Balancing Stuff and Space: 12 Inspiring "Minimal Plus" Rooms

Balancing Stuff and Space: 12 Inspiring "Minimal Plus" Rooms

A9b2474af14a5589cafb224b56c68b0f68a1fbad?w=240&h=240&fit=crop
Adrienne Breaux
Mar 23, 2016

Total minimalism can be hard to achieve for many of us who have a love of art, accessories, furniture and stuff. But often, many of us crave the peacefulness that homes described as "minimal" can offer. I think there's a type of room design that still exudes calm while celebrating some stuff. I call it: "minimal plus."

Minimal plus is what it sounds like: It embraces the idea of stripping away unnecessary items in the home to craft rooms that are stylish assemblages of just the essentials. There's a celebration of negative space, a love of clean white walls, a delight in clear surfaces and a reverence of craftsmanship.

But the "plus" part is what stands between a stark (perhaps too empty, too cold?) minimal room and a warm, cozy minimal plus space.

Minimal plus is a design style with restraint...but has quirky bonus details to create really interesting spaces (despite less "stuff"). Below, find an array of rooms that are minimal...plus a little something extra. I call out what I think that something extra is to inspire anyone hoping to marry the desire for minimalism with a little more stuff.

What makes it minimal: Clean white walls, simple materials and furniture choices

What makes it minimal plus: The vintage detail of the old phone, the bold contrast between the warm wood of the dining table and the white dining chairs

What makes it minimal: A lack of clutter

What makes it minimal plus: The quirky, graphic shower curtain that shows off a sense of humor

What makes it minimal: Lots of white, not a lot of stuff

What makes it minimal plus: The embrace of truly modern, well-made furniture that become statement pieces, as well as a wall finish that has a lot of interest and variation

What makes it minimal: Clean lines, lots of white and a simple crisp bed covering

What makes it minimal plus: Allowing the architecture of the window (as well as the view) create a beautiful, calming mood

What makes it minimal: No art on the clean white walls, furniture with simple lines

What makes it minimal plus: Two small spots of bright color and an unexpected hanging art piece

What makes it minimal: Fresh white walls, no rug, little clutter

What makes it minimal plus: Small vignettes that fill the space without overwhelming it. Simple patterns that add depth to the room (without being too busy)

What makes it minimal: Not a lot of "stuff," allowing even a small space to feel airy

What makes it minimal plus: Pairing simple furniture with a bold and colorful modern art piece and accessorizing with nature

What makes it minimal: Not a lot of design elements and clean white walls

What makes it minimal plus: Layering of earthy, natural textures and a well-placed hanging plant

What makes it minimal: Not a lot of stuff or pattern in a small space and all the art pieces having a simple color palette

What makes it minimal plus: Creating an accent wall out of wood creates texture and architectural interest and allows the few elements that are in the space really stand out

What makes it minimal: Just the essentials when it comes to furniture

What makes it minimal plus: The addition of a small, asymmetrically hung piece of art that creates interest in an otherwise symmetrically arranged space

What makes it minimal: Simple furniture and a simple color palette

What makes it minimal plus: Including a colorful collection of small items, but arranged minimally on two sleek shelves against a crisp white wall

What makes it minimal: No rug, not a lot of art and simple lines

What makes it minimal plus: The use of very interesting chairs and the visual rhythm their arrangement makes in the room, paired with a simple but intriguing tabletop item

Created with Sketch.