Cosy minimalism sounds at first glance like an oxymoron! Cosy is synonymous with comfy and full interiors whereas minimalism is for empty, sometimes cold interiors. So, what does cosy minimalism really mean? Well, minimalism is a lifestyle with a focus on less. Having a couple of selected decorations on the coffee table is okay, but in a minimalist home we usually see fewer colours, furniture and smaller ornaments and decoration items.
A fundamental figure within modern, minimalist design is Charlotte Perriand, who was a French architect and designer. As a child when Charlotte visited the hospital she was very fascinated by the plain, white empty spaces. This was particularly fascinating, since houses in France at that time were full of decoration, patterns, colours and gold. Charlotte showed great interest and talent for design from a young age, and enrolled in the Ecole de L’Union Centrale de Arts Decoratifs at the age of 17, where she studied furniture design. When she later became an architect and designer, she introduced the same empty spaces to interiors, which became the trend in the mid 20th century.
Cosy minimalism can be both simplicity and abundance; being intentional and knowing what to use in each space. It’s a way of getting the best of the two styles, restricting yourself to the minimum possible while keeping your comfort in mind.
Here are the top 8 things to consider when applying minimalism to your interiors:
1. Focus on functionality
Simplicity and functionality are keywords in minimalist design. Cosy minimalism utilises the best parts of a function-forward-design and combines them with just enough aesthetic detail to make your interiors feel comfortable and welcoming. Minimalist homes are simple but harmonious, with the purpose of being to remove unnecessary details. Furnish with minimalist base furniture and let these be the focal points.
2. Quality over quantity
Since the goal is to have as few things as possible, it becomes even more important to choose the right things. You need to think about every little detail that you bring into the room. Your goal is to create a space where everyone wants to be, and so it is important to invest in quality. Invest in timeless classics with strong form and try to avoid trendy, impulse purchases. Instead of compromising on the quality because of budget restraints, opposed buying second hand items - it’s cheaper, stylish and also so much better for the environment.
3. Layer and add texture
Create dynamics in the interior by mixing textures and pieces that contrast with each other. Let hard and soft surfaces blend together and decorate with both smooth and fluffy fabrics. Try adding a woven or knotted rug to rough wood for example, to create intriguing visual interest.
Think layer-on-layer but in the form of textures and materials - if everything is in the same material and finish the impression will be monotonous and flat. When picking out all items you want to include in your layering, make sure they have enough in common to tie them together.
4. Mix natural elements into your decor
An easy way to soften the minimalist decor is by using natural materials. It contributes with warmth and can also give a contrasting rustic touch if desired. In the bedroom, linen sheets are a nice alternative, but also details in braided jute and bamboo, natural coloured wood and ceramics contribute to a cosy feeling.
5. Don’t skimp on accessories
It’s a common mistake to become too fearful of a messy impression, but the risk is that the home will then feel sterile and impersonal. Cosy minimalism doesn’t mean to completely reject all accessories, it’s just about finding the right balance and choosing pieces that add aesthetic value to the space.
There are many beautiful details to choose from - from art work, picture frames, mirrors and candlesticks to rugs, ottomans and other personal decor details. A great accessory would be a throw with some colour to add to your simple design. Be sure to dress the walls and leave some well-chosen details for a more personalised feel in the home.
6. Explore the colour palette
Monochrome and minimalist often go hand in hand, but it is important to leave room for subtle contrasts for the impression to be inviting and vibrant. Go for solid and neutral colours, but try to up the cosy factor by using different variations. It may be as little as varying between a few shades of grey, but this simple decorating trick will give great effect to the overall impression.
7. Add more light
Make your minimalist home cosy with the right lighting. Every home needs cosy lighting and it is especially important in the minimalist home which can otherwise feel slightly cold.
Try to have at least three light sources in each room and also consider varying them by combining pendant lights with floor lamps and table lamps, according to need and taste. This floor lamp in brass is the perfect to add some warmth to a minimalist space.
8. Decorate with greenery
Whether you live in a minimalist style or not, green details will make your space more cosy instantly. The green gives life to the home and also increases the well-being. If you want to keep it minimalist and not give the greenery too much focus, you can invest in pots and vases that go in tones with the decor.