Minimalist design is a style in which only the essentials are used.  In essence, if the item does not serve an absolute purpose, it should be removed from the room.  Integrating minimalist design into a home requires knowing the elements of the minimalist approach and understanding what is necessary to pull off the style comfortably.

White Paint

One of the primary guidelines of minimalist design is having plenty of white space.  This design style also greatly encourages a clean look.  White walls throughout the entire home is something that you will see in almost every minimalist home, as it easily incorporates these guidelines.  The white paint should be a matte paint and not glossy, and it should be pure white and not a shade of white. 

Wood Floors

The color of the wood floors does not matter, just that they are wood and the same color throughout the home.  Most minimalist designs do not choose an overly glossy finish for their flooring, but a more understated finish.  All wooden cabinetry should match the wooden floors for proper flow, but tables and other furniture items made of wood do not have to match the flooring.  In fact, having wooden furniture that does not match the flooring is often popular in this design style. 

Wall Paintings

Minimalist design does not incorporate clutter and shelves full of decorative objects, so most minimalists choose to add decorative flair to their rooms with wall paintings.  These paintings should follow the color scheme of the room because this design style maintains just two or three colors per room.  The painting can be of any size, and many minimalists choose large paintings, but only add one and make it the focal point of the room.  Ideally, the painting will focus on Japanese culture or nature, as minimalist design does.

Modern Architecture

Rooms in minimalist homes tend to have interesting modern architectural elements to them.  Large, wall-length windows are common and these windows would not be curtained or shaded, but left bare to expose the room to nature.  Angled ceilings are also common and they should be painted white like the walls so that the architecture is subtle.  Uniquely modern staircases, either made of metal or wood, are also common in minimalist homes.  These are generally open and slender, and often oddly shaped. 

Simple Furniture

The furniture in minimalist design tends to be simple and never large or bulky.  Tables are generally made of wood and may have metal legs and embellishments.  Seating tends to be neutral in color and will only have one or two pillows, if any.  Beds are typically low to the ground, made of wood and thin with simple bedding.  Any complementary furniture matches perfectly, is simple and takes up very little space.

Minimalist design is meant to provide a pure and free home for those who inhabit it.  While it is a modern style in the United States, its roots go back to Japan, where this design style has been practiced for hundreds of years.