Guide to the Art of Warm Minimalism

Guide to the Art of Warm Minimalism

Our homes are meant to be restful and welcoming - a space where we can truly unwind and relax after a long day. But in this day and age where everyone seems to be busy and rushed, our homes can easily become suffocating and overwhelming when the stuff in our interiors start taking over. It’s no wonder that more people are choosing to live a life of minimalist simplicity.
The word minimalist might have you thinking barely furnished rooms with super sleek surfaces - a space that could appear cold and uninviting. However with the use of warm neutral tones such as taupe, tan, tobacco, blond, beige and blush, you can easily create a warm minimalist interior.
A warm neutral palette makes a minimal home more inviting and approachable, not to mention super chic. In this guide, we share with you how to create a home that's free of clutter but still embodies character and warmth.

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Black and timber accents

Get rid of that clutter

If you truly want to embrace the minimalist feel, you need to get rid of the clutter. Surfaces should be clear of piles of paper, magazines, empty cups and an uncontrolled collection of random objects.
By clearing small spaces on a regular basis, the process won't feel so overwhelming and keeping a minimalist space in your home will feel more achievable. Clear off counter tops every night, and store things away in cupboard or drawers when you are not using them. Make one day of the week your de-clutter day and tackle just one junk drawer, kitchen cabinet or closet shelf.

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Use of Warm Colours

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Clutter Free Kitchen Dining

Create a neutral base

When creating a classic minimalist interior the key is to create a clean, crisp and fresh base that will inspire a sense of calm. If you are looking to create a feeling of warmth, use warmer hues such as biscuit, greige and ecru.
Take into consideration the lighting in the room. A space with lots of natural light will look warmer, so you can balance this with a cooler shade of white. Rooms that are artificially lit can look cool, so use tones with a yellow undertone to create a warmer space.

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Wooden Furniture in Bedroom

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Base Colours

Are you a lover of colour and think that a minimalist interior will be bland or boring? Think again! Adding pops of colour to a simple design is a great way to infuse a minimal look with your style and personality.
But keep it balanced! Try to stick to one statement colour and use it sparingly. Be sure to choose solid pigments that are easy on the eye and fuse well with neutrals. Earthy style browns, blues, tans and greens work really well.

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Pop of colour in bedroom

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Coloured Furniture


Textures are key

Textures are a foolproof way to create depth and add warmth in a minimalist room. Turn up the temperature with knitted throws, chunky rugs, velvet cushions, handmade ceramics and woven baskets.
Natural materials are always full of texture and can instantly soften a space. Possible ideas would be : a leather couch, timber coffee table and lots of indoor plants. Instead of super modern sharp angles and sleek shapes, go with something more organic. Think of where you can add curves, rounded shapes, and softer lines that are a little more free-form and welcoming.

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Cozy living room


Choose quality over quantity

Keep the foundation of your rooms simple and pure, and consider each piece carefully before it enters the room. For the shopaholics among us, this may be a more challenging exercise. But by choosing to invest in classic items that will stand the test of time, rather than filling your home with impulse buys, your home will be more thoughtful and considered.
And another bonus of cutting down on the shopping sprees - it will save you money!

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Warm Living Room


Keep it simple

A minimalist space doesn’t need to be void of personality. Most successful minimalist homes reflect their owner’s taste and the way they like to live in the space.
Ask yourself what you are using the room for? How do you interact with the space, and which objects do you use most? The goal is to keep the pieces of furniture and other objects that you truly need, and also brings you joy. If you have furniture that you never use (for example that lone armchair that no one ever sits in), it's time to go. If your space is filled with meaningless knick-knacks that you have no connection to, get rid of it.
The end result should be a space filled with a carefully curated collection of items that serve a specific purpose and that are personal to you.

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Bedroom


Live by the one-in, one-out policy

If you followed the previous steps in our guide, your home will now be lovely and clutter free and filled with only your most prized possessions. However, be vigilant as clutter creep can happen even to the most dedicated minimalist. We add new things to our lives and before we even know it, the clutter builds up all over again.
To prevent this dilemma from happening at all, we recommend putting the 'one-in, one-out' rule into practice, where for every item that comes into your home, something else should go out in turn. For example if you buy a new shirt, an old shirt goes away.

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Bookcase

Invest in stylish storage

So you've cleared the clutter, applied the "one in, one out" rule, and chosen quality over quantity, but you still have items that you can't live without and that could potentially clutter your countertops. This is where you get sneaky and invest in stylish storage where all those must-have necessities can live. 
But be sure to continuously apply the first rule of decluttering to ensure that these storage spaces don't become a crazy mess. Each item should have a set place and don't allow other knick-knacks to creep in!

Cotton & Clay - The Art of Warm Minimalism - Stylish Storage

Less is more

Now that you know all the steps to styling a minimalist home, it is up to you to apply this in your own home. Remember that less is always more and simplicity is timeless. Keep it simple, but don't be boring.

Yes you are trying to create a more minimalist space, but don't be afraid to use the colours, textures and style that you love. At the end of the day it should still be a space that is reflective of your personality and feels like home!

Michelle xx

Image credits: Petra Bindel via Elle Decoration Sweden, Luft Design, JotunLaure Joliet, Ferm LivingLuft Design, Broste CopenhagenThe Merrythought, Minotti London, Entrance, Riikka Kantinkoski

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