Minimalist Interior Design Which Goes Beyond White |
5 Minimalist Rooms Which Go Beyond White

5 Minimalist Rooms Which Go Beyond White

If white on white isn't for you, what are the alternatives?

Written by –
Jess Ng
on December 10th 2018
Born and raised in the UK, Jess is NONAGON’s resident historian turned marketer turned writer, drawn to Hong Kong by the lure of dim sum breakfasts and bustling city life. A foodie who loves to cook, food occupies 70% of her brain 90% of the time. When not eating, Jess can typically be found buried in a book or obsessing over making NONAGON’s Instagram #feedgoals.

The minimalist aesthetic has long been synonymous with crisp white interiors. But what if the white on white look is too stark and, well, white for your liking? Does that mean minimalist interior design is an instant no-go?


While white has certainly become a mainstay of minimalism, it’s by no means the only way to achieve simplicity in design. Case in point, these five decidedly minimalist spaces — all of which go beyond white. Keep scrolling for more!

Minimalist Interior Design Inspiration

Bruny Island Hideaway

Design: Maguire + Devine

One of the best ways to go full minimalist without using white is to opt for warm wood textures. And Maguire + Devine’s Bruny Island Hideaway is the perfect example of this edict.

Minimalist Interior Design: Warm wood panel cabin with black burner and large window |
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Here, the less is more ethos remains a guiding force behind the design inspiration (on the client’s request, the only furniture allowed was a low table and mattress). However, unlike its sterile white counterpart, the abundance of soft pine in this home introduces an element of visual warmth and comfort.

Minimalist Interior Design: Wood panel Japanese-inspired cabin with white faux fur rugs and large window |
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Design: Wei Yi International Design Associates

Weathered timber and exposed cement collide in this tranquil minimalist hideaway designed by Wei Yi International Design Associates. As is to be expected with Taiwanese design, the overall look exudes simplicity, albeit with a quietly luxe twist.

Minimalist Interior Design: Contemporary apartment with concrete and wood design details |
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In lieu of white, simple organic textures convey the raw, stripped back nature of minimal design. Here, we’re shown the virtue of straying from the all-white doctrine: layers of clashing materials yields delicious depth and dimension. What’s more, beyond simply eschewing white, this space goes as far as to incorporate color. Muted mustard and olive green ensures the palette remains warm and inviting.

Minimalist Interior Design: Contemporary open plan living space with weathered timber and exposed concrete detail |
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The Krane

Design: Arcgency

Spoiler alert: the minimalist aesthetic can be achieved by way of any color your heart desires. Just make sure to stick to a monotone palette. The chic interiors of Arcgency’s renovated coal crane turned boutique hotel retreat, The Krane, shows us how it’s done.

Minimalist Interior Design: Black wood panel minimalist interior of The Krane |
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The key to success when it comes to a monotone palette is range and variation. It may sound counter-intuitive, but you want to incorporate as many different shades of your chosen hue as possible. If not, you run the risk of having your space look flat and one dimensional. Here, there are in fact hundreds of different shades of black. Depending on lighting and the time of day, you can see many subtle nuances which help to bring the room to life.

Minimalist Interior Design: Scandinavian-inspired all-black minimalist interior of The Krane hotel |
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New Cross Lofts

Design: Chan + Eayrs

From back to black to blushing pink, the New Cross Lofts by Chan + Eayrs channels Japanese minimalism and the art of Wabi Sabi — and there’s no white in sight.

Minimalist Interior Design: Simple wabi-sabi-inspired loft with blush pink and vintage wood tones |
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Pastel tones of every variety are a good substitute for white. They’re great for adding a softer touch to minimalist interior design. To ensure your room still holds all the grit and raw edge of minimal spaces, make like Chan + Eayrs and anchor your pastel tones with complementary black and dark wood textures.

Minimalist Interior Design: Wabi-Sabi-inspired London loft with soft blush pink walls and dark wood details |
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City Loft

Design: Arjaan De Feyter

Sure, minimalism is all about simplicity. But that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the luxe. Take notes from Arjaan De Feyter’s sumptuous City Loft for inspiration.

Minimalist Interior Design: Sleek kitchen and dining space with marble and wood textures |
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Restraint still reigns supreme, played out on an indulgent palette of timber and marble work. The focus here is on the materials —  a celebration of tone and texture. Minimal furnishings and wall-to-wall storage results in a sleek, uncluttered overall aesthetic.

Minimalist Interior Design: Sleek contemporary kitchen design with timber and marble work details |
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What is your favorite example of minimalist interior design?


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