When you think of minimalist interior design, images of spare white-box rooms might immediately come to mind. But to understand the evolution of minimalist style, you’ll have to look back to the 1920s and 1930s. It was during that time when a German design school introduced the Bauhaus style, which was characterized by spare, simple decor.
From there, the style developed over the decades to include functional furniture and clean-lined objects and geometric shapes, often placed within sparse and spacious settings that featured no more than two basic colors. For a while, that became the most recognizable approach to minimalist interiors. But that’s no longer the case!
Minimalist interiors today are anything but overly stark. They range from cozy and livable spaces that are layered with woven textures and streamlined and comfy sofas and chairs to rooms that are anchored in a strong color palette and iconic mid-century designs. It makes sense and simply goes to show how the pared-down minimalist look works with virtually any style designs.
Can’t imagine how minimalism can work for you and your home? Don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some of our top minimalist interior design ideas that perfectly showcase the pared-down look to help inspire your own design. Read on to see the spaces and get our design tips!
Minimalist Living Rooms
Minimalist living spaces are just as big on comfort as they are design-forward. You’ll find they’re often anchored by modern seating, stylish investment pieces, and smart, airy layouts, which give them simple and cozy appeal.
The Style: Industrial Minimal
This airy space with angular metal furnishings and accents has an unmistakable industrial influence. There’s a simplicity to the industrial minimal look, from the shapes to the layout, that make this space comfy while still having room to breathe.
The Key Elements: Slender modern seating and table, a high-pile area rug, metal light fixtures, which all add up to a balanced and clean-lined look that’s minimal with an industrial edge.
The Color Palette: Greens mixed, contrasting neutrals, and pops of black and white, which lend a simple and sophisticated vibe.
Why We Love This Look: This conversation area is playful and functional without feeling too subtle or too bold, thanks to the slender designs. And when it comes to livability, between all the seating and the plush rug, the room is comfy and soothing while still remaining stylish.
The Style: Minimalist-Maximalist
This fabulous living-room with its luxe use of velvet and style-forward furnishings is for those of you who love having a few iconic and of-the-moment design pieces. The best part is that this space is as loungey and comfy as it is captivating.
The Key Elements: Sculptural furniture, unique accent pieces, sumptuous textures, luxurious materials (velvets, hide, marble), all with distinctive shapes.
The Color Palette: Jewel tones meet neutrals, which is a bold approach to color that works especially well if you have furniture with simple lines and shapes.
Why We Love This Look: This is just the look and style if you love a luxurious space that’s also simple and chic. This gives you an elegant lounge for casual entertaining as well as a seating area where you can catch up on your favorite magazines on the weekends.
The Style: Contemporary Minimalist
Soft lines and an unfettered casual vibe make this space both cozy and contemporary. The key though is the spare layout, which provides minimalist appeal while still being warm and inviting.
The Key Elements: Deep comfy seating, storage coffee table (perfect for easy clean up after family game night), subtly patterned rugs, neutral textured pillows, simple art in light wood frames, pared-down and minimal styling.
The Color Palette: Soft neutrals and light wood tones give this space a relaxing appeal that’s beautifully calming and contemporary.
Why We Love This Look: Just because a space is minimal doesn’t mean it isn’t functional. This room is big on comfort with a massive sectional and plenty of storage space to match—which are pieces that are livable and none too precious.
Relaxing and tranquil, airy and uncomplicated, the minimalist bedroom is a modern haven. These spaces have fewer, more captivating furnishings, resulting in a space that’s light-filled and calming.
The Style: Refined Minimalist
Less is more is definitely the mantra for this style. There’s also a touch of industrial cool that comes with the look. For a refined minimalist bedroom, a statement-making bed frame is all you need to add gravitas to your space while making sure it still feels relaxed and airy.
The Key Elements: A striking bed (four-poster, canopy, or one with a stylish headboard), spacious bench, industrial light fixture, streamlined nightstands, all in a moody palette.
The Color Palette: Black and white is your foundation, then layer in accents in their natural textures and finishes. Soft gray touches (pillows, blankets, rug) work well here to add coziness.
Why We Love This Look: With a spare layout and a highly curated selection of bold furniture pieces, this bedroom style is both functional and sophisticated. There’s lots of under-bed and bedside storage, and it’s great for someone who loves a modern bedroom that’s livable and easy to maintain.
The Style: Mid-Century Modern Minimalist
Because mid-century modern design is known for its considered clean lines, it’s the perfect go-to style if you’re after a minimalist bedroom. Just make sure you work in those warm earthy colors, wood tones, and subtle colors to play up a light but warm vibe.
The Key Elements: A bed frame and headboard with clean lines, slim leather bench, simple light fixtures, wooden side tables, modern and abstract wall art, natural-fiber rug, crisp white bedding.
The Color Palette: Natural tones of materials paired with the brightest whites will give you a foundation to add in playful hints of unique color, like yellow, coral, and blue.
Why We Love This Look: Minimalist spaces are far from serious and sparse, and this bedroom proves that. It has all the warmth and charm of retro mid-century modern spaces, but it also pared-back just enough to feel casual and relaxing. Plus it’s got practical end tables and feels super livable with the padded headboard and bench that provide maximum streamlined comfort.
The Style: Casual-Chic Minimalist
The pared-back styling of this casual and minimal bedroom room is at once cool and laid-back. With spare furnishings and subtle pops of brass and glass accents, it’s a look that’s simple and practical.
The Key Elements: Metal bed frame, nightstands with open bases, neutral patterned rug, glass pendants, ocean-inspired art, minimal styling, tried-and-true blue-and-white color palette.
The Color Palette: The two-tone navy and white color scheme is a classic color combo that establishes an overall relaxing vibe in the room. It makes for a great base for layering on gold accents and other nautical and ocean-themed art.
Why We Love This Look: The bedroom is highly functional with a symmetrical layout here plenty of bedside storage and extra under-bed space. Hanging pendants that serve as nightlights also save space. The minimal accents and styling also plays-up an easy, livable vibe that goes perfectly with the overall minimal-nautical theme.
Minimalist Dining Rooms
When it comes to designing a minimalist dining room, streamlined furnishings and a few statement pieces are the way to go. Think chairs with clean lines and a striking chandelier.
The Style: Mid-Century Modern Minimalist
The mid-century dining table and chrome-base chairs are the centerpieces of this warm and minimalist dining room. The clean lines and warm wood tone make the sage green walls and captivating bubble chandelier pop, while the art and rug add in some color and texture.
The Key Elements: Mid-century modern dining table, contemporary dining chairs, sculptural chandelier, abstract wall art with soft colors, light-toned patterned rug, a bold but also soothing palette of green and gray.
The Color Palette: The green-gray palette is an elegant minimalist color combo in that it doesn’t need much color otherwise. The green further brightens the white doors and trims and the gray does the same to the neutral rug.
Why We Love This Look: As much as it is bold, this dining room is also highly functional with its large table and padded chairs can accommodate large groups for long meals. It’s also livable and approachable in that it nothing feels too precious.
The Style: Traditional-Chic Minimalist
This room proves that just because a room has minimal styling doesn’t mean it can’t still feel traditional. That’s at the core of our traditional-chic minimalist look, which is all about working in classic pieces with a few boldly modern designs.
The Key Elements: Minimalist furniture (streamlined white upholstered chairs, modern wood table), captivating linear light fixture, classic table lamps, contemporary abstract art, traditional rug, tall plants, a white and off-white palette.
The Color Palette: White, gray, and natural hues combine to create a warm and airy effect. Greenery also adds to the light and cozy atmosphere.
Why We Love This Look: With its symmetrical and somewhat formal layout, this dining room is minimal, practical, and inviting. It conveys a deep sense of comfort and livability in that it’s chic and formal enough for fancy dinners but also doesn’t feel stuffy or overly dressed up.
The Style: Minimalist Meets Rustic
This minimalist meets rustic look might be a little closer to what you typically imagine minimalist rooms to be. It’s got spare white walls, light textures, and just a few essential pieces and rustic and organic accents that give it tons of warmth. The bright and simple aesthetic, it’s easy to see why it’s one of our Modsy customers’ favorite styles!
The Key Elements: Modern dining table, mid-century-style chairs, contemporary pendant lights, sculptural black-and-white vessels and accents, tall greenery and plants, vintage or neutral woven rug, high-contrast palette.
The Color Palette: Black and white with a touch of deep wood tone are all you need here. Have a few graphic accents, then simply layer in a few striking plants for a bit of vibrancy.
Why We Love This Look: The natural textures in this room add warmth and texture to the minimal layout, making it functional, relaxed, and approachable. This is the best example of how minimalism can be cozy with just a few rustic touches.
Minimalism works seamlessly in any entryway in any home. It simply comes down to creating an airy and inviting space using bold modern designs that are both stylish and practical.
The Style: Minimalist-Maximalist
This passageway entry is a true hallmark of the Minimalist-Maximalist design trend with its striking wall color and eye-catching furniture and art. It all adds up to a space that’s as inviting as it is statement-making.
The Key Elements: Modern designs with strong forms (a painted mid-century cabinet, a design-forward chair), oversized abstract art, sculptural accents (cool metal vessels, vintage showpieces), contemporary sconces, neutral and lightly patterned rug, a captivating monochrome palette.
The Color Palette: Think monochrome, like this soothing gray-green, which works perfectly with notes of brass and black.
Why We Love This Look: The deep color of the walls helps to make this open pass-through space feel a lot warmer and it also provides a unique backdrop for the equally distinct furniture and accents. The layout and arrangement of the sculptural pieces also make this a highly functional and livable space, with the large storage console and side chair at the ready. Form meets function dreams come true!
The Style: Minimalist Meets Contemporary
If you’re after a pristine and calming entry, the minimalist meets contemporary look might be for you. It has curvilinear shapes, a soft neutral palette, and an instantly inviting vibe, making for a perfect way to set the tone to the rest of your home.
The Key Elements: Contemporary designs with minimalist forms, light woods, and upholstery, crisp white accents (a stool, bowls, vessels, vases), modern art (think drawings, photographs), and an overarching neutral palette of white and soft gray tones.
The Color Palette: Shades of white paired with airy gray tones and light woods.
Why We Love This Look: Clean-lined and comfy, the minimalist forms and contemporary color palette immediately set visitors at ease in this entryway. It’s also stylishly arranged for functionality and livability, while pared-down accessories that set a delightful first impression.
Minimalist Home Offices
Don’t make more work out of work. Keep a simple and tidy home office with a boldly minimalist design approach. In our book, that means a light, airy workspace organized with streamlined furnishings, a bright neutral palette, and lots of stylish and inspiring finishing touches.
The Style: Organic Modernism
Warm earth tones, natural materials, and modernist designs lend a homey and calming vibe to this workspace filled with attention-grabbing pieces.
The Key Elements: A striking modernist desk, mid-century-style chair, low-slung leather sofa, woven patterned rug, oversized floor lamp, natural and rustic accents, a minimalist palette of neutrals and earth tones.
The Color Palette: Rich earth tones and creamy neutrals that truly let the bold silhouettes and shapes of the furniture and accents shine.
Why We Love This Look: Balancing a soft and minimal design approach with a functional layout, this workspace sums up our Organic Modernism style. Along with the spacious desk and sumptuous sofa, this makes for a livable home office that’s both a therapeutic retreat and a haven of productivity.
The Style: Minimalist Meets Classic
Think of this as a collector’s pared-down approach to minimalism. That’s our idea of the minimalist meets classic look. It’s bold but simple, curated but airy, all of which makes this style an easy look to pull off in big and small spaces alike. Take this hallway office, which blends both traditional and modern pieces to create a practical yet perfectly tailored office corner.
The Key Elements: Spindle chair, rustic-industrial wood desk, steel display cabinet, light-hued classic rug, streamlined table lamp, modern painting, minimalist vessels and accents, a palette of bright whites, bold blacks, and natural tones.
The Color Palette: Pared-back black and white as the foundation allows you to meld styles seamlessly, from rustic to industrial to minimalist.
Why We Love This Look: Minimalist pieces are right at home in this classic office nook. The furnishings are curated and functional, the palette is simple but bold, and together it all feels comfortable and approachable.
Ready to bring minimalism into your home?
Can’t decide which minimalist interior design style best suits you? Let our designers help. They can help you hone in on your style preferences and create 3D designs of your actual space to help you visualize what your minimalist style interior design will look like in real life. Browse our interior design FAQ page for more info!