Minimalism has been a popular interior design style for quite a few years, and it doesn’t seem to be on the way out any time soon. Defined by clean lines, a neutral, monochromatic palette, paired-down furnishings, and a lack of clutter, minimalism evokes simplicity and calm. However, at times, it can cross the line into feeling cold. So today our team at Ellecor Interior Design discusses 10 ways you can create a minimalist living room that still feels cozy.
1. Incorporate natural materials
One of the best ways you can create warmth in a space is to bring in natural materials through furniture and decor. Materials such as wood, wool, rattan, jute, cowhide, clay, and even stone exude a warmth that is not found in many manufactured materials. Think of the difference between a wooden dining table and a metal dining table. The wooden table just feels cozier.
2. Choose a warm color palette
As we mentioned above, minimalism typically follows a neutral, monochromatic color palette. To help your space feel cozy, choose a warm monochromatic color palette over a cool, neutral color one. Stay away from grays and blues and instead opt for colors like taupe, beige, creams, and soft whites.
3. Add pops of color
Even though minimalism utilizes monochromatic color palettes, that doesn’t mean you can incorporate a bit of color here and there. Pops of color can help create dimension when contrasted against lighter, more neutral colors.
However, to keep things from feeling too harsh, you’ll want to choose colors that still fall on the warm side of the color and aren’t too bold. We suggest trying colors like terracotta, goldenrod, or plum.
4. Play with texture
When choosing furnishings, opt for pieces that have texture. By mixing different textures, you can create dimension and depth even if you’re sticking to a monochromatic color palette.
Also, tactile pieces feel warmer to the touch. Think of the difference between the way a fuzzy fleece feels compared to a windbreaker. Trying bringing in texture through fabrics (like boucle or wool), art, tapestries, and rugs.
5. Use lighting strategically
Lighting can make a big difference in the way a room feels. There are multiple ways you can use lighting to create a cozy vibe in a minimalist space. To start, choose the right lightbulbs. Lightbulbs come in different colors, which are measured on the Kelvin scale. According to CNET.com lightbulbs typically come in four colors.
- Soft white (2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin) is warm and yellow, the typical color range you get from incandescent bulbs.
- Warm white (3,000 to 4,000 Kelvin) is more yellowish-white.
- Bright white (4,000 to 5,000 Kelvin) is between white and blue tones. spaces (such as a home office or garage) and kitchens with chrome fixtures.
- Daylight (5,000 to 6,500 Kelvin) has a more bluish tone.
For a cozy vibe, stick to either a soft white or a warm white lightbulb. These colors will create a soft, glowy light that will make any space feel warm and inviting.
Second, be sure to incorporate plenty of uplighting. Uplighting, as the name suggests is lighting that shines it light upwards. Downlighting is also commonly referred to as overhead lighting. Downlighting can feel harsh and create sharp shadows. It’s easy to incorporate uplighting by adding lamps on shelves, mantles, and side tables. For an extra dose of ambiance, try hiding a lamp in a corner behind furniture. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the effect.
Finally, let in that natural light. Lots of natural light will make any minimalist space feel cozier. When choosing your window treatments, opt for sheer curtains rather than heavy opaque drapery. Linen is a great fabric choice. If you’re going to choose blinds, stick to white. And no matter what style of window treatment you choose, whether it’s curtains, shades, or blinds, make sure they open all the way in order to let in as much light as possible.
6. Don’t forget the plants
As we mentioned above, natural materials instantly add warmth to any space, and it doesn’t get much more natural than real plants. Incorporating plants in your decor makes a space feel lived-in and homey. And it’s so easy.
We recommend having a variety of types and sizes of plants. One trend we’re currently loving is the trees as indoor plants. We love the way they look in an oversized pot. Consider adding a Arbequina olive tree or ficus Audrey tree to your collection. When thinking about pots, again stick to natural products like stone, terra cotta, or a woven basket.
Ellecor Interior Design is Springfield, Missouri’s Premier Design Firm
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