If you favour simplicity over maximalist design, you might think creating a living space that is equal parts calming, comfortable and stylish is an impossible task.
But minimalism doesn’t have to mean boring or sterile. Making a Scandi-inspired living room feel tranquil and warm from the moment you walk through the door is simple; just add colour, texture and ambiance. Inspired by some easy design tricks from the experts at John Lewis & Partners, we’ve pulled together 10 ways to elevate your minimalist living room, without sacrificing on style.
When it comes to minimalist living, it may feel counterintuitive to position furniture away from the walls, but not only will this give you more space to move around freely, it will also encourage conversation and allow the room breathe. Sofa designs should be clean lines in soft colours, set on legs so you can see free-flowing space underneath.
By incorporating different textures into a room you’ll add visual interest – think of it as layering up an outfit. A sheepskin rug teamed with linen cushions and a rattan footstool will create definition without fussy patterns, which can be overwhelming. If that’s too plain for you, think tassels, weaves and trims for your accessories. Mix and match them – but keep colours pale and interesting to complete the look.
White is always popular when it comes to minimalist living spaces – not only on walls, thanks to its light-reflecting properties, but also because it’s so easily adaptable to any style of home. When choosing your colours for both walls and accessories, avoid a sterile feel with warmer neutral hues rather than brilliant white. Creamy or beige tones work better than colder tints – for example, a daybed or sofa in a warm grey looks much more inviting than one in a harsher blue.
Or, follow the lead of the experts at John Lewis & Partners and opt subtle details in greys and purples; a cream or off-white rug is the perfect blank canvas to inject a little colour, pattern and texture in to a space.
A single focal point can transform a room from stark to homely. A prominent lamp, a collection of textured vases or a few large pieces of art propped up against a wall create a simple but effective impact without looking too fussy. Take inspiration from natural styles and textures.
When it comes to creating a calming, minimalist living room, clearing the clutter is essential. Storage is key for keeping items in order, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide away all your favourite books. Neatly pile books with jackets in similar hue to create a display, for instance, and position a lamp or vase on top. Wrapping books in white paper is another way to unify the colour theme.
House plants are the single most effective way to soften hard edges and large expanses of wall, while creating a tranquil feel – something all living rooms should aim for. Choose a mixed collection of natural-textured pots in different sizes, from small to large, along with hanging plants.
By adding wood wherever possible you’ll be reconnecting with nature – one of the best ways to feel more at ease in your home. Anything from wooden picture frames, console tables and trays right down to your choice of sofa leg will help evoke a sense of calm.
It goes without saying that a minimalist living space should have very little in terms of ornaments, but one essential accessory is a scented candle. The fragrance of a room instantly sets the mood – so think spa aromas, with lavender and subtle floral scents.
Regularly open up windows and curtains to refresh a room. The more natural light you let in, the more airy it will feel, especially if you’re able to create a space for gentle yoga exercises every morning. A mirror is another effortless way to boost the amount of light.
A tranquil room should make you feel relaxed from the moment you walk through the door, so make sure there are plenty of comfortable places to sit back and read a good book, enjoy a glass of wine or just daydream. Adding soft throws and cushions to daybeds and sofas is key.
For more inspiring ideas on how to create the perfect living space for you and your lifestyle, check out John Lewis & Partners