Embrace the lifestyle trend that works wonders for your home

Scandinavian Style Attic Bedroom Interior

Summer can be a hectic and packed season for many of us, so when it comes to our homes, it’s helpful to have a place that evokes a peaceful and streamlined environment to unwind in after a long day.

Inspired largely by Japanese culture, minimalism has become one of the most popular lifestyle trends. The movement champions function, style and simplicity over busy, cluttered rooms overstuffed with too many items.

While living with less is a big part of minimalism, it’s by no means the only way to achieve a paired-back aesthetic. To make it simple, we asked experts to give us some top tips for creating a stress-free, minimal home…

  1. Give decluttering a go

“We’re all guilty of having too much stuff and many of us don’t have enough space in our homes to keep everything organised. Instead, our belongings are spilling out of cupboards, creating chaos rather than calm,” says home organisation expert Diana Spellman, founder of Serenely Sorted.

As a good rule of thumb, Spellman suggests getting rid of anything you haven’t used for the past year. “If you have two of the same item, donate the second. Get rid of obsolete technology too.”

  1. Find a place for everything

“The biggest benefits of minimalism are the relaxation, calm and serenity you can feel as a result of having less stuff and being organised – so it’s not just what is on your surfaces that matters, but how you organise your home for smooth day-to-day living,” stresses Spellman.

Essentially, you won’t feel the benefit if your surfaces are clear but you’ve shoved things in a cupboard. “It may give the façade of ‘minimalism’, but you’ll only find chaos underneath.”

Spellman starts with what she calls ‘end homes’ – creating specific places within baskets or drawers where each thing lives, so when you are clearing surfaces at the end of the day, you’re not tempted to shove it in a pile.

  1. Use mirrored surfaces to maximise space

Hanging mirrors, or choosing mirrored furniture, can bounce light around a room, making it feel bigger. You could also choose metallic accent details – whether it’s practical items like copper pans and utensil holders, or decorations like plant pots and picture frames to reflect beams of light. If metallic isn’t to your taste, white works well too.

  1. Invest in hidden storage

“Creating a beautifully organised space that suits the needs and functions of the household has never felt so important, and a custom solution helps to achieve a great balance between practicality and style,” says Rachal Hutcheson, national retail manager at Sharps. “As well as providing storage for books and decorative accessories, fitted living room furniture can help to house TV and audio equipment, efficiently hiding unsightly cables and mounts, integrating technology with style.”

If you can’t afford to invest in made-to-order cabinets, clever furniture like beds and sofas that include storage spaces or drawers can maximise space and take clutter off show.

  1. Don’t feel the need to replicate exactly what you see on social media

“Classic minimalism is characterised by extreme sparseness and simplicity – which looks stunning in photos of New York apartment lofts – but perhaps this isn’t practical for your home or flat,” says Spellman.

“Do these households have kids running riot daily and parents working full time? I doubt it. Instead, think realistic minimalism; look at your surfaces and think about reducing the number of items on display gradually.”

  1. Make the most of awkward spaces

Tight corners, the space under your stairs, the tops of cabinets and sloping loft spaces can all be put to good use with some clever design solutions.

“There are many awkward spaces within the home – and by utilising these areas, an unused part of the house can become a personalised storage hub,” says Simon Tcherniak, designer at Neville Johnson. Basically, you could be living with a mountain of unused space.

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