A minimalist home is perfect for millennials. The notion of creating a space free from the clutter of our parent’s generation is very appealing. Minimalist décor suits airy apartment living and modern, architecturally edgy homes. It is exactly the type of home our parents would choose to have, which is why we automatically love the idea. After all, what child doesn’t want to do the exact opposite of their parents?
A minimalist home uses pared-down design elements to create a sense of space. The idea is to use as few elements as possible, so perhaps one sofa instead of three, and a simple shelf with one eye-catching piece of artwork instead of a set of shelves packed to overflowing with books, trinkets, and junk. It isn’t a difficult style to implement, but you do need to be ruthless. Holding on to clutter and trinkets will not work in a minimalist room. The only way to make the theme work is to throw out everything you don’t need and start from a blank canvas.
The problem with a minimalist design theme is that it is not conducive to parenting. Kids generate a huge amount of clutter. From the moment a child is born, they come with all kinds of belongings, including prams, carrycots, toys, clothes, and other accessories. You can’t throw these essentials away, but nor do you want them in your face if you are trying to create a minimalist home.
The situation doesn’t improve once kids grow up. Younger children have toys, which they like to play with and then leave out for you to trip over. Older kids have sports kit, schoolbooks, and tons of clothing that is often discarded in random places. Once your kids become teenagers, asking them to do anything, let alone tidy up, is tantamount to a declaration of war. You might want a clean, tidy, minimalist home, but your kids are not going to make it easy!
Celebrities and other wealthy people don’t have a problem. Their homes are a designer’s dream, with large, open-plan rooms and acres of white. Money makes most problems disappear. Whereas most families are forced to live in relatively small modern homes, high net worth individuals can afford mansions and vast estates. Children and their clutter are easily tidied away in rooms where guests never venture. Instead, guests and the general public only ever see pristine rooms that showcase artwork and great taste.
Here are some tips that prove you can create a minimalist home, despite having kids.
Color is an important aspect of any minimalist home and you will find some ideas on Homelilys Decor. Many designers stick with pale colors, as these create a sense of space and light. Unfortunately, white is not the best choice when you have kids – not unless you want to create a blank canvas for your little ones to express their artistic tendencies.
Instead, rather than fifty shades of white, go for pale grays, taupe, and neutral shades, with a subtle injection of color here and there to add a ‘pop’ to the theme.
Whereas a celebrity designer might choose a luxurious white, deep-pile carpet for a glamorous minimalist residence, this is clearly not going to work if you have kids. Not unless you confine them to a separate wing, at least. Luckily, there are other options.
Tiled floors are very attractive in a modern home. Tiles are often perceived as ‘cold’ underfoot, but with the installation of underfloor heating, tiled floors are wonderfully warm. And, because they retain heat, they are also energy efficient. A tiled floor is not idea for a crawling baby, but you can add rugs to soften the surface. A pale tiled floor is easy to clean, which is perfect if you have kids and pets. One swish of the mop and your dirty floor is restored to pristine cleanliness in minutes.
Laminate or hardwood flooring is another option. Wood is a wonderful counterpoint to pale walls. You can create a lovely Scandinavian minimalist theme using hardwood floors, simple décor, and pale walls. Wooden flooring is easy to fit and can be done as a DIY weekend project.
Storage is essential in a minimalist themed-room. It’s also pretty important if you have kids. Be creative with your storage solutions. Look for storage that blends into the walls. Cupboards without handles are perfect, as they offer clean lines and easy access. Build storage under stairs or in alcoves, so you can tidy away kids toys and books when they are not in use.
Floor to ceiling storage is ideal for family rooms. It is also easy to install, with flat-pack storage units available from most good DIY stores. If you have an awkward space, hire a joiner to create a bespoke unit. While you are at it, why not future proof your house with a stairlift?
A carefully chosen lamp or piece of artwork will add personality to your room, but with young children around, be careful where you place items. One or two small pieces of furniture will enhance a minimalist room. A coffee table hewn from a piece of mahogany or a small oak console table could be perfect for your room. Look for solid pieces of furniture that can withstand investigative hands and are too heavy to be moved and used as a climbing frame.
Whilst a white leather sofa might look perfect in your minimalist living room, it’s an invitation for disaster when you have kids. You can invest in a pale sofa but stick to fabric sofas with washable covers. That way your little ones can do their worst and it will all come out in the wash.
The same applies to cushions, rugs, and throws. Avoid expensive pale rugs, as these are vulnerable to spills and stains. Instead, choose brightly colored, patterned rugs that hide a multitude of problems.
You can achieve a minimalist home when kids come along, but you do need to think outside the box and be willing to use easy-to-clean materials.