maximize space
| |

How Minimalism Makes Me a Better Decorator

When you think of minimalism, do you think of white, bare walls? Do you think of almost-empty rooms? Minimalist decor is simple, but it doesn’t need to be boring. In fact, minimalism helps you choose the right decor for your home so that less truly is more!

Today I’m excited to share a guest post with you by the lovely Rachel Joy of Joyful Derivatives, her home decor blog that helps you create a home you love. Rachel Joy is a DIY addict who loves to teach non-designers simple and affordable ways to create a home they love spending time in and are proud to share with others.

On her blog, you can find simple decorating tips and tricks, budget-friendly decor recommendations, DIY projects, and tutorials, as well as hosting and event planning tips and inspiration. Joyful Derivatives is full of helpful information for all of us who aren’t sure how to best decorate our homes.

In today’s guest post, Rachel Joy shows us how minimalism makes her better at decorating in three key ways. You too can use these minimalist decorating concepts in order to have a home that’s simple, stylish, and uniquely yours! She shares the importance of decluttering and being intentional with your choices.

Not only that, but Rachel Joy tells us how to begin decorating like a minimalist. I can’t wait to start putting these tips into practice in my own home!

This is the seventh post in our summer series on how minimalism has changed so many people’s lives for the better. Each week we will be hearing from a different person who has adopted some aspect of the minimalist lifestyle.

How Minimalism Makes Me a Better Decorator

The more I dive into the world of interior design, the more I realize that at the core of a beautifully decorated space is a minimalistic mindset. Consider the beautiful photos of homes you see on Pinterest or in magazines – what do they all have in common? They have just enough decor to feel finished but not nearly enough to feel cluttered.

I credit much of my success as a designer to my love for simple decorating. In today’s post, I’m sharing with you how minimalism makes me a better decorator and how you too can use this concept of simplicity to easily up the style in your home!

Simple Decorating

Simplistic decorating has been a natural tendency of mine for as long as I can remember.

As a young kid, I would clean, declutter and rearrange my room almost monthly! I loved the process of simplifying my decor and maximizing the furnishings within that tiny space I got to call mine. Years later, I got a thrill out of furnishing my first 600 sq/ft apartment and trying to figure out how to fit an entire home into such a small space.

It didn’t take long before I discovered that my home felt the most comfortable to me when it was decorated with multi-purpose furnishings that each had specific purposes and were arranged in a way that used the space to its fullest.

Simple decorating starts by drawing from inspiration – could be a picture, a scene, or simply a feeling you want to experience when you are in a space – and ends with creating a design or style in which the fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.

Now, maybe simple decorating doesn’t come naturally for you. That’s ok! I’m going to share with you three easy ways you can engage this concept of minimalism into your decorating to get your space looking both simple and stylish.


The first way minimalism makes me a better decorator is by helping me avoid clutter.

I’ll be the first to admit: it’s easy for a house to get cluttered. I mean, think about it, we’re continually buying new decor and adding it to our existing decor, while rarely getting rid of anything. What can we expect, besides clutter?

Minimalism encourages me to decorate in such a way that anytime I buy something new for my home, it’s either to furnish an undecorated space or REPLACE an old item. I’m not adding to my decor, but rather exchanging it for something new!

I realize that some clutter is necessary in homes (like movies, craft supplies, or toys) but I do my best to hide it. When it’s hidden in a pretty basket or closed cupboard, it no longer looks like clutter and so fits in with my simple decorating style.

Like I mentioned before, when it comes to beautiful interior design, LESS IS MORE.


The second way I’ve found that my tendency towards minimalism makes me a better decorator is by encouraging me to purchase pieces for my space that have very specific purposes.

As I’m shopping for decor or furnishings for a room, I make sure that each item I place in a room, from the large sofa to the tiny bud vase, has a distinct purpose in the design and they all work together to create a beautiful and cohesive room.

Are you wondering what kind of purpose a bud vase could have? I just got one for my dining room and it provides THREE things – color, texture, and greenery!

I’ve found that, since I only purchase and place pieces with purpose in my home, I’ve also come to LOVE the hunt for the perfect pieces to take up the limited spots I have for decor or furniture. It’s fun to shop for home furnishings when you know EXACTLY where the item you’re buying is going to go and what it will accomplish in the room’s design.


The third way minimalism makes me a better decorator is by helping me decorate more effectively, forcing me to maximize my spaces.

My favorite way to do this is through the use of multi-functional furniture. I love when one piece of furniture can have lots of uses and routinely purchase furniture that can be used in multiple ways. Take a stool for example. It could be a side table next to a couch, an extra seat when needed, or place a pillow atop it and it’s an ottoman! All three uses with one small furnishing!

Small space decorating can be tricky, but I’ve found that if I use multi-purpose furniture and furnish a room with the least amount of furniture needed, it’s super easy to maximize the space.


Now it’s your turn! Even if you’re not a minimalist, you can easily use these three steps to simply decorate your space:

  1. Take everything out of the space and then put in just one thing at a time – starting with the large furniture, then moving on to the smaller furniture, and finishing with the decor. When it feels “decorated” but not cluttered, STOP!
  2. Go through each item in your space and identify its purpose. Is there anything in the room you can remove without losing function or style? If so, do it!
  3. Identify any two pieces of furniture you have that could be replaced with a multi-purpose piece. Reduce the number of furnishings in the room by adding multi-purpose furniture.

Anyone can create a beautiful space by removing clutter, buying pieces with purpose, and using multi-purpose furniture!

I love decorating this way, and find the more I do it, the more it confirms the truth that minimalism makes me a better decorator. I encourage you to try out this concept of simple decorating and hope you find it’s an effortless way to up your home’s style!

Rachel Joy uses Joyful Derivatives as an opportunity to share her creative adventures, and in the process, inspire her readers to be creative. She typically shares simple decorating tips and tricks, budget-friendly decor recommendations, DIY projects, and tutorials, and hosting and event planning tips and inspiration.

Rachel Joy
Website | + posts

On Joyful Derivatives, Rachel Joy teaches non-designers simple and affordable ways to create a home they love. She specializes in DIY-focused designs that allow you to achieve a high-end and stylish home at a fraction of the cost. Her passion is to help you affordably create a home that you love and are proud to share with others.

Rachel Joy loves to be creative: to imagine, design and make things. She loves to take an old piece of junk and make it into a treasure. She loves to see something she wants and recreate it with her own special touch. Rachel Joy loves to make gifts for other people. She loves putting together a tablescape that makes people want to linger at the table. She loves hosting just about ANYTHING at her house – this includes showers, parties, house church, school reading nights, and family gatherings.

Rachel Joy uses Joyful Derivatives as an opportunity to share her creative adventures, and in the process, inspire her readers to be creative. She typically shares simple decorating tips and tricks, budget-friendly decor recommendations, DIY projects, and tutorials, and hosting and event planning tips and inspiration.SaveSave


  1. Great direction on how to decorate when practicing minimalism! I hate to admit it, but I am a terrible decorator. It does not come naturally to me. Minimalism does help me do a better job. A clutter-free space is pretty, even if it is not all put together professionally. One room I struggle with is a multi-functional room in the basement. I have a glider that I have struggled getting rid of, but your post has inspired me to maybe replace it with something more multi-functional, especially since it is a multi-functional room. I can’t wait to explore your site for inspiration!

  2. Clutter is literally my biggest enemy!! I can’t get anything done if I’m distracted by what’s around me. This was a really motivating post!!

  3. Less is almost always more. And I’m not surprised at all that that translates to decorating! It definitely leads to a sleeker look with more meaningful statement pieces. Thank you for sharing your experiences and inspiration ♡

  4. Been trying to slowly declutter my room. I notice too many stuff I have aren’t touched for years. Feels so much better after I removed those that I don’t need. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I love this! I’d never considered how minimalism could actually make you better at design! But of course you’d have ot think more! Great post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.