Minimalistic décor isn’t just a fleeting trend. It’s gaining momentum as people are looking to simplify their lives and value experiences over the accumulation of ‘stuff’. Minimalism can make homes look spacious, beautiful, and has been associated with improved health. Those who declutter and work towards living in a minimalist home report reduced stress. It’s also easier to clean and dust without so many knickknacks taking up shelf space!

The basic thought behind minimalist décor is the principle that less is more. Rooms are simplified, with each item in a room serving a purpose. One of the biggest complaints of those trying to embrace a more minimalist style is a lack of warmth and personality, or that the space will look like a furniture showroom instead of a home.

The good news is that minimalist space doesn’t have to be without personality, flare, or your favourite family photos. For you to love your home it needs to reflect you, and this can be achieved with a little work. A minimalist space can be warm and inviting as well as functional. While this may seem like an impossible task for newbies to minimalist décor, there are some simple things you can do to curate the perfect, welcoming, minimalist space. Here are 10 ways to warm up your minimalist space.

Quality First

In addition to the less is more principle of minimalism, the adage of quality over quantity is key to creating a room that is decorated with functional, durable furniture that will be able to handle people using it day after day, year after year. When shopping for items think about their per use value, not just the sticker price. Quality goods, whether they’re new or gently used, will augment the beauty of your aesthetic and make it last for the long haul. Make sure your space is physically comfortable for those who will be spending time there, as visual appeal means nothing if no one wants to spend time seated in your living room because your couch hurts their back.

Streamlined, Not Stark

A lot of people mistakenly think that minimalism means getting rid of any items that aren’t functional. It doesn’t. Minimalism is about only selecting the items you love the most, the ones with the most personal meaning. It’s about paring down, not removing altogether. Items that have personal meaning will go a lot further in warming up your space than those that were purchased in an accessory store. Accent your space with travel mementos, family photos, and items that you want to put front and centre. Don’t be afraid to rotate items, monthly, or seasonally.

Working With White

Those who are just getting started in minimalist décor often aren’t quite ready to use an all-white colour palette fearing it will look too sterile or clinical in their home. Design expert Nicole Heininger told Architectural Digest to look at white as a beginning point to layer an array of materials and tones, not simply as the absence of colour. Heininger says, “Materials such as stone, ceramic, and glass can all be white, but each has a different characteristic inherent to its materiality.” Heininger also adds that white palettes can include hints of pink or yellow to increase feelings of warmth and welcome in a casual space, whereas grey and blue tend to work best for ultramodern minimalist spaces. To work with the layering of white on white, use both glossy and matte or flat finishes to further the look of any layering.

Softening Up Severity

If you get the feeling that your uncluttered room looks too severe, look to the lines and colours of your furniture. Something as simple as a warm honey-toned or rich walnut or cherry wood piece of furniture can provide a sense of balance. Furniture, decorations, and artwork with rounded edges, not angular lines, will help to soften your overall look.

Texture, Texture, Texture

Whether you’re working with white, off-white, or other colour schemes, texture is a fun and simple way to warm up a room. Look for materials and fabrics in a variety of textures for your furniture, pillows and cushions, curtains, rugs and throws. Leather, wool, velvet, as well as wall panelling can be used to increase the texture and depth in your space.

Great Big Artwork

An amazing piece of art can be big, bold, and a part of your minimalist design. Interior design expert Alessandra Wood told Apartment Therapy, in minimalist design to embrace, “Great art. When art is your statement piece in the room, you create a focal point that distracts one from focusing on the minimalist vibe. Use art to create a central, conversation piece.”

A Touch Of Vintage Can Go Along Way

Vintage, upcycled, and recycled materials can add a fun bit of character to your space. They are charming, often better on your budget, and the environment, and bring a touch of whimsy to any room. When displaying your knickknacks take a moment to space them appropriately. Items that are vintage, flashy, or a little worn (like your childhood teddy bear) will need a little extra white space around them to make them pop just right, all while maintaining a minimalist feel.

Minimalist Colour Palette

In adding a touch of colour to your space think about making it serene, not boring, bold, but not overwhelming. Don’t avoid colour altogether, simply select one colour tone and roll with it. You can add this colour for pillows, placemats, upholstery, or in your paint. A splash of paint on an accent wall, an item of furniture, or the ceiling can create warmth without adding any clutter.

Inspired By Nature

Adding some nature to your space can help add a rustic, warming feel. Consider adding plants to any room, a vase full of fresh cut flowers, or a centre piece, wreath, or other focal point that is made of natural materials.

Literal Warm Up

Literal warmth also evokes a feeling or warmth for a space. Why do we think that people are so drawn to candles, fireplaces, and campfires? A fireplace can help add warmth to your space, and keep you cozy on chilly nights. Never underestimate the power of a statement blanket over crisp white linens in a bedroom, or to cuddle up under on your couch.