“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”

― Joshua Becker, Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life

Minimalism in home design is often interpreted as clean lines and less clutter. While in some cases, that may indeed be the case, true minimalism is about choosing the things that matter, making them central to our lives, and finding the balance between the inhospitable sterility of owning next to nothing and the over-the-top collection of too much stuff.

Minimalism in home design is about editing – choosing the items that bring you the most joy, simplifying one’s lifestyle to slow down, paring down on the excess. It is the perfect approach for spaces with smaller footprints.

In the words of French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

To simplify in this way, start with a few questions:

  • Which spaces of my home do I truly use?
  • Which areas are rarely utilized?
  • Which items in those spaces serve a valued function?
  • Which pieces bring me great joy?
  • Which items have deep meaning?

Once you know the answer to these questions, the editing can begin. If it helps, use numbers. Reduce the number of items by half. Step back and review. Then reduce the number of items by half again. Step back and review. Continue the process until the space feels open and inviting.

There is a subtle beauty in a simply decorated home. Reducing the number of objects offers a chance for one truly loved piece to shine, to take center stage, to be a strong focal point in a space.

As Mies Van Der Rohe said in 1886, “Less is more.”