If you’re president of your local chapter of the “Less is More” club, no doubt you love all things minimalist. While minimalism is certainly a popular common room style right now (it pairs particularly well with modern design, although the two are not synonymous), it seems to be less prevalent among bedrooms. A minimalist bedroom can be tricky – there is a narrow range between cold and barren and aesthetically minimalist, and the successful latter can be challenging to accomplish. But let’s look at a few of the basics of creating your own minimalist bedroom.
First of all, what is a minimalist bedroom, really? Inherently, and arguably more than any other design style, minimalism demands organization and clutter-less-ness. To incorporate this style into a bedroom is hard because, really, a bedroom is comprised of so few parts that anything extra will significantly alter the presence of minimalist design. So how do you know what is extra and what isn’t?
Minimalist Bedroom: The Bed.
Let’s start with the biggest piece of furniture in the bedroom, which is typically the bed. The right bed, obviously, is critical in carrying out your minimalist ideals, simply because of its size and immediate presence in your room. For the minimalist bedroom, you want your bed to be visually lightweight and clean-lined, including platform beds.
Platform beds tend to be visually lightweight; some are virtually nonexistent, which is great for the minimalist bedroom. They are simple and straightforward, which means they don’t use detailed design elements to distract from the look you’re going for, which is minimalist. In addition, low-profile characteristics usually feel more minimalistic, simply because they take up less visual space in the vertical plane. You can even forgo the platform bed and go with a simple box spring or metal frame to stay within your budget.
Minimalist Bedroom: The Mattress.
After you’ve found your low-profile bed, it’s time to consider the mattress that you use on top of it. Generally, minimalist bedrooms contain mattresses that are 10” or thinner. The good news is, 10” is a relatively standard mattress thickness, providing plenty of support and comfort. But, let’s be honest, it’s certainly not plush. Minimalist bedrooms don’t tend to gravitate in that direction, generally speaking.
Minimalist Bedroom: The Bedding.
Now that your bed and mattress have laid the foundation for your minimalist bedroom, it’s time to select the bedding that will be the proverbial cherry on top. Bedding for a minimalist bedroom should be, in general, simple, understated (not brash, loud, or distracting), and free of frills. Black, grey, and white is not necessary – minimalist bedding can be a color, but it tends to be more on the tonal (grey) side of whatever color you’ve chosen. Also, the number of pillows should be nominal to complete the minimalist bedding aesthetic.
Minimalist Bedroom: The Furniture.
Bedrooms don’t tend to require much in the way of extraneous furniture, and minimalist bedrooms certainly eschew all furnishings that are unnecessary. The reason is that additional furnishings, no matter how small or large, can quickly alter the spare, minimalist feeling to one of generic bedroom-ness; you lose your special minimalist bedroom appeal with too much furniture. There’s certainly truth in the statement, “less is more.”
Nightstands make the cut of furniture that works in a minimalist bedroom, though. They are useful in helping to maintain that critical clutter-free aesthetic, after all, but you’ll want to choose yours wisely. A basic nightstand should be selected for its ability to provide a bit of storage, a resting place for sleep-related electronics (e.g., alarm clock, phone), and perhaps a bedside lamp. To complement your bedroom’s style, make sure the nightstand you select is proportionate, or even on the smaller side, simply designed, and clean-lined.
Ah, the dresser. This is a personal choice that may or may not be required in a minimalist bedroom. Perhaps you prefer to hang your clothes in the closet and only require a small storage space for smaller clothing items; this would probably not warrant a dresser but rather a storage basket or two in the closet, and your minimalistic design will thank you. But if you do need a dresser, select the design that best fits your needs and space – and not more. There are vertical, horizontal, and/or artistic options when it comes to fitting a dresser into your space. Whatever you choose, opt for a single piece that will meet your needs. You don’t want anything bigger than that, but you don’t want anything smaller, either, as that will require you to (a) clutter your room with clothes that don’t fit in the dresser, or (b) buy another piece to store the extras. Either option is detrimental to the successful minimalist bedroom, with its sense of order and cleanliness.
Let’s look a little at the décor and art of your minimalist bedroom. It’s recommended that one or two small but poignant pieces dramatically change the outlook of a room, so if you feel the need for artwork or extra décor, stick to that guideline. Another way to incorporate a feeling of accessorizing without actually doing it is to choose a lighting fixture that is artistic in and of itself.
Very few places or spaces, minimalist or no, are damaged stylistically by a well-chosen plant. Of course, if your thumb is as black as they come, you may opt for a smaller, faux potted plant or silk tree. But the incorporating of a simply potted piece of greenery (one or two will do the trick; more than that, and you encroach into non-minimalism) into the minimalist bedroom can instantly breathe life into a minimalist space, especially since there are so few other décor elements. Rubber plants, bonsai trees, or ferns are great places to start.
Minimalist Bedroom: Lighting.
Although we mentioned one strategy for choosing a light fixture for your minimalist bedroom in the art & décor section, that’s certainly not the only way. Light itself plays a major role in the feeling of an interior space, as we all know, and a lighting fixture has a large impact as well. Make sure you choose a lamp (the bedside lamp is probably the primary lighting fixture you’ll be dealing with, other than the main overhead light) that works with your goals, including having well-designed, clean lines.
Lighting that doesn’t meet the actual lighting needs of a space isn’t even worth having in the space, so be sure you choose a piece that is functional. If you’re selecting bedside lamps, be sure they are able to illuminate whatever you might need them to light up – a book, a computer, or whatever. And the lamp really can, and should, go one of two directions aesthetically: it should either stand out as its own major design element, or it should harmonize seamlessly with the rest of the minimalist bedroom pieces. Either/or, but not between.
That’s the main strategy for creating your own minimalist bedroom. Here are a few other points to keep in mind: Some designers feel that a minimalist bedroom should be monochromatic, specifically with white, cream, or pale grey. This is negotiable, as your bedroom should reflect YOU, but it’s an idea. Furthermore, plenty of natural light is always a good thing in a minimalist space – let Mother Nature decorate for you, in a way. Designing your minimalist bedroom is “about harmonizing a space and creating a perfect balance of leaving certain spaces in a room void of furnishings and accessories. The colors, patterns, furniture, and accessories will definitely depend on one’s taste”. Most of all: Enjoy the process!