Are We Ready To Be A Minimalist?


We’ve all had several years of being heavily introduced to the concept of Minimalism.  It’s hard to surf the internet, read a magazine, or even watch some of the HGTV shows without hearing the word tossed around.  As always when an idea is promoted, there are people who write “how to” books on the subject.  Nearly everyone thinks they “need this” in their lives now.  What exactly does it mean to have a minimalistic decor?  “Are we ready to embrace it?”

Note:  This is a rewrite of one of our most requested topics last year.  We will be back from our Holiday Hiatus next Motivational Monday!

Minimalism and Interior Design

The word minimalism seems to have a definition that will morph into whatever form is needed.  While researching, I found it originally related to the arts and music.


Regarding Art – a trend in sculpture and painting that arose in the 1950s and used simple, typically massive, forms.

Regarding Music – an avant-garde movement in music characterized by the repetition of very short phrases that change gradually, producing a hypnotic effect.
Neither of these seems to fit the concept of today that shouts to have less, do more with less, de-clutter, and organize all with the connotation that we have to change how we live.
The definition below is more suited for the philosophy of our design firm and a much nicer way to think about how we should live.
“A person who favors a moderate approach to the achievement of a set of goals .”-unknown
 However, many of our clients are under the impression that minimalism means throwing everything out, starting over and living an almost monk like existence.   While this may work for some, for a period of time, it seems  like a tough life to maintain. Ironically, that seems to be the very opposite of the peace we are supposed to gain from living with less.
Personally, most of the info I see now about the subject, is too restrictive and gives off a very negative vibe.  Most experts in this field lay out systems that are meant to fix a lot of problems and all very quickly.  More of a just “do it” attitude.  Well, if it were that simple we wouldn’t need help or advice at all.  It would be done!  What if we looked at this process as a journey not a destination.

Growing Into Minimalism

This is a rewrite of a post we did awhile back.  The more I thought about minimalism the more I wanted to share what has worked for us for many years.  Minimalism is something we have grown into.  I have also made an effort to read, and follow, some very inspiring writers who take a more gentle approach to the idea of minimalism.  The one thing we all have in common, regardless if the subject is of decor, food, fashion, careers or families, is that we strive for contentment.  If that means fewer of this or that, so be it.  If not, the simple term “enough” works in our lifestyles.  More importantly, what is enough for me might not be for you.  I rather like the few things I am obsessive about.  They are not all materialistic.  However, the ones that are would get me kicked right out of the pages of some of the best-selling authors who write about Minimalism.
Many times pictures are worth more than words when trying to get a point across. Honestly, it is hard to find images of American homes that fit what we are trying to say. We will get there as a society but as of now it is easier to admire across our ponds.  We’d like to thank Coco Lapine who featured this home on her blog recently.  This home shows how to use our five “must haves” to successfully create an inviting, “yet in our minds”  minimalist decor.  It is not void of comfort, creates interest and is the Perfect LBD for this owner.

The 5 Must Haves For Our Minimalist Concept Decor

  • Comfort
  • Storage
  • Architecture and Lighting
  • Defined Use of Space
  • Ease of Maintenance


Use fewer pieces of furniture.  Select ones that offer ultra comfort and are pieces that appeal to you.  Creating deliberate areas of retreat is important.  Keep working until you are content with each area of your home.
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Appealing, Comfortable Upholstery and Textiles Like Area Rugs Allow for Fewer Pieces
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Bed Linens Soft and Just the Right Weight
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Natural Light Adds Appeal to Any Room
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
A Little Nature Brings Visual Comfort


Storage of all necessary and desired things is essential.  Many people associate minimal design with clean, clear spaces.  This happens not because others have no possessions, it is due to careful and adequate planned storage.
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Be Honest About What You Need to Store
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Acquire and Use the Best Things for Yourself
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Be Creative with Using Unexpected Pieces for Storage while Adding Decor


When planning a decor with the less is more concept, or in our cases enough is just right, architecture and lighting take an even more important role.  This example has beautiful, centuries old architecture that beckons all of us into this space.  We are not all blessed with these assets.  With some careful planning of finishes and furnishings, a very welcoming decor can be achieved.  Not up to the task yourself?  This is an excellent time to work with a designer that has your same philosophy.
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Outdoor Space, No Matter the Size, Makes an Impact
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Appreciate the Architectural Details you Have and Add More with Lighting
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Embrace The Perfectly Imperfect
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Add Meaningful Accessories that Work with the Architecture and the Decor


Many examples of minimal design will portray large open spaces.  In these cases, defining the space is of the utmost importance.  In structures, like this one, a series of rooms is more defined but can still benefit from a clear plan for how the rooms will be utilized.  Multiple function spaces can also be attractive.  Furnishings planned correctly for scale and balance will make the spaces feel like a home.

Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Choose New and Repurpose Furniture to Work in the Space. Dining Area can Become Home Office and Project Table
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Create Livable Areas and Mix Your Favorite Pieces. Break A Few Rules.
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Arrange Small Spaces to Live Large


When we asked our clients what they thought of when thinking about a minimalist decor they often said “white”.  Yes, many of the decor photos that are appealing to us use a light color palette.  Finishes of paints, selection of flooring, cabinets and counters will work best in a light palette if they are of easy to care for materials.  More importantly, one of the basic concepts of minimalism is to live life more simply.  Spending hours caring for materials that do not work with your lifestyle defeat the purpose.  Be mindful of what you want to care for.  We all have things important enough to use that will require a little tlc.

Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Quality Materials in High Traffic Areas are Easier to Maintain
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Choose Textiles that Work for Your Lifestyle. Design with this in mind. Function First = Forever Pieces
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Washable Bed Linens Will Patina with Time
Coco Lapine Scandinavian Minimalism Design
Use Color and Design Palettes than Compliment Each Other
Most of our friends and family would say we are minimalist.  If using our terminology of having a lifestyle where we have enough of what we need to be content is considered…then yes we are happy to wear the badge of Minimalism proudly.

What is your idea of a less is more decor? 

Now you can share LBD via text!


  1. Hi Laurel, happy new year to you! I thoroughly enjoyed this post and it was very refreshing to see how you exploded some common minimalism myths. The photos look like something from my house of dreams! Wonderful post, Lxxx

  2. I agree with your moderate approach. However, I want some patterns in my decor and objects, art, photos, collections that personalize my space. Furthermore, I am uncomfortable living or wearing all white.

    1. We agree, “all white”is a misconception of our approach to clients who want to pursue minimalism in their decor. We love to help clients incorporate personal tastes and make selections of what to keep vs what to toss! Thank you for your comment.

  3. What a great topic for a blog post!! I always love looking at these type of photos, but it’s funny because it’s not how I’d like to live. Just like with my clothing options I love color, print, and lots of it! In fact I usually describe my style as a maximalist. And I’m probably like that to a degree in my home Decor. But it does make me wonder why I love these photos so well?
    Although I will admit that I don’t like a lot of clutter. And that’s probably because my moms house has a lot of clutter and it bothers me so I like to be the opposite. Probably more than you wanted to know ha ha
    Ps. And yippee! I did get this email today

    1. Never too much info! We live a step up from these photos but have certainly limited what we choose to keep each time we make a move. To each his/her own works!

    1. Thank you. The thing I like best is the simplicity of a less is more decor.

    1. We do get inquiries about living with less in our homes often. We strive to reach all our clients goals. Minimalist decor is so very personal. Thank you for your comment.

  4. I love how you explain minimalism in the concept on interior decoration. Having a small space forced me to avoid collecting things that I don’t need. I started my decluttering challenge last year and it felt great to only have the things that I need at home. The maintenance is easier and it makes the space more relaxing.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Minimalism is such a wide open topic and one that can work for everyone on our own terms. For many years, small spaces have been our passion to design. Personally, I love showing myself how much I can accomplish in a smaller space…especially in the kitchen.

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