In this blog post, I give a full breakdown of warm minimalism, an interior design style on the rise. When I am on Instagram, I am constantly coming across beautiful pictures of this style and I thought it makes sense to share the information you need to achieve this look in your space. By the end of this post, you will learn the
– Background of warm minimalism
– The elements of warm minimalism
– And how you can realistically implement it into your home
Background of warm minimalism
To know better about warm minimalism we must first understand a little bit more about minimalism. The minimalist movement started post World War 2 and is rooted in an art movement when some artists started self-consciously renouncing the prevailing art style of those days. They thought the art style had become stale, and too academic and they questioned conventional boundaries. That is when a wave of new influences and redefined styles started emerging. It later on expanded into design, architectural aesthetics and even music production.
Minimalism in interiors is constituted by simple lines and silhouettes that have sharp edges accentuated with glass, steel and metals. There is a use of cool neutral colours especially black and white to give a clean aesthetic, and lack of clutter leading to connected open plan concepts and even a futuristic touch. Minimalism also has an emphasis on structure and functionality rather than beauty and deco. To sum it all up, minimalism is all about simplicity, neutral colour palettes and clean lines.
However, not everyone finds minimalism swoon-worthy. Some find it sterile, void, and cold and some even go further to call it soulless. And this is where warm minimalism enters. Warm minimalism is an injection of colour and warmth into minimalism. Being a mixed blend of wabi-sabi, Scandinavian minimalism and Mediterranean style, warm minimalism is simply put organic minimalism. It strives to create a sense of peace and serenity, which is still warm and inviting. Warm minimalism in addition to the main elements of minimalism has a strong emphasis on comfort, cosiness and giving a space a homey feeling. Warm minimalism achieves this by adding warmth and interest using natural textures and elements. If you want to know about how to make your home look and feel cosy then you might want to refer back to this post that breaks down 8 simple steps to achieve that.
There are three guiding principles to achieving warm minimalism.
- Less is more always
If you truly want to embrace the minimalist design look and feel, you have to know that it is not about how much you have and own but rather about achieving better design and aesthetic through simplicity. The first step I want you to do is to make a list of all the furniture you already have in the home room by room. The aim here is to sit down, think and reflect on what you have and not run off to the store to buy new furniture. The most durable and high-quality items that you own are going to set the base for your minimalist interiors.
Again, the principle is to use what you already have and always choose quality over quantity.
2. Declutter and organize
Now I want you to look around your space, what do you see? If there are pieces of paper, car keys, shoes and random stuff that is hanging around which perhaps started in our bag and somehow ended on the kitchen counter then we have some work to do. Decluttering and organizing your space so that it stays neat is an important part of minimalism. Let us refer back to that list you made earlier, ask yourself the following questions
– Which do you love?
– Which do you need?
– Which provides practical value to you and your family?
The goal is to narrow down the stuff that you see to this sweet spot. If you can get rid of the rest of the things way to go! But if you can’t that’s also okay, the key here is to think of some clever storage solutions like hidden storage drawers under your bed, baskets under benches or some multifunctional furniture like ottomans which serve a purpose as a coffee table but also provide seating and storage!
3. Narrow it down
Now that you have the list of the things that are most valuable to you, these are the ones that will set your foundation. To make sure that we have narrowed down this list, ask yourself this question: if my house was on fire what would I grab first?
Now let us get to the fun part. I am going to breakdown some elements which you might want to keep in mind.
- Let the sunshine in – minimalism has an emphasis on airiness, which can be achieved by making use of natural light. You do not want heavy drapery to be blocking or filtering the incoming light. The best case is to have no curtains at all but if that is not possible, then at least use sheer white curtains paired with blinds, which you can open and close when you need.
- Choose a neutral colour palette. For a classic minimalistic interior, your base colours should be subdued hues to create a feeling of calm and fresh looking. Natural tones should also be incorporated for example brownish tones through a jute fibre rug, a wooden coffee table and a rattan chair. Some tips to keep in mind are yellow undertones give white paint a warmer and creamier appearance while blue undertones give it a crisper cooler look. If your space has a lot of natural light it will likely look warmer and to balance the room you can use a cooler shade of white. On the other hand, rooms, which are artificially lit with LEDs or fluorescent lighting, tend to look cool so go warmer with your paint colour.
- To hone in on the warm minimalist look you want to incorporate some natural elements such as rattan, wicker, wood, jute, leather, linen, concrete, bamboo, cork etc.
- Big leafy plants are always a great addition to a minimalist space such as birds of paradise or a Chinese bamboo plant and many other options
- When in cooperating metals, you want to avoid the use of steel, silver, nickel or chrome because they are cooler metals but you want to introduce warmth by the use of warmer metals like gold, copper and brass.
- Lighting – a room can never be fully furnished with just one source of lighting. Lighting must be layered in any space to increase ease of function when in the space and make it cosier. For warm minimalism, you can add a beautiful standing lamp and remember to get the correct bulb too. Getting the right temperature and brightness for your light bulbs right is so important and it does not necessarily cost you extra money.
- You want to get the Lumens, which is how bright a lamp is and the Kelvins, which is the temperature of a bulb, right. An 800LM bulb might be great for a lamp in the corner of the living room, but I like something softer, like a 400 for the bedroom. Alternatively, even a 200 for an exposed bulb! Fewer lumens for an exposed bulb are ALWAYS best.
- You have probably noticed some light bulbs look a lot warmer, or orange even for example the typical Edison bulb while some look so blue! That’s Kelvin’s colour in a nutshell and you have power over that. The colour of a bulb can affect everything from the mood of an entire space to the way a paint colour looks–it is important. My go-to temperature in Kelvins is 3,000, and for lamps, I prefer 2,700. This range is the best to give a good soft white which is pleasing, refreshing, inviting, warm and cosy.
- Lastly, remember to keep things personal. There is no need to make an exact copy of someone’s space because ultimately you want your space to support your needs and reflect who you are. You want to feel comfortable and invited and more so, you want your home to cater for your needs. So do not be pushed into a certain form. Apply these principles to your lifestyle and give warm minimalism your take and definition that will work for you.
To round up this post we discussed that warm minimalism is an organic take on minimalism. It is achieved by adding natural textures and tones to make the space feel inviting and cosy. It is still deeply rooted in the principle of less is more and you can easily achieve it by
- Decluttering and organizing
- Using clever storage solutions that keep everything streamlined
- Adding natural fibres like jute, wood and rattan
- Using a great lighting scheme.
Leave a Reply