What Is The Minimalist Aesthetic Style?

By Ray Arya •  Updated: 09/23/20 •  9 min read

*Disclosure: This article may have affiliate links, so I may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

What is the meaning of minimalist aesthetic?

The minimalist aesthetic focuses on the visual aspect of minimalism and expresses a clean and fresh style in art, home design, fashion, architecture, and photography.

The minimalist aesthetic style stands for:

  • Visually appealing style

  • Clean & organized spaces

  • Few furniture

  • Neutral colors

  • Subtle accents

  • Minimal distractions

  • Maximum brightness

  • Freedom 

The word “minimalism” originated as an extreme form of an abstract art movement in the late 1950s. Therefore, it is obvious why minimalism and aesthetics go hand in hand.

That’s also why most of us associate the word with picture-perfect and bright spaces, and with few furniture in neutral colors that represent a trendy and timeless look.


The concept of the minimalist aesthetic style

A minimalist aesthetic style is known for a visually appealing, fresh, and tranquil appearance that expresses the feeling of simplicity, purity, and freedom.

If you are a visual person, the minimalist aesthetic style is most probably candy for your eyes.

No wonder home decorators, interior designers, fashion designers, and architects apply the concepts to catch our eyes and make us fall in love with picture-perfect designs immediately.

Those concepts are:

  1. Less is more

  2. Neutral, calming colors

  3. Minimal accents

  4. minimal distractions

  5. Naturalness

Why is the minimalist aesthetic design so appealing?

Minimalism, in its visual form, mostly catches our eyes for numerous reasons.

Same as living a minimalist lifestyle, a minimalist aesthetic gives us a calm and organized feeling. A clutter-free room or simple clothes in neutral colors look clean and, therefore, very pleasing to our eyes.

For example, when I sit in a too colorful room, I don’t know where to put my attention to. In a minimally decorated room, on the other hand, I can fully draw my attention to the few pieces of furniture or decoration and truly enjoy their beauty.

It automatically feels more relaxing due to fewer distractions. Additionally, minimalist aesthetic rooms seem larger, giving us the feeling of more space to move around.

The minimalist aesthetic in fashion, art, photography, and architecture

Those concepts can be applied to all visual aspects of life, including:

  • Fashion – More and more fashionistas express their style with minimalist aesthetic clothing. The message of “less is more” is a friend of minimalist fashion and serves as one of the main principles. Fashion designers use it to create simple, visually appealing, modern, and non-distracting items.

  • Art & photography – Arising from an extreme art movement, essential elements in minimalist art and minimalist photography remain simplicity, negative space (empty space), bold colors, isolation, lines, and shapes. Minimalist art pieces and photos are the opposite of overwhelm and express organization and tranquility.

  • Architecture – When we see minimalist architecture, our eyes are drawn directly to the points where the architects want them to be. They express their art with modernity and simplicity. And the same applies to home design.

Minimalist aesthetic in home design

Minimalism has become very en vogue in the world of home design over the years.

You can find endless samples of beautiful and minimally designed spaces on Pinterest, Instagram, and all over across the mainstream media channels.

And it’s not surprising that everyone loves a minimalist aesthetic style.

The “less is more” visual approach always represents natural beauty, freshness, cleanliness, feeling of large space, and calmness.

The minimal home design has found numerous fans around the globe, especially those with limited space who want to gain the feeling of having a larger and free space.

But, there is much more than meets the eye with a minimalist aesthetic.

As it follows the principles of minimalism itself, it brings along numerous gains to our overall well being.

  • The minimalist aesthetic encourages us to question mindless consumerism, pare down unnecessary stuff, and accumulate only things that bring value to our lives.

  • A minimalist aesthetic saves time, energy, and money. A simple, organized, and bright space reduces your cleaning time. Since your items have fewer things in your bright rooms, vacuuming, and polishing are done in no time.

I, for example, don’t spend hours resetting my apartment every day.

Having less stuff around has saved me hundreds of hours, and organizing my stuff takes just a few minutes.

At the end of the day, I don’t mind putting cushions in their place on the couch, cleaning up the kitchen, putting things away, etc. because there is nothing much to do.

Plus, I enjoy getting up in the morning when nothing is spread around from the previous day, and I can start my day fresh.

  • Applying minimalist aesthetics can reduce your stress levels significantly. Less mess relieves you from the overwhelm of visual clutter. You don’t have to worry about coming home from work and still have to organize your clutter and get rid of your mess, or about presenting a messy home to your friends or relatives.

If you have kids, the fewer items you have at home, the less you have to clean up at the end of the day. Imagine your home to be ready for any guests at anytime.

  • When you work from home, a minimalist aesthetic office can direct your focus to what really brings you forward. With minimal distractions that can catch your eyes, your productivity will finally be able to reach new highs.

Minimalist aesthetic design tips to get started in your home

1. Find inspiration and set goals

The idea of minimalism per se typically paints a simple and pretty picture. Just search the term “minimalist home” on Pinterest or Instagram, and you’ll see what I mean.

Those platforms are valuable sources for finding inspiration for a minimalist aesthetic home.

Make a Pinterest or a physical mood board and gather inspiration pictures for your future minimalist home, or get inspired by magazines and blogs.

Then, set a goal for your home transformation and start following the concept of a minimalist aesthetic style.

2. Declutter your home

If you are determined to make a minimalist aesthetic home, you’ll first need to start reducing your clutter, especially…

  • …items that are no longer needed

  • …visually distracting items

  • …items that are dark

  • …and items that take up a lot of space

It is critical to reduce your stuff to create a fresh and inviting space. And I encourage you to donate or sell your things instead of hiding them in storage rooms and boxes. The point is not to hide mess but to get rid of it and avoid generating new in the future.

If you need help decluttering your home and your life, check out these related articles:

3. Choose neutral colors

They say that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but somehow we can all agree that neutral colors make spaces look bigger, cleaner, and brighter.

So the next step is to gather some neutral color theme ideas. Pinterest offers tons of visually appealing minimalist color palettes. Create a board just for that purpose so that you get a broad range to choose from.

Colors that give a beautiful match for a minimalist aesthetic home include white, grey, and light colors such as cream beige, light-brown, and pastel green.

After gathering some different color schemes, you can choose a specific neutral color that best fits your taste.

Then create another Pinterest board for furniture and decor ideas that match your vision. After all, you want your home to look unique.

Finally, you will have different Pinterest boards or physical mood boards that will get you pumped up to start creating your ideal minimalist aesthetic home.

4. Add subtle accents

Some say that a minimally designed home looks boring. Obviously, a minimalist style does not meet everyone’s taste.

But you can always add some accents that represent your personal style and help your design to be more eye-catchy.

Those accents can be:

  • different textures (pillowcases, kitchen and bathroom tiles, curtains)

  • plants and greenery to enhance the natural beauty of each room

  • fine artwork for your walls

  • minimalist decor (vase, lamp, sculpture)

5. Keep it simple

Adding some subtle accents can help your rooms express your style. However, keep in mind that you want your rooms to look clutter-free and spacious.

So don’t carry it too far and choose subtle accents to represent your style.

Use the message of minimalism “less is more” to create a higher life-quality and more freedom by owning less.

Keep your wants plus your clutter and distractions few, and let the beauty of negative space express simplicity and luxury at the same time.

6. Enhance the minimalist beauty

Since we often find inspiration for beauty in nature, try to enhance your minimalist style wherever possible with the help of simple natural features, such as:

  • Natural skylight

  • Water 

  • Natural greens

  • Stunning views (over a park, garden, and other gorgeous landscapes)

Let the beauty of nature do the rest and amplify the minimalist aesthetic beauty.

Try to brighten up your rooms as much as possible and let your minimalist furniture and decor blend in with the natural atmosphere you get from outdoors through your windows.

Every natural color and light that comes into your home from outside or that bounce off from walls can help highlight your minimalist styled home.

In its whole, all minimalist aesthetic features should have a symbiotic interaction and represent simplicity and natural beauty.

Final Thoughts

If you fell in love with the minimalist aesthetic look, you should follow the principles of minimalism, which are simplicity, natural beauty, neutral colors, and subtle accents.

Keep in mind that “less is more” applies to any kind of visually minimalist form. So to truly experience the beauty of a minimalist aesthetic design, reduce your stuff to create more space to enhance its impact.

Lastly, don’t forget that though minimal aesthetic is beautiful, it is a by-product of a much bigger picture of minimalism, which is intentional living.

Ray Arya

Ray is a frugal minimalist who loves to travel and live in his self-converted camper van. He writes about the benefits of downsizing, decluttering, saving money, building wealth, and the freedom that results from the power of less. Minimalray.com is for everyone who seeks a meaningful life and is committed to contentment.

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