How to Create a Minimalist Bedroom


Work with less to have more space and serenity in a minimalist bedroom. Keeping it simple reduces the possibility of clutter and encourages your mind to relax and expand into the relative emptiness. Minimalism doesn't mean austere, but it does mean thoughtfully curated, never busy, balanced on the edge of necessity and luxury. A minimalist bedroom is a soothing retreat from a chaotic, crowded world.

Ground and Background

  • The shell of the room is the stage on which you build the set. Keep it natural and uncluttered, using texture and monochrome or neutral colors to advantage. All-white is one option among many -- you can paint wood floors white, install white tile or stone, cover the floor with white carpet. Less stark is a blend of soft suggestions of hues -- a slate floor surrounded by walls and ceiling painted in flat white with a hint of blue or gray, a pale wood accent wall and plank floor offset by polished concrete walls and ceiling, bleached oak floors in an antique white space, terrazzo floors against walls painted in a whisper of lilac.

Bed and Beyond

  • A platform bed -- a slab of wood with a mattress resting on it -- is classic minimalism. Consider all white or all silver-gray bed linens with a down duvet instead of a bedspread or fabric quilt. If you prefer a headboard, dispense with the foot board and keep the headboard absolutely plain. Horizontal wall-mounted reclaimed weathered wood boards, a padded upholstered headboard in unbleached linen or white canvas, the back of a storage cabinet that separates the bed from the bath area -- there are many ways to prop up the pillows for reading without resorting to a traditional bedroom furniture suite. A clear polycarbonate cube is a barely-there nightstand that holds a simple reading lamp. A brushed aluminum director's chair with a natural hide sling seat is one option for putting on your shoes; another is an austere polished wood bench. Every single furnishing in the room has to earn its keep.

Warp, Weft, Walls and Wood

  • True minimalism equals pampering, not deprivation. Whatever is important enough to remain in the bedroom should have a strong, interesting texture that contributes to a sense of luxurious space and serenity. Salvaged wood planks wear their history in distress marks and variegated colors. Stucco, plaster, brick or faux painted walls provide real or illusory texture. Fabrics with rough weaves, natural slubs and irregularities, faded or overdyed pile, cotton or feather stuffing should invite you to touch them. Bamboo, cork, brushed steel, glazed pottery and glass are soft, stiff, scratchy, spongy, silky -- and deliver an abundance of surface and shine.

Outside the Box

  • While you're busy minimizing the furnishings and low-keying the color in a minimalist bedroom, lose the curtains, or at least sweep them aside and visually eliminate the border between outside and in. A view of the woods, a garden, the big sky or a distant vista is an ever-changing artwork that merges the environment with the decor. A glass wall or sliding glass door that leads to a private atrium or deck frames a nearby mountain or lake, or simply reveals the journey of a deciduous tree through the seasons, inviting the scenery to become an integral part of the decor. White or neutral hues inside the room won't overpower or conflict with the colors of nature just outside it. Install any light-blocking or privacy window treatments to "disappear" when they aren't needed.


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