An alternative to minimalism: Cozy Minimalism

By Thiyashi Koththigoda | Published: 2:00 AM Aug 29 2020
Home An alternative to minimalism: Cozy Minimalism

By Thiyashi Koththigoda

Minimalism is a popular interior design trend that can be incorporated into your home for a sleek, clutter-free, and functional look. But if the minimalists look is a bit too cold and stark for you, cozy minimalism is the way to go. By integrating comfy and warm design details into a minimalist base, you can achieve a functional yet comforting environment for your home.

What is minimalism?

To further understand cozy minimalism and how to implement it, it’s important to know what the basic concept of minimalist interior design entails. Minimalism is a lifestyle of owning things that only add value and meaning to your life. Simultaneously, it means weeding out things that serve no such purpose. In interior design, a minimalist space will have functional furniture, geometric design pieces, a neutral colour palette, and ample space. It’s very much a testament to the saying ‘less is more’.

To elaborate on the key features mentioned before, here are some of the hallmarks of minimalist interior design,

A light and neutral colour palette – This will often consist of greys, whites, and hues of beige. Any bright colours will be kept to a minimum or used as accents sparingly.

Clean, empty spaces – Surfaces are kept clean and free of unnecessary accessories that may cause clutter. Negative space is also a large part of this style, to provide ample breathing space and a feel of openness.

Clean lines and flat surfaces – Furniture is often sleek, geometric, and has a linear look with straight edges. This is further enhanced by flat and clean surfaces.

Less print and patterns – Colourful and heavily patterned pieces are usually kept to a minimum to avoid a cluttered look. Solid pieces are often featured more prominently with only accents of pattern or print.

Ample light – A crucial part of this look is letting in plenty of natural light to illuminate and open up space. Windows are covered in only thin curtains or not at all.

How can minimalism be made cozier?

While looking sophisticated, minimalism may be a bit too sterile. Therefore, making it cozier and welcoming for a home environment is what cozy minimalism is for. This interior design trend combines functionality and comfort for a sophisticated but homely look. The sleek and somewhat sparse nature of the minimalist look is toned down by adding warmer decorative elements. Minimalism can further be customised to your likings and tastes to create a truly personal and cozier minimal space.

Here are 3 steps to achieving a cozy minimalist look;

Create a functional base

This is where the minimalist mindset is most prominent. Aim to keep a few pieces of furniture in the space. Any other pieces of furniture can be weeded out as much as it is possible for you. The aim is to make a key piece of furniture the focal point with a few secondary pieces while also removing other unnecessary pieces. For example, in the bedroom, the key piece of furniture would be the bed. All other pieces of secondary furniture should be curated to support this key piece, such as a bedside table and a lamp.

If you are buying new furniture, aim to buy tasteful and classic pieces that are of high quality. Also, ensure that they have functional storage. You can opt for sleek furniture but make sure it has curved and rounded edges rather than sharp ones. For example, a rounded bed frames. Mismatched furniture can also be a great way to add coziness, although makes sure that they are cohesive through colon and texture.

Adding textures and colours

While the foundation of the space is minimal, the coziness is brought in through the layered textures and colours. Make sure to add plenty of warm and cozy textures to balance out the sparseness of the furniture. This is especially important if you have any sleek or geometric furniture. Things like throw pillows and rugs can add this element of comfort. While minimalism calls for a basic and neutral palette, a cozier look can be achieved through a warmer neutral palette that has curated pops of colours. A general rule is to opt for warm and calm colours rather than bold ones. More patterns and prints can also be incorporated in moderation rather than just using accents. This can be done through the accessories, as detailed in the next step. Another great way to incorporate a bit of homeliness is to use natural textures. Use material like wood, leather, jute and other woven textures to add a rustic feel. It’s recommended that you avoid cold textures like marble, steel and nickel. Instead, you can opt for warmer metals like brass and copper.

The finishing touches

Accessories are added into a room for aesthetic value. They can also serve a functional purpose but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. This includes objects like candles, vases, and wall art. Accessories can set the mood and tone and this is why it’s important to have them create an inviting feeling. Instead of cluttering the floor, add any accessories to the wall. Although, they should be given ample breathing space. Additionally, your accessories can add the print and pattern that is needed to set off the room. 

Complementary pops of colour can be added through accessories without undermining the minimal aesthetic of the room. You can also choose to add warm lighting sources that give softness and illumination. Accessories can also be personal or quirky objects that reflect your personality. It is also recommended to find accessories that have fluid form rather than geometric or hard shapes. Sculptural objects, patterns with imprecise lines, and abstract artwork can add a sense of rusticity. Adding indoor plants can also provide a pop of green and a lush feel to add a sense of homeliness. With any of these accessories, it is essential to pick and curate accessories as not to overwhelm the space and still keep that feeling of simplicity. The key is to avoid a bare and cold look while also not cluttering the room.

With cozy simplicity, the aim is to create a refined and simple living space without removing the personality and warmth. Although it may seem like a set look, minimalism is different to everybody. Thus, using a minimalist base and combining it with a personalised coziness can be the key to a clutter-free and aesthetically pleasing living space.


By Thiyashi Koththigoda | Published: 2:00 AM Aug 29 2020

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