The well-known phrase ‘less is more’ was coined by Robert Browning in his poem Andrea del Sarto, and later adopted by architect Mies van der Rohe, to explain the principle of minimalist design.

As mentioned in a previous article, the essence of this style is that it is spartan and austere. Minimalism encompasses the use of precise geometric shapes, functional furniture and the combination of half tones in neutral colours. Natural stones, chrome, wood, tiles and ceramics are often used with simple and unadorned designs.

Here’s how you can dress your home while keeping it minimal.

Do you really need that?

Question the purpose of the items you own and whether they are necessary for your existence and space. Take care to avoid duplicates; this can also help with your expenses and lifestyle choices. If you decide you do need it, where will you put it? Items such as keys, sunglasses, mail or coins can be concealed in containers in cupboards or in decorative boxes on any open surface.  Bear in mind that the fewer items accumulated the better. Leftover tubes of cream, miscellaneous kitchen items, unimportant papers, countless chargers and needless accessories—are they absolutely necessary? Remember, precious items only used sporadically, such as holiday decorations and mementos, can be stored away in drawers and containers; hydraulic beds are also amazing hiding places. To achieve minimalism you need to purge, purge, purge, but obviously, be mindful rather than wasteful.

Declutter your surroundings

Look around and consider not only what you need but also what you display. Keep the amount of ornaments and trinkets to a minimum. The idea behind minimalism is to keep it simple; if you are unsure about something, you probably do not need to have it on display. The same rules apply to walls; not every wall has to have something hung on it so keep it to a minimum. Simplicity is key when it comes to patterns and fabrics so make sure they have clean lines and subdued colours. Avoid accumulating clutter by concealing wires, cables and anything that looks untidy. These can go under rugs, or inside trunks but make sure it matches the walls as well as floor colour and material. Natural materials and lines are preferred; the use of neutral colours, blacks and whites, and half tones will help avoid distractions that could clash with the exact, uncomplicated essence of your minimalist home.

Stick to it

You should be meticulous and strict with yourself about keeping the space in your home minimalist. Anyone can purge and declutter over a weekend in a burst of enthusiasm but the hard part is maintaining it that way. Be mindful that this is a long-term choice, in which you are determined to keep only the essentials, avoiding visual distractions and eliminating what you truly do not need. Try to keep your minimalist mindset in check at all times by remembering that ‘less is more’, and you will be able to embrace a life free of clutter and distraction.