Interiors

How To Master Minimalist Style In Your Interiors

Pops of color and transparent materials are a signature of designer Na Li

Serene, clean, and pared-back, minimalist style has long been favored by designers to evoke a sense of calm in a space. Below, three interior tastemakers share the best ways to bring its benefits into your home – with a fresh take for 2024. By KATIE BERRINGTON

Lifestyle
Designer Clive Lonstein used marble to striking effect in this minimalist kitchen, while designer Molly Kidd created a serene, pared-back ranch in Austin

Less is more

“To me, the modern minimalist look is about simplicity, clean lines, plus designing with fewer pieces and with greater impact,” says Molly Kidd, principal designer at Light and Dwell. “Some key elements of the modern minimalism aesthetic are a neutral/monochromatic color palette and designing with items that hold both function and beauty.”

Cut the clutter

“Less clutter in your space allows each piece to have its moment,” says interior designer Clive Lonstein, on the first steps in a minimalist overhaul. “The biggest benefit to modern minimalist style is decluttered spaces,” agrees Kidd. “I love designing minimalist bedrooms because these spaces are meant to be a relaxing retreat. Bedrooms should be zen. Start by decluttering your space, and only using items that serve a purpose. Rather than 10 decorative pillows on the bed, try styling with one beautiful lumbar pillow.”

Modern minimalism allows each piece within a space to have its own identity without being overshadowed
Clive Lonstein
Interior designer
Less clutter is the first step to creating a minimalist aesthetic, says Lonstein
Na Li uses colored, transparent resin to add interest to a space while keeping it sleek and modern

Focus on detail and depth

“Modern minimalism is about rich materials reduced into simpler forms, focusing on detail and the depth that materiality brings to a space,” says Lonstein. “Modern minimalism allows each piece within a space to have its own identity without being overshadowed, which is a great opportunity to incorporate a beautiful traditional item. This way, each piece becomes a standout piece. This style works well in living rooms, dining rooms, and primary bedrooms, given their slightly more formal nature.”

Organic shapes and natural materials

“For me, modern minimalism looks like organic shapes and silhouettes, a pared-back palette, and natural materials,” says Na Li, co-founder of Holloway Li. “It comes to life with subtle nuances of texture and color that evoke a feeling of quiet sophistication and calm. [This] calming and clarifying power appeals to a variety of different lifestyles and settings. The emphasis on simplicity and functionality means it lends itself well to contemporary domestic settings that need to cater to the spectrum of life, which increasingly includes both work and play.”

In this Austin ranch, Molly Kidd uses tactile natural textures to add warmth to the space
I love adding in some vintage pieces to minimalist style for warmth and history
Molly Kidd
Interior designer

Bring warmth through texture

“We’re gravitating toward raw textured plaster finishes at the moment, which are a great way of embracing the modern minimalist aesthetic at home,” continues Li. “The tactile quality of the finish adds depth and visual interest to the space while ensuring it retains a sense of warmth and character, rather than feeling bland or monotone.”

Mix old and new

“I love adding in some vintage pieces to minimalist style for warmth and history,” says Kidd. “Minimalist style doesn't have to be all new items; there can be a blend of old and new.” Lonstein concurs: “Using antiques in a sparse environment, or taking elements from an antique and incorporating them into a contemporary context, brings the past into the future in a way that’s not cluttered, but thoughtful and intentional instead.”

Add the unexpected

“I would recommend adding unexpected pops of color or transparency to offset an otherwise natural backdrop – whether it be a bold accent piece or a vibrant piece of artwork – to give minimalism a contemporary update,” suggests Li.

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Vintage pieces, such as mid-century chairs, work well in a modern minimalist space