Building a Minimalist House: Things You Need to Consider

There is no denying that there is a growing trend. A trend that you can’t simply ignore in the building industry. Times are changing, and as are the ways that we are building homes.

While there is a time and a place to build the big, luxurious homes, these are not the only homes that are currently being requested by potential builders.

Gone are the days when the style that everyone wanted were the Craftsman, the angled garage and the L-shaped homes. There’s a new kid on the block that everyone is talking about, which can be especially great if you have a narrow lot.

The modern way of building is no longer clunky and cluttered. The modern homes are now increasingly embracing the design style of minimalism. And while minimalism might be popular in terms of style, this article will not be minimalist in its style as we are planning on covering everything that the topic includes.

Did you get lost seeking out H-shaped, U-shaped or Mediterranean designs? We’ve got those too! 

house blueprints


Before we get started, we just want to be sure that everyone is on board when it comes to the definition that we will be using. If you look up in a dictionary what it will actually say about minimalism, then you will see that it a design that is characterized by simplicity, as t related to both literature, houses, music and other things. In the United States especially, it was a trend that started emerging in the 1950s, and while the surfaces may be big, there was nothing obstructing the eye.

Even if you’re building minimalist, there are still certain features, such as the following, that you may want to consider. 

Features to consider
Small, with garage 2 bedroom 6 bedroom
1 bedroom With basement barn
Tiny, with loft With 2 master suites 1.5 story

A little bit of additional information

Minimalism today does not just relate to the design of houses, but people’s interest and their incorporation of into their daily lives span a wide range of topics such as embracing it as an entire lifestyle, with some taking it to the extreme in the way that they embrace it.

It comes in various forms, and there are certain cultures that are especially embracing it, including both the Japanese form, however the Scandinavians are also known for the way that they incorporate it, especially into the furniture that they produce, which can be found all over the world. But minimalism has also made it into other aspects of daily life with various books and documentaries been produced on the topic, which often have great visuals.

It has even become so prominent that there are various blogs that talk about the topic, and there are various challenges happen over the course of a 30 day span that are meant to help you address some of the things in your life that could be cluttered at present time. Typically you get 30 different assignments that are meant to eventually help with your mental health as well.

Although we may keep getting the message from the media that the accumulation of things is a good thing, minimalism embraces the exact opposite by simplifying your everyday tasks. There an entire art movement that is centered around the topic as well.


While you may or may not agree with some of the benefits of minimalism that we are going to mention here, from the popularity of the movement, there is no denying that some people are finding vast advantages embracing this way of thinking.

One of the fundamental reasons why people embrace this way of thinking is because they believe that it creates room to embrace the things that are important. If you have ever had a long list of things that you had to do, you will likely experience that as you manage to go through the list, you probably start feeling more at ease with yourself. You start feeling more accomplished.

It is very easy to feel that there is a massive burden hanging over your head if you are constantly having to think about the long list of things that you have to do. If you do something about them, eventually the list starts becoming smaller to a point where you may feel that it is more manageable.

engineer inside a building being built

While some people may be skeptical with regards to them believing in stress as an actual disease, bringing order to your life will lead to less stress. Embracing this way of thinking in your home will also make it easier to find the things that you are looking for.

The people that embrace this line of thinking often think of ownership of things as an anchor that only limits you in your thinking. If you get rid of things that you don’t need in your life, you stop being afraid of potentially losing them, which can be a huge mental relief for some. Some people also associate the ownership of excessive amounts of things with the idea of stressing and being overworked.

When you have fewer things, chances are you won’t be as afraid of losing them as you can easily locate them again should the need arise. If you have a home that is very cluttered, one of your biggest concerns may be that you are afraid of losing your keys. If you always have the same space that you put them in, that fear is likely to go away!

The opposite to minimalism is also the accumulation of things, often ones that you don’t actually need in your life. Besides the things that you got at the grocery store, did you really need the last thing that you bought, or did you just buy it out of comfort? If you are a person who likes to go out and shop regularly, you are probably finding that your closet is starting to look extremely chaotic too. Life is not always about the accumulation of additional things, but rather focusing on the simpler things. When you go out and buy various things, is it really because you need them or is it more so because you are trying to impress your neighbor? Spending the day practicing yoga, working out at the gym or working on a hobby with your kids can be a good way to have a human connection, either with yourself or with someone else.

Have you ever heard the saying that money can’t buy happiness? When you start embracing minimalism that is one of the main focal areas that the lifestyle focuses on. Material possessions are often seen as distractions that may seem to give you some sort of instant pleasure, while in fact they aren’t really addressing your inner peace.

It can definitely be very comfortable if you buy that bigger car, but is it really what you need, or are you simply burdening yourself with having to figure out how you are intending to pay for it? Some people choose that they are willing to buy a big car, although that means that they might feel stressed about making the payments for the next 5 years.

Although the media may be telling you that you should keep spending more and more money, there is a very real possibility that it won’t substantially add to your level of happiness when you have your basic things covered. Even if you see the many commercials on tv and other places, you should be asking yourself if you are really getting any additional and permanent happiness out of buying the things that they are trying to sell to you.

There may be some things that are truly making your life significantly easier on a daily basis, but there are also a lot of things that will probably have a minimal impact on your life if you didn’t have them around anymore. If you choose to buy a second car, you very well know that you will only be using one of them, although you will still have to both pay taxes and ensure that the maintenance is done whenever it is needed. In addition, it is also a major expense.

Some people truly believe that a focus on minimalism is the way to go, and that it will make you less afraid of failure. It is thought that you get rid of your obsession with physical possessions and that this frees your mind. Perhaps the most extreme example includes Buddhist monks. Stop yourself from being afraid of losing your possessions.

We are not entirely talking about getting rid of everything. For one, we do sell house plans on this website, and we hope that you may choose us when you are starting out the adventure of building your home. However, that does not mean that your home cannot embrace minimalistic design.

The whole idea of getting rid of your belongings may be an idea that some people have an issue with settling into, but when they do, it can be mentally rewarding. One of the other benefits of this way of thinking is also that it focuses on getting rid of material possessions and often embracing some of the things in life that don’t cost any money, whereby you end up spending less money. There is a whole movement of people that choose to embrace the idea of minimalism solely with the purpose of achieving financial freedom and thereby being able to work or retire in the manner that they please.

Minimalism is a great way for you to become more selective in terms of when you decide to retire, especially if you choose to invest the money that you get from freeing yourself from material possessions. One of the best ways to start building your wealth is by building a piece of real estate property where you can rent out the other unit, as is the case when building a duplex.

If you are a person who likes to live in a place that is relatively clean, getting rid of the possessions that you don’t need is an easy way to make that a lot easier. If you have ever seen some of those people that keep accumulating things, you will also notice that their houses seem to be extremely messy. Besides having to dust everything off, you will also need to find places where you can store all the things that you are buying.

We live on a planet that only has a finite amount of resources, and while you may get some temporary pleasure out of consuming as much as you can, having 7 pairs of blue jeans won’t make you any happier. The good thing about minimalism is also that it embraces a lifestyle that helps cut down carbon emissions and is good for the environment in a multitude of ways.

If you have kids, embracing such a lifestyle can be a good life lesson for them. With everyone else focusing on the sheer number of things that they are able to own, focusing on embracing your inner peace can be very rewarding for growing minds. It is a healthy mindset learning to be happy with the things that you have, and not constantly desiring more. It is also a way of thinking that will set them up for financial success, especially when you combine it with teaching them the principles of investing both their time and money.

designer working on blueprints

As kids are growing up, it is very easy for them to get sucked into the whole idea that they need to look like the people they see on tv, and it becomes easy to start comparing yourself to others rather than making your own personal development the focus.

Vintage homes have a lot of things they can offer. You can build a minimalist home that is still a small mountain retreat. Perhaps some of the factors below are applicable to you. 

Special factors to consider
Mountain views Duplex Under 100k to build
Small mountain retreat Double garage Vintage

Designing a minimalist house

Whether you have gotten started on the building process already or not, designing a minimalist house comes down to embracing all the principles that we outlined in the section above. It’s about the idea of making do with less rather than more. It is about building a house that inspires people to interact with each other.

Making sure that you set up your home so that it naturally draws people towards each other does not have to be hard. It comes down to making some of the spaces more accessible where you are spending larger amounts of time. One of the areas where people tend to think about this is in the kitchen, although it should really be a concept that stretches the entire house in order to create continuity.

The most obvious feature that these homes will have is an open floor plan, where you ensure that interior walls aren’t obstructing the views, and where lots of natural daylight is being let in through massive windows. Besides the shape of the home, it also very much comes down to how you choose to do the interior decorations, and the way that you choose to finish aspects of the house.

Minimalistic houses usually pride themselves on having uncomplicated cladding. Cedar slats and other types of wooden exteriors are common for this type of house decorations. Continuity and simplicity are the things that you are looking for! On the inside it means that walls are often left white or at the very least with little contrast.

The whole idea with the movement is that you choose colors that blend together very casually, and that you don’t get a lot of colors that potentially make everything seem cluttered. While you may not necessarily have to keep all the various surfaces white in order to achieve a minimalist design that maintains a nice flow to it, it is generally the most commonly used color because of how easy it is to work with, and how it basically characterizes everything that the style already has going for it.

With the right color palette, you manage to create the sense of peace that minimalism has going for it, in a way that doesn’t steal the attention when someone enters the room. It is very important to know that you shouldn’t be choosing a color palette that is overwhelming. Whether or not minimalism is the style that you are aiming for when you are decorating your house, it’s still important to choose a style that goes well with the messaging that you want to send to people coming into the home. The same goes if you are working on designing the look and feel of your business.

If you choose to not use white as your main color, it can be a good idea to start off with a little bit of color theory before you get started with the paint brush and turn your house into something unrecognizable where you have managed to mix up a bunch of colors that don’t go that well together.

contracator looking at house plan

Muted greens, pinks and blues are colors that can also be used to obtain the necessary feel, while making sure that your choices still match with the rest of your design choices throughout the home. If your current one is very far away from the style at present time, the first thing that you may in fact have to do is go out and invest in some new furniture that works better for what it is you are trying to accomplish.

Generally speaking, the colors that you will want to go with are very light in their shades, including pale blue, light green and soft grey, but the choices are still yours to make. Whenever you start including very strong colors in your home, that is when they will start commanding a lot of attention by anyone visiting. Although you may not be fond of the idea of starting with an entirely white color as the base, that is still the color that you will be comparing everything else to. Most colors can be made to work, while still being able to achieve a minimalist feel in your home, but there are just some that work better than others, although it is still a matter of making all the different elements work together.

We cannot stress enough that you need to either make sure that you are buying the furniture that goes well with the color scheme that you are going for in the home, or you might have to go out and buy new furniture that matches instead. If the home that you live in currently has furniture that wouldn’t fit well with the new style, you will be forced to buy new stuff anyway.

Warm minimalism

There are a range of different ways in which you can do minimalism, and some of them can end up costing you quite a bit of money if you aren’t careful. An alternative way of trying to achieve the look is by aiming for what is commonly referred to as warm minimalism, which is often considered the DIY way of doing the style. The good thing about choosing this route is also that you may save yourself quite a bit of money! Minimalism does not have to be done in a way where it lacks personality, nor does it have to be overly expensive! The main point is that you are striving for a balance between practical things and the things that you love, while ensuring that you avoid a cluttered look.

woman choosing colors

This variation of the style is also one that is often considered to have more emotion than its rawer form. Removing any sort of clutter is really the main point you will be working on, while still being able to personalize the space that you are making.

The traditional type of minimalism usually requires you to go out and buy very expensive furniture that some designer with a fancy-sounding name has spent a lot of hours coming up with the concept for, whereas warm minimalism is about transforming what you already have and making the most out of it, while only changing up certain aspects. If you decide that you still need new furniture in order to be able to achieve the look, the first place you should start looking is at the flea market. You will both get things that fit into the style, without having to spend a bunch of money.

Rather than fully embracing the idea of removing as many objects from your home, this variation of the style is more about embracing imperfection and making it work. Have you ever been in a hotel lobby or a quirky café where the furniture didn’t match at all, but it still seemed to actually work for the owners? If the place still had that clutter-less feeling to it, this is what we would classify as warm minimalism, and the furniture for this is often found at flea markets! Not everything has to match, and from the deliberate mismatching of furniture, it all ends up seemingly making sense anyway.

It’s not just a great way to avoid spending hefty sums of money on making your home feel welcoming, it is also a very nice way of refurbishing things and embracing the idea of environmentalism.  When you do go to the flea market, what you may start looking for is stuff from the early twentieth century, while avoiding the bulky look that a lot of today’s furniture has.

When you think of this style, the things you should be thinking about are practical, sentimental while having that simple look to it. The great thing about going for this version of the style is also that you aren’t obsessed with finding matching pairs of everything. When people tend to have one chair left over from ancient times, they’re also more likely to give you a good deal on it.

You will still be able to manage getting that warm feeling, without having to go out and spending a fortune doing so. Additionally, when you are picking up the furniture from the flea market, you are buying things that might otherwise have ended up at the dump site, even if the thing you’re buying isn’t broken.

Embracing this version of the style, you might easily make yours feel a lot warmer and welcoming than would be the case with a true minimalist style. Have you ever walked into one of those places where everything almost looks too organized and clean? While you are trying to create a feeling, you are also working on creating a place that you can comfortably call your home.

The best reason why flea markets is the place where you should start looking for the furniture for your redesigned home is because these pieces of furniture often survive the test of time. They were often made at a time when there was a bigger focus on quality, but through the years, you may have bought other furniture, where the older piece now no longer fit the style.

However, since it was a piece of furniture that had been passed down through the various generations, you kept it around hoping that it would serve a new purpose at some point. Eventually they end up becoming a sentimental piece of furniture that ends up collecting dust in the attic, while you secretly always knew that you weren’t going to be incorporating it back into your home.

architect working on blueprints

Come the time when a family decides to properly clean out the attic, and that old piece of furniture is brought out. At first, you may not think that you are going to sell it, but you decide on putting it up for sale anyway, and when someone comes around and makes you an offer for it, at least you feel less bad losing possession of it.

When you are at the flea market looking for furniture, it is not that you can simply pick the first piece that you look at. You cannot simply mismatch at your convention, as there are some basic principles that still need to be respected. You are still having to create a functional space for your family, and you want to make sure that the mismatching is done in an organized manner.

The main thing that you will need to do is to actually try and go for things made of the same material that also have the same color, while matching the rest of the space that you have been creating. While you may not be able to find the chairs that mismatch perfectly, you also have the opportunity to paint them. When you start choosing furniture with too many different colors, you will quickly end up losing the feeling off minimalism.  

The good thing about this style is that even if you end up picking out a piece of furniture that you don’t think matches the overall feeling that you are going for, chances are you only spent very little money buying it in the first place. You may end up finding out that even if you went and tried to properly mismatch the colors of the things you were buying, there were still various pieces of furniture that just didn’t pair very well together.

woman choosing design options

Although you are picking things that should end up matching together in an uncommon manner, you are also picking pieces of furniture that match your personality and that you think you will come to like. You don’t want to end up in a situation where the things you bought simply feel like emotional baggage, as that is exactly what you are trying to get out of.

If you find yourself feeling that way about a piece of furniture, it is important that you are honest with yourself and go back to the flea market looking for something that can replace it. Making the space personal starts with choosing pieces of furniture that you like.

While minimalist homes generally have a certain characteristics to them, they can still be built in a myriad of different styles.

Styles to consider
L-shaped Modern ranch
Ranch Log
Barndominium Mansion

Choosing the right place to start

There is no denying that the first step towards getting that dreamy home is to actually ensure that you have the right framework that you are starting out with. When it comes to building, what that inherently means is that you start out with the right house plans. Although there are alterations that can be made to an existing house, there’s no doubt that you get the best results when you settle on the style and feel that you want from the home even before you start building it.

If you are in the stage of the process where you have started to look at house plans, there are a lot of good ways you can go from here. It’s important to remember that it isn’t just the blueprint of the house that will make your home minimalist but also how you choose to do interior design throughout the whole process.

architect looking at drawings

With that being said, some of the homes that are listed in our category with modern homes is a good place to start your search. Secondly, you might also want to look through the ones that we have listed in our category with more unique designs.

The great thing about the platform that we have created is that all the various house designs are categorized by their most relevant categories, so when you have decided that you are looking for a specific style, the easiest way to do so is simply by searching for it.

Although you can do a lot with an existing home, the easiest way is to start with a clean slate. When you are looking for the optimal design, looking for one that has clean lines is the easiest way to embrace minimalism. Secondly, you will want to make sure that the house design you are looking at doesn’t have a lot of obstructive walls that make it hard for sunlight to travel freely through the house.

It is definitely possible to alter existing house plans and have them turned into ones that are more minimalistic, but we also do have very great options that would fit your home building project without alterations. It is also important to note whether or not you may be trying to change the size and position of the windows in a way that would otherwise affect the overall feeling of the house in an unintended manner.

woman studying a model of a house being built

When you are choosing the design that you are going with, we encourage you to look for one of the homes that has clear lines, without intricate details on the exterior. That is how you are going to achieve a consistent look the easiest way possible!

Making sure that you keep your family’s needs at heart when you are choosing the right design

It is easy to get caught up when you are reading about a certain phenomenon and come to the conclusion that you are going to go all-in with the concept that you have just spent the last couple of hours researching. We do encourage you to stay careful and really consider whether or not that might be the right approach.

While minimalism may be appealing, it is important that you are still making choices that go well with the way that your family functions. For instance, it may not be very practical to go out and buy very expensive furniture if you have a toddler who is a master at creating a mess. You’re leaving yourself too exposed to the risk of quickly getting stains on the furniture that you just bought.

Secondly, minimalism in its essence embraces the idea that less is more, but you may still consider how many bedrooms you want to have in the house that you are living in. It is easy to commit to the idea that you are going to be choosing a house design that has the same number of rooms as you have family members, but is that really enough? While minimalism may embrace the idea that you are getting rid of things that you fundamentally don’t need, you may still think that it is nice to build a house that has one or two more bedrooms than there are people so that you can use one of them as a home office.

woman looking at house plans

Either way, it is important that you do not let your mission to embrace minimalism consume yourself to such an extent that you don’t consider functionality. With that said, the only thing that is left to say is good luck with your house building adventures!

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