After a long day sitting at a cluttered work desk, looking at a full email inbox, and getting stuck in the famous KL jam, it’s nice to have a space at home where you can de-stress.
Minimalist interior design, perhaps better than any other style, is popular in Malaysian homes as it is neat, organised, and visually calming. And there are many interior designers in Malaysia who can help you achieve this look.
What is minimalist home design?
Minimalist home designs help cultivate a feeling of emotional harmony through sharp, clean lines, simple primary colours, and efficient use of space that serves both the aesthetic and functional aspects of the home.
Minimalism first rose to popularity in the early 20th century, drawing strongly upon Japanese influence and architects such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe who paved the way for simplified design that has been stripped bare to only the most essential components.
Minimalism, born from such architectural necessity, soon found its place in interior design and other mediums such as art and music. Its prevalence can be found throughout countless mediums today— perhaps most notably in companies like Apple, known for their simplistic branding and product design.
Minimalist home design can be challenging to create as it requires just as much thought to function as it does flair. But even in a Malaysian home, you can incorporate the quintessential elements of minimalism and create the space of your dreams.
Here are five steps to achieve a minimalist home design:
Because minimalism calls for very few physical elements, a clean house is step number one. While you can always refer to a how-to guide on the subject, essentially you want to reduce the amount of unnecessary stuff.
This can be the most difficult step, but it’s absolutely crucial to creating the look. Go through your entire house, one room at a time, and decide what you want to trash, donate, or sell.
Organise & store
Allow your creativity to shine by finding inventive ways to store your household items like shoes, toys, kitchen utensils, and the like.
The key is modifying the existing spaces in your home and buying furniture that doubles as hideaway storage like an ottoman or coffee table. Don’t feel discouraged if you’re not the handy type. Simple home tweaks like adding drawer dividers will help with organisation.
As any interior designer will tell you, the right lighting is essential to a room’s overall look and feel. Because a minimalist design relies so heavily on balance, it’s important to know how the lighting and its placement will affect a room’s flow.
Use natural lighting wherever possible and for the times it’s not, consider a simple suspended light fixture to free up valuable floor space. For functional lighting, consider built-in LEDs. eLED Malaysia has a good range of lighting that could work for you.
Above: Bathroom by MIL Design. “This was a face-lift for a Semi-Detached home in Valencia, Sungai Buloh. The bathroom is done in a minimalist raw look of washed cement walls and exposed copper pipes and showers.”
Pick a colour
White is usually the most popular choice but soft, neutral colours also work well. Use a grey palette rather than black and white or change things up entirely with a primary colour like blue or red. If you go bold, be careful you’re not mixing colours, stick to one for a streamlined look.
Minimalist interior design doesn’t have to be boring. Now that your home has less of everything, it’s time to incorporate one or two conversation starters. Perhaps add a large piece of art, or if you’re ambitious, add a mural to one wall? Consider your focal points and have fun with them—a colourful angled rug or an oversized couch could also work.
While minimalists have different reasons for their choice in design, the concept continues to grow in popularity for its elegance and crisp, clean style. Whether you are lusting over a remodel for its zen-like effects or you simply love the way minimalism looks, this interior design style is feasible in any home. The beauty lies in simplicity; pay just as much attention to blank spaces as you do structural placement. You’ll soon understand why less is not only more, but better.