Minimalist : what is it?
Some confuse it with ‘traditional’ and ‘contemporary’, but minimalist is a design concept in its own right; in fact, it’s more of a lifestyle choice and a mindset. Minimalism aims to strip your room down to the bare essentials and get rid of anything unnecessary in your home and your life. Ultimately, less is more.
Does this simple but effective concept sound good to you? Then this Bedstar Guide for the bedroom minimalist is for you. In it, we explore minimalism further and explain how you can transform your own little boudoir into a cosy minimalist bedroom.
What a typical minimalist bedroom will look like
Minimalists don’t need to make a big fuss of the fact they’re minimalists. Their homes often reflect their tastes quite clearly. You can expect to observe the following in a typical minimalist bedroom:
Very little furniture
Don’t expect to see lots of stylish bits of furniture. A minimalist bedroom will only have the bare essentials when it comes to furniture. We’re talking about a bed, a bedside table with a light on it and a dresser. You might find other items, but these are more or less the staples of a minimalist bedroom. In theory, anything else is surplus.
Clutter simply will not do in a minimalist bedroom, surfaces may have perhaps one or two main decorations or essential items.
A minimalist will not have any knick-knacks if any at all. Stacks of books or newspapers are out of the question. Basically, minimalists clear their rooms of clutter.
One thing to understand about minimalist bedrooms is that they don’t have to be boring just because you’ve pared everything down to the basics. Without decorations, they’d be incredibly dull. Minimalists understand this and will add accents to their bedroom. These could be something as simple as a plant in the room or a family photo on their bedside table.
Quality, not quantity
The bottom line is minimalists prefer not to have loads of stuff in their homes. It’s a question of choosing quality over quantity, so they’ll buy things they love, rather than lots of items they think are just okay for their bedroom. Having one really good dresser would be better than having several sets of chests of drawers and lots of other storage items, for instance.
There is a true art to creating the perfect minimal, yet warm and visually interesting modern interior, especially for the oasis of the home, the bedroom.
How minimalism improves your life?
Should you go minimalist? If you do, here are some of the benefits you can enjoy by having a minimalist bedroom:
Lower stress levels
It’s hard to unwind when there are piles of clothes everywhere or you have so much furniture in your bedroom that it’s hard to move around freely or access anything. Minimalism is all about keeping space free of clutter so you can enjoy a sense of calm.
A more appealing bedroom
Let’s face it: we find a cluttered bedroom unsightly, to say the least. We may even (unfairly) form judgments of the person to whom it belongs. When we see a minimalist bedroom, we find it much more appealing. It’s tidy, the furniture is beautiful, there are a few small decorations and the whole room can ‘breathe’. Marvellous!
Easier to clean
The more items of furniture you have in your bedroom, the more you have to clean. Dust soon returns and you could find yourself cleaning quite often. It’s also harder to sweep or hoover around lots of objects, whereas in a minimalist room you can push the vacuum cleaner around freely and complete the job in minutes.
Obviously, if you’re going to adopt a minimalist approach to organising your bedroom, you’re going to have to declutter it. Here’s how to do so effectively:
Empty your bedroom first
If you have the energy, start afresh and empty your bedroom. Make a list of all the things you think are essential in your bedroom — and then evaluate them.
How essential are they really? If you can live perfectly well without them, delete them from the list. Perhaps your bathroom mirror serves you well enough, in which case you can get rid of your dressing mirror.
What about books? Are you piling them up on the floor?
Then you have two options: buy a bedside table or wave goodbye to the books themselves. A minimalist bedroom floor should be clear, except for the furniture on it. No storing. No stacking. When you’ve decided what the basic items of furniture you need in your room are, clear the floor.
Decluttering a bedroom is a big job and could take longer than you think. If you don’t have the energy to do it all at once, start small.
Focus on one area, declutter it and then stop. You can concentrate on a different area the next day. This keeps you enthusiastic about the task and you’ll enjoy seeing the results each day.
Clear out your cupboard
Clothes are one of life’s great clutterers, which makes your wardrobe or cupboard a good place to start. Is there anything in it you don’t wear anymore? Of course, there is!
Place it in a pile and then throw it out, donate it or, if it’s still in decent condition, sell it.
You’ll probably find other objects in your cupboard that you’ve popped in there because you had nowhere else to put them. Do you need them? No? Then out they go.
Declutter your bedside table and other surfaces
The main items you should have on your bedside table should be a book or a magazine, a lamp and a glass of water.
The fewer items, the better and you’re more likely to fall back to sleep easier when you happen to wake up for a glass of water or to go to the bathroom.
Organising a minimalist bedroom
Minimalism has a simple rule: no excess. If you can remember that you’re off to a good start. Here are some more steps for organising your bedroom in a minimalist way:
Minimalists – Tidy up regularly
A bedroom can become untidy quickly. Once you’ve stripped your bedroom down to the essentials, you need to keep it that way, which means decluttering regularly. Get rid of receipts, packaging, food containers and any other items that are lying around creating a mess. Check the receipts first, though, just in case they’re ‘important’.
Know that a minimalist does not mean ‘uninviting’
The bedroom shouldn’t look like a prison cell i.e. with a bed and nothing else. Minimalism is like editing. All you’re doing is simplifying your surroundings and you don’t have to chuck out every single thing you own.
Your bedroom is a haven and, even though you have only furnished it with a few basic items, you should want to spend time there.
Choose your bed first
Since the bed is the most important part of a bedroom, you need to choose a bed first. Then you can base the rest of your plans for the room on that. It can help if you know what you want in your bedroom before you furnish the whole space, but the bed must come first. A simple bed frame works best. Metal, box spring and platform beds are all good choices for minimalistic style.
Achieve balance and harmony
To create calm within your minimalist bedroom, think about the size of the furniture in proportion to the size of the bedroom itself. You don’t want feelings of tightness because the furniture is too large for the room. Nor do you want the furniture to feel ‘lost’ because the room is too big for it.
Create additional order by arranging your furniture as symmetrically as possible so that the eye moves uninterrupted through space. Balancing the layout will boost the sense of calm in the room.
Make the most of the space under your bed
If you have an ottoman bed or divan bed, make the most of the space underneath it to store items there and declutter. Off-season clothes, bedding, luggage, toys and books can all go under the bed. If you have a platform bed (and even if you don’t), place the items in boxes to keep the dust off them. Note that if you’re going to feng shui your bedroom, storing anything other than linen under the bed would be bad practice.
Have one single dresser
Having lots of drawers and dressers will dent your bedroom’s minimalist visuals and make the room feel cluttered. If you can’t avoid having extra drawers in the room, position them as far away from the bed as possible to create plenty of space around the bed.
Note that to keep things minimalistic, everything should have storage space.
One shelf for mementos
Again, we’re talking about the power of one here. If you like photos, books or mementoes, keep them all on a single shelf.
Just make sure you don’t keep putting up new shelves for them all. That would defeat the object and the minimalism will go out the window.
In a tidy minimalist bedroom, should be stored away inside a drawer after using them, if you have any other cables showing use conduit to hide them away this is an easy solution that requires no drilling.
Decorating a minimalist bedroom
Being a minimalist is a lifestyle choice and it doesn’t mean you just do not have anything in your bedroom. That would be frightfully boring, simply learn how to decorate and organise your bedroom in a minimalistic way.
Which you can do by following these tips:
Use a cool palette
Although a minimalist bedroom shouldn’t be boring, neither does it mean that you should shake the whole room up with bold, bright colours. Blues, greens and neutral colours such as grey will bring you that air of calm for which you’re striving in your bedroom.
Colours such as red create too much drama and you’ll feel unsettled in the room. You can mix things up by playing with patterns and textures instead of bold colours.
This is a neat little minimalist trick. Items such as chairs can function as storage space, too. You want to minimise the amount of furniture in your room and an accent chair will work well in place of a bedside table. It’s also a handy way to repurpose old furniture if you don’t wish to spend more on a new item of furniture.
Hang up a piece of artwork you love
When you were a teenager, you likely covered your bedroom walls with posters and pictures, but this goes against the very grain of minimalism. Choose just one piece that you absolutely love and make it the accent piece. No matter how beautiful the other pieces are, don’t spoil the effect by hanging more of them up on the same wall. Just like the bed is the centrepiece of the bedroom, the artwork must be the focal point of the wall.
Add a plant
Plants are simple, earthy and breathe extra colour into a bedroom. Their little splashes of green do just the trick but make sure that the plant isn’t so big that it distracts your attention from the other décor. Remember what we said about balance! A rubber plant or a philodendron will serve you well. You could even add freshness to the bedroom by bringing in some flowers. Just pop them in a neutral-coloured vase to keep the minimalism look going.
Keeping things to a minimum
At heart, minimalism is about promoting wellbeing by keeping your bedroom free of clutter and sticking to a few basic items of furniture. The fewer items surrounding you, the better. Organising your furniture in a specific way that creates balance and symmetry between the different items contributes even further to the serenity.
If ever you find yourself feeling unsettled but don’t quite know why, look around your bedroom and the rest of your home. Is there any clutter? Would it benefit from a more minimalistic approach? Maybe it would, in which case you can use the advice to make it happen for a more relaxing living space.