Minimalist Apartment Ideas for Spaces (and Budgets) of All Sizes

minimalist apartment ideas

Your living space should make you feel calm and centered. But when renting an apartment, tiny rooms and clutter can be an obstacle to your ideal design. This is why many apartment dwellers turn to minimalism. When dealing with limited square footage, minimalism can be just as much of a solution as it is an aesthetic. 

So, how can you achieve a minimalist design in an apartment? 

We’re breaking down the basics of a minimalist home, as well as some budget-friendly minimalist apartment ideas. 

Basics of a Minimalist Home

Before diving into some practical tips for embracing minimalism, it’s helpful to define exactly what minimalism is. When it comes to interior design, minimalism is more than just owning less. The “less is more” philosophy pairs with a practical mindset to create a space that’s both functional and uncomplicated. Minimalist homes still include wall decor, pops of color, and fun decorative pieces, and minimalist style can still be creative. 

Some of the main elements of a minimalist home include:

  • Clean lines
  • Simple colors
  • Functional furniture
  • Smart storage space
  • Statement pieces
  • Natural materials
  • Greenery

Many minimalist trends stem from Scandinavian design, which puts emphasis on functionality, quality textiles, and neutral tones. In general, minimalist design starts with a neutral color pallet and gives space for select statement items. The overall style includes plenty of space and breathing room, which gives the home a calming feel. Remember: You don’t need to trade coziness for minimalism. You can still embrace your favorite colors and textures in your home decor–just be intentional about it. 

Tips for Minimalist Design

Ready to create your dream minimalist apartment? Consider these tips for styling a minimalist apartment. 

Buy With Intention

Whether you’re pairing throw pillows or investing in a couch, be sure to think through every purpose. Minimalism is all about owning items with intention. So, consider whether a piece of furniture or decor item will serve a purpose in your space. Buying with intention will not only save you money, but ensure that your apartment is as functional and cohesive as possible. 

Declutter Often

Limited storage and tiny spaces can make it difficult to keep clutter in check. However, decluttering often will help you maintain a minimalist apartment. Go through your items regularly and donate what you don’t use. Items like mail can also pile up quickly, so develop a system to sort through this clutter. Decluttering will eventually become a habit, making it easier to maintain a minimal space. 

Choose Central Colors 

You don’t need to strictly stick to neutrals to create a minimalist apartment. However, choosing a clear color palette is key. Many minimalist apartments feature white or other light neutrals as the base color. You can then layer on accent colors using throw pillows, rugs, statement furniture, and wall art. Items like coffee table books and plants can also add color. 

Include Clean Lines

Minimalist aesthetics are pleasing to the eye because they feature simple and clean lines. This rule applies to the shape of your furniture, artwork, and throw rugs. Clean lines create a sense of visual balance, which will help you achieve the calming effect you’re going for

Get Savvy With Storage

Designating a place for every item is one of the pillars of minimalism, but this can be tricky if storage is limited. So, it’s important to discover smart storage options that work for your space. Vertical shelving, furniture with hidden storage compartments, and drawer dividers are just some methods for streamlining your home storage for a minimalist look. 

While minimalist design may come with some guidelines, remember that it’s perfectly fine to break the rules. Your own creativity can put an individual twist on the style, making your space look like home. 

Minimalist Apartment Ideas: Room By Room

To help you transform your apartment into a minimalist haven, we’ve rounded up some decor ideas from the web–along with a selection of budget-friendly dupes to get you started with your apartment design. 

Living Area

This sleek modern living area is bright and open, maximizing vertical space with a cube shelving unit. The unit doubles as a bookshelf and decorative feature. The use of basic neutrals, plans, and natural light makes the room all the more inviting. 

Top Tip: Use open shelving to organize your items in a more decorative and intentional way. 

Design It on a Budget

IKEA KALLAX Shelf Unit – $69.99

AllModern Corby Solid Wood Dining Chair – $89

Target Winsome Cube Storage Baskets – $42.49

Bathroom

A clean and crisp bathroom, this minimalist space is simple and elegant. The trick? Neutral colors and earthy accents that are soft on the eyes. But if you want to take it up a notch, pops of color would do well in a space like this. Consider adding color with the hand towels, shower curtain, and even a small area rug.

Top Tip: Monochrome white bathrooms make a smaller space look larger. 

Design It on a Budget

BuildDirect White Subway Tile – $1.69/square foot

Bekith 12-Inch White Wall Clock (Amazon) – $15.99

Target Rope Basket – $16.99

Ahenque Black & White Hand Towels (Amazon) – $19.79

White Waffle Weave Shower Curtain (Amazon) – $19.99

Bedroom

Minimalist bedroom decor doesn’t need to lack character. The warm wood tones balance out the crisp white duvet and sheets, while the accent pillows and wall art add pops of green. 

Top Tip: Mix textures and patterns to add depth to a minimalist room, especially when starting with a white color as your base. .

Design It on a Budget

Incarpo Chunky Knit Blanket (Amazon) – $53.88

HOMFINER Pillow Cover Set (Amazon) – $39.99

IndigoPage Printable Desert Wall Art (Etsy) – $16.90

AllModern Genevieve 2 Drawer Nightstand – $140

Living Room

This minimalist living room features white and gray as the base color with pops of blush, blue, and yellow. The wooden floor and large plants warm up the space for a cozier feel. Keep in mind that these design principles could also work well in an inviting guest room or home office.

Top Tip: When creating a minimalist living room design, use throw pillows and wall art to balance the colors in the room. 

Design It on a Budget

Rivet Aiden Reversible Sectional (Amazon) – $1,272.02

Finel Mustard Yellow Throw Pillow (Amazon) – $15.99

Charlton Home Rectangular Pillow Cover (Wayfair) – $24.64

Artistic Weavers Blue & White Area Rug (Amazon) – $129.33

Target Arc Floor Lamp – $80

IKEA Gamlehut Ottoman – $69 

Dining Area

Most small apartments don’t have a full dining room, but you can still make your dining area a standout part of your home. An airy and clutter-free dining area leads to calm meal times. The wooden table, sheer curtains, and leather chairs create dimension in the space through mixed textures, while the wall art and plants add pops of personality. 

Top Tip: Sticking to a neutral color pallet in small areas of your home leaves space for pops of color elsewhere. 

Design It on a Budget

Winsome Wood Dining Table (Amazon) – $452.47

Carson Carrington Faux Leather Dining Chairs (Overstock) – $219.72

MIUCO White Curtains (Amazon) – $16.99

Mid-Century Wall Art (Society6) – $18.59

Whether you’re living in a studio apartment or have a larger space, there are plenty of ways to be creative with your apartment decor. These design ideas can get you started to create a cozy and intentional space to make the most out of apartment living.

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