May 21, 2013

Minimal versus ‘cosy’ home interior design

With many of us facing an ongoing struggle for space, going minimalist can have its advantages in terms of keeping our homes clean, fresh and manageable. But for some, this rather brutal take on interior design can be too cold, too faceless, leaving many to stick to their more ‘cosy’ style of home décor. So is there a way to be minimalist without leaving homes devoid of all personality?
What is minimalist?
Minimalism is all about space, clean lines and removing all the clutter from sight. Creating a minimalist home gives a peaceful, more purposeful environment where each piece of furniture and décor is there for a reason. A minimalist home has the benefit of being easier to clean, to keep tidy and gives us the space we crave so much.
What is ‘cosy’?
A cosy space in the home is at the other end of the spectrum. Creating a cosy room is all about generating warmth and homely comfort with our layout, objects and furnishings, often including lots of unusual or quirky items in the design. The cosy home has lots of ‘clutter’, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but in a home where space is at a premium it can start to feel a little claustrophobic. Not to mention all the dusting there is to do!
A happy medium?
Most people will fall somewhere in between the two extremes. A desire to maximise the available space and create a home with less clutter and more purpose lends itself to some minimalist touches, but a fear of creating a space that is too cold incites us to bring in more decorations and quirky items to freshen up the face of the room.
So is there a way to create a perfectly minimal room that is still warm and comforting? Here are some ideas for doing just that:
· Colour: Minimalist homes are traditionally very white or grey with very little colour injection. But why? Add in a splash of colour with a bright rug or some statement pieces of furniture and instantly the room feels more homely.

· Materials: Use as many natural materials as you can to create a sense of warmth in an otherwise minimal environment. Think about reclaimed wood, wool rugs, linen napkins etc.

· Texture: Add visual interest to an otherwise monochromatic colour scheme by being inventive with the textures in the room. Go for things like hammered metal table tops, chunky hand knitted throws and smooth, polished metal embellishments as a funky alternative to frills.

· Decorations: Rather than trawling the home interiors shops for expensive designer pieces, try using things that have more meaning and purpose to them. Sticks you have gathered on a walk, unusual rocks found at the beach and simple plants or vases of flowers will create a lovely, organic look for your home.

· Light: Make the most of natural light by keeping window dressing to a minimum. You don’t want to have to redesign your window locations around your interior wishes, so design your room to maximise the window light. Use mirrors or polished, reflective surfaces to bounce the natural light around the space and create warm, comforting glows in every corner.

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