10 Ways to Master The Minimalist Design Style

The phrases “form follows function” and “less is more” likely come to mind when you hear minimalist interior design. You probably envision empty rooms with very little furniture, no decor, and white-on-white-on-everything. You might also think of scenes from futuristic movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Tron. There’s truth to all this but the minimalist design aesthetic is (ahem) so much more.

Minimalism was originally conceptualized by the Bauhaus, a German design school in the 1920s and 1930s. It championed the concept that the shape of an object should follow its intended function. This led to interiors that were generally void of decorative objects and had minimal furniture that was geometric in form. It set the tone for the minimalist home, which consisted of sparse interiors, simplified designs with clean lines, and restrained color palettes.

Today, you’ll find a handful of minimalist interior designers who specialize in spaces that embody the style with their own twists—from mixing in ornate antiques to infusing rustic textures and even bold colors. It all goes to show that there are many ways to pull off a minimalist space in the home.

For inspiration and guidance, we’ve rounded up 10 different takes on minimalism that show how you can blend in other styles with the minimalist aesthetic in any space in your home—all without sacrificing comfort, color, and livability. Find out more below!

minimalist interior design

1. Rustic Minimalism

You’ve probably seen your fair share of rustic minimalist interiors. The name says it all. A rustic minimalist space emphasizes clean lines and cozy textures, so you’ll find something like a pared-down bed styled up with sheepskin pillows, chunky knit throws, and a plush wool rug.

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The Palette: High-contrast shades are played up in the rustic minimalist space. Think white tones of beige, creams, and ivory mixed with black shades, like charcoal, tar, and ebony.

The Key Design Elements:

  • Less is definitely more. If you want to introduce the rustic minimalist interior design aesthetic into your home, start by editing down your furnishings and accents.
  • Texture, texture texture. Lean into lots of rustic textures and finishes, like grainy woods, faux fur, and natural fibers. They’ll warm up the neutral palette.
  • Hold the accents. Skip the art and ornamental decor, and let things feel a little “unstyled” and spare. Let all the textures do the talking.

minimalist interior design

2. Minimalist Maximalism

Opposites attract. That’s basically the minimalist maximalist look in a nutshell. It’s a minimalist design approach to furniture and decor with a maximalist take on color and materials. The result? A space like this, where you’ll find a sculptural coffee table and a curvy sofa set against a bold wall color.

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The Palette: Instead of a minimalist living room that’s all white, you’ll find bright colors that make a statement in various ways. It could be a sapphire blue armchair, an emerald rug, or bright red walls.

The Key Design Elements:

  • All about the curves. Rounded shapes and curvy designs are the stars of the show here, so bring on the sculptural furniture starting with your seating.
  • Luxe it up. Pick beautiful materials to even out the strong colors. Mix together a marble coffee table, a matte-black pendant, and a velvet sofa. Think simple yet elevated.
  • Fewer, bolder. Take a page from the minimalist interior design rule book when it comes to accents. You don’t need five paintings. But the hand-carved stone vase? Yes, indeed.

minimalist interior design

3. Eclectic Minimalism

Perfectly minimalist. Carefully curated. The term ‘Discerning Collector’ sums up the eclectic minimalist look, which consists of distinct sculptural furniture and unique accents that all tell a story.

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The Palette: Warm neutrals, like cozy ivory and cream, mixed with pops of black is the energy you’ll find here. It’s finished with touches of light woods, beige linens, and white ceramics.

The Key Design Elements:

  • Go linear. In classic minimalist interior design fashion, keep to pieces that have strong, clean lines, like a super sleek marble dining table or a cutting-edge light fixture.
  • Play with visual textures. Details like marble veining, embossed surfaces, and woven touches are what will bring your room to life. Let them shine.
  • Showcase stories. Before you add an accent to your space, make sure you’re not just displaying it for visual interest. Here, art and objects with backstories reign.

minimalist interior design

4. Refined-Rustic Minimalism

You can say refined-rustic minimalism is the elevated older sister to rustic minimalism. It has the same strong rustic streak, but this minimalist interior design style dials up the cozy with farmhouse furniture and more textures.

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The Palette: You can expect a mix of white hues and natural tones in a refined-rustic minimalist living room. There will also likely be a few pops of black metal added in for contrast.

The Key Design Elements:

  • Keep it simple. The refined-rustic minimalist space is anchored in big comfort and ease. So stick to fewer pieces, like a slipcovered sofa and a spacious coffee table.
  • Natural materials galore. A weathered-wood coffee table, a striped sisal rug, a slipcovered sofa… combine these pieces to highlight their natural beauty.
  • Make breathing room. Pick furnishings that open up a room, like a hanging mirror and a soft-colored rug. They’ll extend the minimalist vibe.

minimalist interior design

5. Organic Minimalism

Simplicity and organic elements are at the heart of this minimalist interior design style. Just imagine a minimalist space grounded with Mid-Century designs and sparsely layered with natural accents.

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The Palette: Neutral hues are contrasted with warm wood and woven materials. From that you get white rooms with a cozy vibe, thanks to earthy notes from the furniture and accents.

The Key Design Elements:

  • Function with style. You’ll want to truly abide by the ‘form follows function’ principle if you’re going after this look. Pick designs with practical sizing and storage before shape.
  • Let modern be. Mid-Century Modern furnishings have innate minimalist appeal, so all you need is one or two classic designs, like a Wishbone or an Eames chair.
  • Weave in texture. The main organic touch here comes from woven baskets and rush chair seats. They pair perfectly with Mid-Century pieces, so make sure you have them.

minimalist interior design

6. Industrial Minimalism

Raw and rugged, this bold take on the minimalist interior design aesthetic focuses on industrial designs that make a statement. A super popular Los Angeles interior design style, you know the look when you see it. It has heavy-duty shelving, a big metal floor lamp, and a leather armchair that steals the show in the living room. Yes, that minimalist space.

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The Palette: There’s a lot of tonal contrast that comes from the heavy mix of leather, metal, and woods. It’s this bold juxtaposition of tones and materials that define the industrial minimalist home.

The Key Design Elements:

  • Geometry is important. With the industrial minimalist look, remember that your priority is pieces that have distinct shapes and sharp, clean lines.
  • Add subtle pattern. It’s a plus here, but you have to make sure the pops of patterns you choose are soft and easy on the eyes, like a subdued abstract print.
  • Go plush. You’ll need soft finishing touches like shaggy pillows and a patterned cowhide rug to balance out the strong lines. They’ll make your space feel more inviting.

minimalist interior design7. Monochrome Minimalism

You know by now that minimalist interior design doesn’t imply an all-white home. You can experiment with color as long as you stay within the same tonal family. That’s what sets apart monochrome minimalist interiors.

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The Palette: Focus on one color and its varying shades throughout your space. If you use an earthy brown for your living room walls, follow up with accents in tan leather and sandy hues. Contrast it all with crisp white accents.

The Key Elements:

  • Focus on negative space. You don’t want to visually crowd your space. Leave lots of blank wall space and breathing room between furniture and objects.
  • Get sculptural. With a saturated color approach, you’ll want to offset the visual impact. Seek out curvy furniture with a softer edge.
  • Monochrome palette. Technically you can translate this look into your home using any color, but our favorite spaces tend to stick with warm neutrals and pastel hues.

minimalist interior design8. Mid-Century Minimalism

We can’t talk about minimalist interior design without talking about the Mid-Century minimalist aesthetic. Think of it as the Mad Men-inspired look given the clean lines and cool vibes.

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The Palette: This is a classic Mid-Century palette of wood tones, black metal touches, and neutral upholstery. It’s a tried-and-true formula for a minimalist space that doesn’t require white as the unifying shade.

The Key Design Elements:

  • Set a mood. Make sure your furniture and colors build up a sense of drama. Try gray tones as a base and choose the color of your furnishings around that.
  • An authentic mix. Opt to include quality Mid-Century designs, like a white Tulip dining table or an Arco floor lamp, alongside other modern pieces for a more dynamic look.
  • Spread out focal points. Every piece will make a statement, so be sure to space out your furniture and accents. This will help add visual interest around your home.

minimalist interior design9. Contemporary Minimalism

If it’s a comfortable minimalist home you’re after, the contemporary minimalist interior style is for you. It’s an approachable, livable take on minimalist interior design that’s perfect for the family-friendly home since it’s rooted in clean-lined comfort.

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The Palette: Shades of white, from cream to eggshell, take center stage in the contemporary minimalist space. You’ll also find light wood and lots of woven textures, which provide contrast.

The Key Design Elements:

  • Foundational furniture first. Because this style is all about comfort, so make for cozy anchor pieces, like a plush armchair or a clean-lined upholstered bed.
  • Bring on the baskets! You’ll love having these for practical storage, but their texture and natural color will also help warm up your space.
  • Layer in a few frills. Use pops of subdued colors and soft patterns from pillows and wall art to enliven your space in a way that still feels homey.

minimalist interior design10. Urban Rustic Minimalism

There’s an earthiness to the urban rustic minimalist design look, which is informed by Scandinavian minimalism. Here is the minimalist living room where you’ll find Danish furniture alongside contemporary pieces and artisanal handcrafted accents.

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The Palette: The color scheme stems from the natural materials of the furniture. It’s all balanced with warm white tones, resulting in a minimalist interior that’s calm and collected.

The Key Design Elements:

  • Streamline your furniture. A few distinct pieces, like a Scandinavian armchair and a wooden bench table, is all you need here for a stylish and livable space.
  • Spotlight natural beauty. Highlight natural textures and materials near daylight. It will add a sense of sophistication to any space in your home.
  • Accents you love. You want to bring in pieces that inspire you. Hold out for that awesome lamp or amazing pillow. It will be so worth it.

Create Your Own Minimalist Space!

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10 Minimalist Bedroom Ideas that Prove Less is Sometimes Way More

When it comes to interior design, do you love a more pared-back look? Something free of trinkets and frills? Then a home with minimalist style might be right for you.

What even is minimalist interior design? Minimalist design was conceptualized by the Bauhaus, a German design school in the 1920s and 30s. It’s a design style that’s guided by the idea that “less is more” and adheres to the principle that form follows function. Essentially, minimalist style results in spaces that are, above all else, functional and with few added frills. But that doesn’t mean they’re totally utilitarian. In fact, minimalist rooms can be quite elegant, as you’ll see later in this post.

For disciples of the minimalist movement, there’s a belief that minimalism facilitates a better lifestyle by stripping away the unnecessary and leaving you only with what you need—including plenty of breathing room and more brain space for creativity.

minimalist living roomWhat Do Minimalist Designs Look Like?

So, what does this actually look like? Minimalist interiors are generally void of or very light on decorative objects and have minimal furniture. What furniture is present tends to have geometric forms for visual interest and feature simplified versions of expected forms; upholstered pieces tend to be minimally stuffed. Walls and surfaces usually have smooth and natural finishes, and color palettes, overall, tend to be pretty limited.

While you can pull off a minimalist style in any part of your home, one room that we particularly love a minimalist look is in a bedroom. This is a space where lack of visual clutter can promote relaxation in a very tangible way. Because, what is a bedroom for if not unwinding after a long day (or starting the day with a clean slate)?

So, if you’re interested in creating a minimalist bedroom, keep reading. The biggest step for most people will be to simplify. This involves highly curating the space and including only the essential furniture. Beyond furniture, you’ll want to only display what is most important. The intended result? A space that offers a clean, relaxing vibe with no clutter!

minimalist bedroomMinimalist Bedroom Designs

Want to get some minimalist bedroom ideas and make this look your own? Below, you’ll find ten examples of minimalist bedrooms. Each of these rooms show you ways to blend minimalism with other styles, for a look that perfectly suits your vibe—along with room decor ideas to help bring your own minimalist bedroom to life.

Why did we mix minimalist style with other design styles? Because few people want a purely minimal space—in fact, it can be impractical. But there are so many stunning ways to integrate minimalist design with other looks for a room that reflects your style and is both beautiful and functional.

minimalist bedroom designThe Look: Classic Minimalism

This simple bedroom is about as minimal as they come. It includes only what a person actually needs, is all about the clean lines, and no added frills or ornamentation.

The Key Elements

For a truly minimalist look, we love the idea of using only one major piece of furniture in the whole bedroom. Enter: this streamlined bed frame with super functional built-in nightstands. One piece, and this room is almost complete. A grayscale color palette keeps things neutral and simple white bedding looks crisp and refined.

Though, for some visual interest, we incorporated subtle patterns in the art, pillows, and rug. This adds dimension and visual texture to the space. The matching lamps are geometric and add a sculptural element to the space. These types of additions keep the space a little more dynamic. And the large plant adds a pop of life and—along with the rich wood tones of the bed—keeps the room from feeling too cold!

It’s perfect if you…

Want to fully embrace minimalism and create as simple of a bedroom as possible.

The Look: Contemporary Minimalism

This bedroom is a transitional twist on minimal design. Purely minimal spaces can have a harsh vibe or feel impractical for everyday life—so we love that this minimal bedroom has a more livable feeling to it.

The Key Elements

The bed is the focal point of the room, with its sculptural, streamlined form and simple white linens. The brass details add a little pop of color and personality—but, ultimately, form follows function in this piece. With a bench and larger nightstands, this space features more furniture than a purely minimal space, and that’s part of what makes it feel more inviting and livable. Beyond the furniture, there are pops of art and accessories. The styling is minimal, but it gives this minimalist bedroom a more personal touch with some definite elegance!

It’s perfect if you…

Like the minimalist aesthetic but don’t want to live in a purely minimal space.

The Look: Modern Minimalism

Some personality shines through in this modern and minimal bedroom. With some fun pops of color and the playful artwork, this room really sings (and swims!).

The Key Elements

The true statement piece of this minimalist bedroom is the platform bed frame. Minimal in design, it’s free of frills, favoring sharp lines instead. But with its brass finish, it’s far from boring or straightforward. The blue accent wall complements and contrasts with the bright gold of the bed and adds depth to the space.

And the bubble pendants not only save space on the nightstands, but they beautifully add function with minimal forms. Finally, a patterned black and white rug ground the room with texture, helping break up the high contrast of the space and make it a little more inviting.

It’s perfect if you…

Prefer minimal forms but aren’t afraid of a little color and texture.

The Look: Mod Visionary

This minimalist bedroom features a style we like to call “mod visionary.” Essentially, it combines the mid-century modern aesthetic with minimal styling for a bedroom that is truly a retreat.

The Key Elements

To bring this style to life, we opted for warm, natural wood tones, primary colors, geometric forms, and bedroom furniture with tapered legs. We kept the color palette more muted—though we did add subtle pops of blue in the pillows, art, and side chair to compliment the neutral colors.

While the styling is still sparse, pieces like the floor mirror and mid-century-inspired pendant light, along with the natural textures found in the leather bench and jute rug, add warmth and dimension.

It’s perfect if you…

Love mid-century shapes with a minimal approach to styling.

minimalist modern bedroomThe Look: Moody Minimalism

The darker color palette of this minimalist bedroom gives this space an edgier vibe—but it still manages to be neutral and minimal.

The Key Elements

Overall, this room features a bit more of an eclectic approach to minimalist style. It features pops of personality with bold decor choices—like the wall art, or the sculptural and organic shapes of the plants. However, the platform bed and bench have decidedly sleek forms, while the tables and lamps have a more geometric influence. There are very few objects in this space, but each one is an understated statement.

It’s perfect if you…

Prefer a bedroom that’s bold and moody.

The Look: Glam Minimalism

You may think that minimalism and glam can’t go together. But just take a look at this minimal chic bedroom and you might start changing your mind. When mixed in the right way, these two seemingly opposite styles work quite well together. You’ll notice the bold choices in materials, shapes, and patterns—that’s all glam. But the minimalist design elements come in with the approach to form, styling, and color palette.

The Key Elements

How did we bring this look to life? Velvet and gold accents add luxe touches to this look—but you’ll notice that they’re rendered in sleek shapes and minimal designs. (Like the upholstered platform bed and the sleek but sculptural bench.)

Pops of pattern add a playfulness to this bedroom while the mid-century modern-inspired dresser and nightstand ground the look. The muted palette is punctuated with pink and warm woods, for a look that’s high-contrast but still neutral.

It’s perfect if you…

Love a little drama and glam but believe that a truly chic look is achieved with less.

The Look: Industrial Minimalism

Industrial style and minimalism are two styles that agree very nicely. This look comes to life through a minimalist approach to shape, function, and color but an industrial approach to materials.

The Key Elements

Raw woods and mixed metals add a rugged flair and show some history—bringing this look to life. Specifically, we see this in the platform bed, which features exposed metal and rough-looking wood. Sculptural forms abound, from the oversized round mirror to the table lamps and the decorative objects on the dresser.

But everything has a no-frills, non-fussy approach. The muted, neutral color palette—with crisp whites, dark woods, and a splash of gray—helps give this minimalist bedroom a spare, crisp, and clean vibe.

It’s perfect if you…

Like the depth and ruggedness of industrial materials but want a bedroom that’s still a minimalist retreat.

The Look: Mid-century Modern Minimalism

Here’s another mid-century take on minimalism, but with a little less “mod.” It features a bold approach to color, which is something that doesn’t usually work with minimal designs. But it certainly works here!

The Key Elements

What makes this space so unique is its very thoughtful approach to colors—used in just a few places but creating major impact. Blue and orange are complementary colors, but the colors aren’t just tossed around. Rather, they’re very intentionally placed in pieces that visually draw the whole room together. You’ll also notice that the shapes of individual pieces are tailored and streamlined for a very sleek look throughout.

It’s perfect if you…

Love minimalism but can’t give up color!

The Look: Refined Connoisseur

If you love classic, formal details and ornamentation, with just a touch of frill—but you also love clean, spare rooms—then this is the style for you! Refined connoisseur is an unlikely combination, but it certainly delivers. It embodies the relaxing quality of minimalist designs—with a bit of added flair.

The Key Elements

What brings this style to life is the combination of classic patterns and shapes with spare and clean styling. However, even the classic forms are more pared-down versions—like the lamps, the headboard, and the nightstands. They have classic shapes but are presented with more restrained, minimal styling. The muted color palette helps instill calm and drives home the minimalist vibe. What results is an elegant space that’s timeless yet modern.

It’s perfect if you…

Gravitate toward the formality of classic design but still love a spare, clean look.

The Look: Bold Minimalism

This room is a bold, graphic take on minimalism. It features a high-contrast, black and white color palette and bold geometric patterns that are certainly at home in minimalist designs—but with an unexpected combination of both traditional and ultra-modern elements.

The Key Elements

You’ll notice the traditional design elements in the spindle bed frame. This adds an approachable warmth to an otherwise very graphic space. However, the simplicity of the design and the black finish still feels pared down and sleek and plays up the geometric vibe. The ultra-modern moments show up in the mix of materials—lucite and metal—which you can see in the lamp and luggage stools. Meanwhile, the abstract art ties in the black and white palette while creating some visual impact.

It’s perfect if you…

Want to design a kids room or guest bedroom that’s bold and unexpected.

Ready to design your minimalist bedroom?

Want some help with your minimalist bedroom interior design? Learn more about Modsy’s design services and how an interior designer can help bring your vision to life on our Interior Design 101 page!

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Modsy Collections: The Mod Collector

Introducing Collections!

We are excited to introduce our new Collection Series! In this series we will be presenting a variety of styled collections carefully curated for you to discover new products, makers, and styles you’ll love. Look out for the new collections here on the blog or sign up to have design inspiration delivered directly to your inbox.

If you find an item you love (or are taken by the entire collection) but aren’t quite sure how it could work in your home, Modsy is here for you! When you purchase a Modsy design package you can see exactly how any of our featured collections would translate into your own space. Just imagine the possibilities!

Our first featured collection is based on one of our most popular style guide categories, the Mod Collector. The Mod Collector blends together a mix of classic mid-century modern pieces with accessories that showcase unique personality and taste.

This collection presents the Mod Collector sensibility, but with a Minimalist styling. Inspired by a modern Scandinavian feel, the pieces are characterized by a pared down palette of neutral blacks, whites, and creams with accents of natural wood and leather to add a bit of warmth and depth to the space. There is a lovely simplicity and brightness to the collection, managing to strike that tricky balance between a living space that is both sophisticated and inviting.

Design Within Reach

West Elm

Artfully Walls


Scandinavian Designs

Trying to visualize how this collection would look in your home? Let us do it for you! Get started today!