How To: Minimalist Décor

Make simple design stand out with these three principles

It’s easy to get carried away with décor: extravagant centerpieces, large floral bouquets, lights, projections, red carpets—the list goes on. Yet for some clients and events, elaborate setups can detract from the meeting purpose, opening the door to minimalist décor.

Minimalism isn’t just about getting rid of clutter, though. It’s also about what minimalism adds to an event: focus and clarity. Freed from getting lost in the details, guests can fully concentrate on a meeting’s purpose when immersed in a minimalist state.

Here are a few key principles to follow for a minimalist event that still pulls out all the stops:

Function Over Luxury

In minimalist design, functionality reigns supreme. That is, if an item doesn’t have a purpose—or is there solely for decoration—it shouldn’t have a place in your meeting. What this means is that you really have to understand what your meeting needs to succeed. Strip your meeting down to its core and decide what is absolutely necessary to make the event work. Also think about the function of each physical item at your event and consider how each can be used in more than one way to expand your meeting and achieve your goals. Then, once you have a grasp on those basics, you can build from there. 

For example, let’s say you’re hosting a networking event. Because you know you need to rally guests together to get them talking and connecting in a way that feels organic, you’ve decided to host a happy hour with appetizers and specialty cocktails. To decorate the space, think about what is essential for this meetup to work: food and drinks. So, in lieu of large-scale decorative centerpieces, consider plating these elements in a stylish, modern way so they can double as décor. That way, you get rid of the clutter that giant centerpieces can bring, but the space has enough visual intrigue to avoid appearing plain. 

Keep It Neutral 

A neutral color palette is the cornerstone of minimalist design. Grays, whites, blacks and beiges are all signature tones, though metallics such as gold are also considered neutral. For a true minimalist event, stick to a complementing color family that doesn’t overload the visual experience.

That said, minimalism doesn’t mean you have to ignore color either. Adding a pop of color to neutral color schemes can bring the whole room together. Because function is the leading principle in minimalist design, consider adding color in task-designated elements of your meeting, such as name cards, rather than adding colorful elements to the space just for the sake of having color.

Create Balance

Sometimes it’s not possible to remove all excess from a meeting space, as some events require more equipment and supplies than a true minimalist meeting allows for. But at the end of the day, minimalism is about taking a space and creating harmony with the things inside of it. If you aren’t able to remove elements that might not serve a function, think about how to best display them to create balance with the task-oriented items that do. For example, if your meeting requires a tech setup that leaves lots of visible wires, consider hiding them in decorative boxes or using florals to camouflage them. It might bring more elements into the space, but by keeping those items neutral, they can still give the look and feel of minimalist design.