Warm Minimalism with Melissa Chatfield

Minimalism and the pursuit of pairing back to the essentials often manifests itself in cold, bare spaces typified by concrete, use of white and a sense of ‘emptiness’.  

Heading into the cooler months, we ask interior stylist (and veteran renovator) Mel Chatfield of Charchi Design Studio to share her tips for cultivating warmth and intimacy in a minimalist home...


Image for Melissa Chatfield Styles Warm Minimalism

Left: Shibui Small; Cultiver Linen Duvet Cover SetAnaïs Wool Velvet Cushion; Seljak Original Fringe Blanket. Right: Barnaby Lane Smith Chair; Anaïs Wool Velvet Cushion; Seljak Original Fringe Blanket; Settanta Coffee Table; Ghost Wares ceramics


We revere the Danish concept of hygge, an intangible cosiness and humble embrace of life's simple pleasures. How would you edit a living space to embolden a feeling of hygge?

Life is busy, my home is my sanctuary where I find my balance, comfort and tranquility. I don’t focus on trends, only what brings me joy. So start decluttering; consider how each item on the bookshelf makes you feel. Take everything off and only put back what is meaningful. Display it in a way that seamlessly blends in to its surrounding environment as if it were always there. You will be amazed at the calmness you will start to embody with less and less. 


Image for Melissa Chatfield Melbourne Stylist Warm Minimalism

Left: Flat Out Queen Bed; Panca Corta Bench SeatCultiver Linen Duvet Cover SetAnaïs Wool Velvet CushionSeljak Original Fringe BlanketRight: Anaïs Wool Velvet Cushion in Mustard and Tobacco.


Winter is a time for restoration, and the bedroom is at the centre of this process. How can you soften a minimalist bedroom filled with modern furniture?

Celebrate the furniture. Admire the craftsmanship and the wood tones. Enhance it with textiles, keeping it tonal (different tones of one colour). I just can’t go past linen even in winter which I layer with an extra duvet cover to add a little more coziness. I love to swap my sage for olive, or nudes for terracotta for that extra feeling of warmth. Pull out those wool blankets, quilted cushions, handmade ceramics and fresh pickings from your garden, and you will feel restored and ready to unwind. 


Image for Melissa Chatfield Melbourne Stylist Warm Minimalism

Left: Barnaby Lane Smith ChairSeljak Original Fringe BlanketSettanta Coffee Table. Right: Shibui Mid


Minimalist aesthetic welcomes white and neutral palettes. How can you include colour in a simple space? What are your colour trends for Winter 2018? 

It’s all about tones and different textures. Mix your neutrals. Mix your materials. Think organic woods, textured walls, handmade ceramics and simple artwork. Plants are also a beautiful addition of colour. It is important to remember that dramatic colour can make a space feel busy and cluttered. Keeping it tonal keeps things calm and simple. 

I just can’t go past olives and terracotta at the moment. 


Image for Melissa Chatfield Melbourne Stylist Warm Minimalism

Left: Shibui Mid. Right: Flat Out Queen Bed; Shibui SmallCultiver Linen Duvet Cover Set; Anaïs Wool Velvet Pillow; Seljak Original Fringe Blanket


Do you have any winter rituals?

Oh yes! Being a summer girl at heart, I make sure I embrace the joy that winter can bring. The fireplace gets lit and stays lit. The wool blankets come out, as does the mulled wine and assortment of ceramic mugs. I have the most beautiful handmade ceramic tagine, which keeps the wine warm as well as adding texture to my dining table. I love having my friends and family close by, dimming the lights, lighting some candles, snuggling in and just being present.  Savour every moment.  


What are your 5 tips for warming a minimalist space? 

  1. Keep it tonal (different shades of colour of the same main colour group).  Think neutral, earthy, washed out shades.  

  2. Turn down the colour and celebrate texture. 

  3. It’s about balance not emphasis.  Let all of the materials and textures entwine with each other.  In buying quality, timeless pieces, less naturally becomes more.  

  4. Accept imperfection.  Buy handmade, artisian, organic, natural.   The simplicity and beauty of unique and sustainable design; the imperfect edges on textiles, delicate stitching on cushions, fluid handmade elements in a vase, the natural worn beauty of a timeless handwoven rug.   Muted vintage rugs are my favourite addition to a minimalist space, an imperfect beauty.

  5. Let nature nourish your soul.


Image for Image for Melissa Chatfield Warm Minimalism Moodboard Images: @wearepampa, @cultiver_goods, Elle Sweden Decoration, @charchi____

Previous Article Next Article

You May Also Enjoy