderly fashion—will leave the room feeling chaotic. Give the appearance of minimalism, even if the stuff is still present it the room, by being creative in how you store your items. A book case with cabinet doors, for instance, is perfect in this situation. All you’ll see is the clean lines of the book case—not what’s inside. On a shelf, modern looking leather storage boxes are great for placing any random items you wish to keep out of sight.

Use Simple Geometric Shapes

Geometric shapes are perfect for minimalistic designs because of their simplicity. A standard square or circular pillow, for example, has a cleaner aesthetic than a pillow with all kinds of ruffles and embroidery. A sharp and straight-edged rectangular mirror on the wall is less over-stated that a mirror surrounded by a scalloped frame with carved details. It’s best to look for things with the least detail possible. The simpler something is, the more it will fit in with your minimalist design scheme.

Strange as it sounds, minimalism comes from not having too many design ideas. The less you add to your space, the easier it is to streamline the design into something serene. When in doubt as you begin putting together each room, choose one item as as statement piece or focal point and keep everything else subdued.


Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.

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