Warm Minimalism

Design-lovers are cosying up to the warm minimalist decor trend that is essentially a combination of the less-is-more ethos with lavish pieces of raw woods, airy upholstery, leather, and light modern pieces.


According to Nicki Elis, founder of nature-inspired homeware store, Love Milo, we are living in times where the struggle to find balance is real, when it comes to our personal spaces. ‘While many of us have strived to be minimalists, most of us have found things we love creeping back into our spaces.’ The Cape-based store owner created a proudly local brand of eco-friendly nature-inspired homeware and living essentials five years ago with partner Matt Finch.


Fellow interiors expert Lauren Horsfall from Dwell Interiors, echoes the same sentiments, with her consultancy’s design language that naturally leans towards this trend. ‘Having a minimal backdrop allows natural materials to show off their honest true form. We love working with natural elements like raw timbers, stones, linens and leathers and highlighting a space with feature elements of warm metals such as brass or copper.’


Warm Minimalism is an antidote to bare-faced minimalism that so many of us have tried and failed to successfully achieve. It’s the conclusion that too clean and clinical can feel characterless and that texture and natural forms can bring so much soul to a space. ‘Textures and fabrics are a great way to add warmth while keeping in line with a minimal feel. Using chunky blankets and throws or even knitted fabric cushions and soft, tufted or natural fiber rugs are a great way to do this.’




Organic & Handmade

Warm minimalism celebrates natural textures and tones while embracing craftsmanship and the timeless appeal of handmade goods.

Love Milo has produced a variety of handcrafted collections in their studio, initially embracing their love of monotones with a black and white palette. More recently, they’ve incorporated colours such as the rose quartz tones that can be found on a popular commissioned collection for local online emporium Superbalist, and their latest ocean-inspired blue marbled range of kitchen and living ceramic must-haves.

The collections live beautifully on their own but work perfectly together too, ‘we love that black and white can be paired with anything, you just need the right number of additional colours so that they add visual interest without being overpowering.’




The feel-good factor of greenery in the form of living plants or plant motifs adds to a living space is another warm minimalism trait that both interior stores embrace.


Indoor plants are a great way to soften monochrome rooms and with nature-inspired designs, you can enjoy the beauty of nature while feeling energized when interacting with the pieces. Plants bring colour, texture, and warmth to any room, be it a home or an office environment and they automatically create a feeling of calmness all of which will bring a space together.’



Enough is enough

Where minimalism has always been about less is more, warm minimalism embraces the same philosophy but with more flexibility. The foundations of pared down lines, clean silhouettes and a balance of form and function are there, but there is space for a subtle swathe of colour, an unusual swirl or interesting texture. It’s an 80:20 philosophy where the ideals of one’s décor direction are clear with a few personality-filled curveballs thrown in for good measure


Images: Supplied by Love Milo