5 Minimalist Styling Tips for the Modern Home from Emily Henderson

10.13.15 | By
5 Minimalist Styling Tips for the Modern Home from Emily Henderson

I’ve known Emily Henderson for a few years now, first introduced to her (much like everyone else) while watching HGTV’s Design Star. I instantly loved her modern, yet vintage infused style. I am constantly impressed with how she’s able to find so many vintage pieces and give them a seriously makeover, and her ability to create spaces that we haven’t already seen before on the interior design interwebz. More impressive, is how she can manage to do that while making over her own home, having a baby (now a toddler) and then being pregnant again! I don’t even know how this is even possible but THEN SHE WROTE A BOOK. What.

After getting my own copy of STYLED and seeing how useful it was, I asked her if she’d be kind enough to share some of her secret styling tips for modern and minimalist interiors.


Here are five of Emily’s recommendations to get a fresher, warmer modern minimalist look from the one of the interiors featured in her book: the Keystone Residence designed by Noah Riley of Riley Architects. Here’s Emily:

“Styling” often gets a bad rap because people think it just means adding “stuff” and if often does – the shoes by the door, the pile of magazines next to the bed, the 1/2 eaten croissant even though no one is in the photo … It can look forced, ‘try-hard’ and cluttered really easily. But styling just means giving a space a sense of a personality and sometimes that personality is still quiet and on the more minimal side. In my book, STYLED, I lay out styling tips for every style (including minimalist) and show you how even a fairly pulled back, sophisticated and uber modern home can have a huge sense of style through these 5 tips:


1. Keep the color palette very tight. Adding a lot of colors is the quickest way to make a space look busy and cluttered. Keeping it tonal (a range of colors in the same color family) and mixing with neutrals is the easiest solution to having some color without it getting crazy.


2. Bring in simple lines and shapes. Lose anything with too much ornate detailing or carvings and stick to pieces that keep the eye moving really easily. That porcelain floral figurine lamp from the 50’s should go and instead think about a larger scale pottery lamp.



3. Go for texture. Keep everything in your color palette, but having all your finishes being really smooth and slick can feel cold, so bring in linens, wools, wovens in your textiles and pottery, clay, porcelain in your accessories. Keep the color palette quiet, but the texture still needs to be there for it to look inviting and not like a showroom. Anything handmade is an extra plus.


4. For centerpieces think about smaller collections of pieces in the same family (like on the dining table). Its the same bowl in different sizes and as a collection it holds the dining room table nicely, without creating this huge tablescape that commands the whole room.


5. Bring in life through art and plants. Art is your chance to bring in more personality. Keep it simple and quiet, but make a statement to help shake up the seriousness of a more minimal home.

Thanks, Emily! STYLED has around 997 more styling tips for every style. Read more about it here and pick it up on Amazon.

Photography by David Tsay.

Read Emily’s Friday Five here.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.