„Minimal is more“ – With their current advertising slogan, the marketing consultants of the Aldi discounter have deliberately focused on the new desire for simplicity, which is being felt by more and more young people. Psychologists and sociologists regard this new minimalism as a counter-movement to the surplus of consumer goods, which we feel exposed to everyday. We want to free ourselves from what is not essential. When it comes to living space, the art of simplicity has long become established. We will show you step by step how to live simply and in a minimalist way without having to sacrifice comfort and convenience.
Step 1: Less is more – declutter!
Letting go of things you do not need is the first step towards a minimalist setup. Go through your home with your eyes open and think about what you really need to live and what items you can spare. For most people, the wardrobe is too full, the shelves bend from all the decoration and books, and the things in the storage room pile right up to the ceiling. Anything you have not had in your hands for at least two years or just gathers dust can usually be discarded – apart from important documents and memorabilia. You should also think about whether you need unused furniture such as side tables, chairs or dressers. Maybe you can even make some money with the things you want to get rid of by selling clothes or books on ebay or other platforms, for example. The rest you can give away or donate to charities. Throwing something away should always be the last option. You will soon notice that once the clutter has disappeared, you will feel immensely relieved and you can start with the second step.
Step 2: Create space – consciously design the floor and walls
Ideally, your apartment is almost empty now, so you can create a minimalist framework with a few selected elements. The overall creative motto should be: Create a calm atmosphere!
First of all, the floor: choose calm, lightly or non-patterned flooring. Smooth floors are usually better for a minimalist style than high-pile carpets, which are almost always restless. Parquet or laminate are ideal, but so are large-format tiles. Important: The floor should form a free area that is as spacious as possible, and should not be obstructed or interrupted by carpets or other accessories. If this is too bare and uncomfortable, choose a carpet that does not contrast too much with the flooring underneath. So on a light wood floor you should also have a light carpet, and on dark tiles you should rather have a brown carpet – each from the same colour family.
Next come the walls: patterned wallpaper or bright wall paints are taboo. Instead, you should use colours such as white, grey, or black, which either have a no effect at all or a soothing one at most. With these tricks, you can visually regain space and turn your room into a kind of stage, on which individual pieces of furniture and accessories can play their parts. Radiant white walls, for example, are balanced by black elements and furniture, giving them a counterpoint that takes the room’s coldness and sterile atmosphere.
You are in luck if you have large windows, as lots of daylight creates an airy and light ambience and makes the room look more spacious. For a minimalist style, you should avoid curtains as window decoration. Instead, use a lightweight blind as a light screen and for privacy if necessary.
Step 3: Clear design – find the right furniture
Now you are already in the middle of setting up your minimalist home. Equip your home with furniture you really need. Focus on the essentials: bed, table, chairs, kitchen, sofa. Stick to the following rule for all elements: Make your design as clear, ascetic or even spartan as possible. Classic shapes and straight lines, slender legs and filigree handles: the function is what counts – minimalist furniture is often inspired by the Bauhaus style.
Important: Do not forget storage space. Even if you only have the essentials, you do not want to have everything around you all the time. It is best to use wall-mounted units, the doors of which flatly close to the wall, as they almost disappear, leaving a ‚pure‘ surface. If you do not have the appropriate niches for this sort of built-in furniture, you can instead use cabinets with simple fronts. But beware: do not create too much storage space, because then there is great danger that it will get cluttered up again with things you do not really need.
To make sure the apartment does not feel empty and impersonal, you can place specific decorative elements in the room. Pictures or posters with graphic patterns fit well into a minimalist ambience and give it an individual touch. An interesting floor lamp as an eye catcher can also convey comfort. But be careful: As always, less is more in this case, too.
Step 4: Keep going!
True minimalists live and buy consciously, but do not avoid consumption altogether. When it comes to buying, they place importance on longevity, a classy and minimalist design and usefulness. This does require quite a bit of discipline, but if you really make this motto a main part of your life, you will feel comfortable in your minimalist-style home for a long time.