Minimalist Design: Everything You Need to Know About the “Less is More” Aesthetic

by Drew Henry

You know what they say: “Less is more!” The clean lines, subdued colors, and clutter-free aesthetic of minimalist design have become more than a way to style interior spaces; they are an entire lifestyle mantra. 

Here at LiLi Tile, we’ve become known for our bold colors and patterns. However, our team knows when a space calls for peaceful serenity, which is why we’ve designed dozens of collections to speak to the minimalist that lies within. Let’s take a look at minimalist design together and learn more about the style’s history and benefits and how to create the look in your own home.  

What is Minimalist Design?

Minimalism is all about simplicity. The minimalist movement strips down design elements to their fundamentals — paring back to the basic colors, shapes, and materials to ensure every detail serves a purpose and function. The result is a clean, open, and welcoming space that encourages peaceful serenity. 

The minimalist design aesthetic first gained prevalence in the late 20th century, during a time when the art and design community sought purity in form and function. Influenced by the practical beauty of Japanese aesthetics, the clean lines of Scandinavian design, and the less-is-more approach of German Bauhaus architecture, minimalist design represented a conscious departure from the decorative embellishments of the past.

In a minimalist-designed space, the true essence of each element is recognized and celebrated — from the architecture to the decor. Minimalism cuts through the clutter, creating spaces that are not only visually captivating but also practical and livable. Each aspect of the design must contribute to an overall sense of balance. (In other words, think zen!) 

Baguette Cement Tiles

Minimalist design is not only about the elegance of the living space — it extends to products, where the concept is manifested in clean lines and carefully considered usability. It’s like our LiLi cement tiles. Each tile is handcrafted, celebrating the material and balancing functional durability with beautiful design. Minimalist design advocates for a quality-over-quantity approach to materiality and lifestyle. Something as simple as a solid Baguette tile in an earthy shade makes for a gorgeous accent in a minimalist space. 

Baguette 4 Cement Tile

How to Recognize the Minimalist Design Style

A minimalist design style is easily identifiable by its emphasis on spaciousness, light, and simplicity. Spaces designed in this style usually feature monochromatic color schemes with neutral base colors such as white, beige, and gray, complemented by the occasional punch of color for visual interest. The look is less about mixing colors and patterns and more about creating a unified, neutral look.  

Minimalist design embraces clean, straight lines and geometric forms, often trading decorative ornamentation for a sleeker, more streamlined aesthetic. Organic elements are also incorporated, like a Crackle Glaze tile or raw-edge wood shelving. Furniture tends to be low profile, and the fixtures are subtle — anything that doesn’t serve a function or enhance the design is set aside. (Again, less is more!)

Crystal Navy 4x4 Glaze Cement Tile

Texture and natural materials are subtly integrated, maintaining a balance of softness against the sleek forms common within the style. In minimalist design, empty space is as important as the areas filled with objects. Negative space is used as an active design element, providing a visual break and cohesion. 

Why Choose Minimalist Design?

Minimalism is much more than a design style; it's a way of life! Choosing a minimalist design reflects a commitment to simplicity and organization as pathways to tranquility. A minimalist environment delivers an uncluttered space that can help soothe the mind, providing an antidote to the modern world's sensory overload. It’s all about finding your zen! 

A minimalist approach also lends itself to sustainable living. Minimalist design encourages using fewer, higher-quality items, resulting in less waste. Furnishings and fixtures are selected with an eye toward durability and timelessness, reducing the need for frequent replacement and promoting a more conscious form of consumption. After all, simple designs like solid cement tiles in neutral shades will always be in style, no matter the current trend. 

Solid Cement Tiles

Additionally, minimalist spaces are more efficient and easier to clean, meaning less time and effort must be spent on maintenance. This design style allows for greater flexibility in living spaces, ensuring they remain functional and comfortable regardless of changing needs or trends.

LiLi’s Did You Know? 

Did you know cement tiles are made using an energy-free process, resulting in a lower carbon footprint? Plus, concrete is a completely recyclable material and designed to last for generations. They fit right in with minimalism’s eco-conscious mindset! 

How Did the History of Minimalist Design Evolve?

The roots of minimalist design intertwine with some of the most transformative movements in architecture and design. Architects like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright paved the way with their modernist approaches, embracing clean lines, open spaces, and a 'form follows function' mantra. Materials like terrazzo lean into the modernist side of minimalism, embracing the reuse of materials and subtle movement and texture — like our Confetti cement tile

Confetti 4 Cement Tile

The evolution of minimalism can also be attributed to the zen principles of simplicity and self-restraint. In design, this means embracing empty space and only incorporating elements that serve a specific purpose. The resulting aesthetic emphasizes harmony and tranquility — principles that remain central to minimalist design.

As it progressed, the minimalist movement absorbed various cultural and stylistic influences, becoming more fluid and adaptable. Today's minimalist design retains its foundational principles while embracing modern materials and cutting-edge technology, smoothing the path for further evolution in the design sphere.

What are the Characteristics of Minimalist Design?

The characteristics of minimalist design can be distilled into several key concepts: open spaces, neutral color palettes, and an aversion to clutter. Every characteristic drives the design's focus on functionality and practicality. 

Living spaces are designed to optimize ease of use, emphasizing open floor plans and versatile, multi-functional furnishings that streamline day-to-day activities. Minimalist design holds the idea that beauty and utility are not mutually exclusive but are, in fact, intrinsically linked.

The integration of natural materials adds an organic element to minimalist spaces. Wood, stone, and materials like terracotta tile are used not just for texture but also to inject warmth and life into what might otherwise be perceived as stark. Remember, minimalism doesn't have to be cold, just cozy and clean. 

Red Clay XOXO Terracotta Tiles

How to Achieve a Minimalist Interior in Your Home

The minimalist journey starts with the decluttering process. Are you ready to Marie Kondo your space? To clear things out, just ask yourself two simple questions. Does it serve a function, or does it spark joy? If it doesn’t do either, it’s time to part ways. Minimalism focuses on what truly matters and creates a home that reflects a sense of purpose and clarity. 

When selecting furnishings, look for pieces defined by their simplicity, functionality, and attention to detail. Opt for clean lines and neutral colors that facilitate a no-frills yet sophisticated aesthetic. Minimalism also entails a thoughtful approach to lighting that maximizes natural light where possible and incorporates efficient light sources where necessary. To reflect even more light in your space, consider a sleek brass tile for a little glimmer. 

Rise 3 Hexagon Tile

Attention is focused on the quality of the furnishings and fixtures, embracing the concept of investment pieces over replaceable items. The objective is to craft a living space in which every element is chosen for long-lasting value, both in terms of durability and design.

Is Minimalist Design Functional for Everyday Living?

Despite some misconceptions, minimalist design promotes a functional approach for everyday living. Remember, you’re not living in a void. You are editing down to the essentials and items that bring you the most joy, removing any clutter or distractions. 

The minimalist design style lends itself to clear, easy-to-navigate living spaces that are adaptable and accommodate a range of activities and uses. Clear surfaces and meticulously considered storage solutions make for an uncluttered environment, easing the effort required to maintain the space and ensuring that living areas remain inviting and livable.

What Role Do Natural Materials Play in Minimalist Design?

Natural materials are essential in minimalist design, providing layers of texture, color, and warmth that complement the clean-lined ascetic. Woods, stones, linens, and leathers ground the minimalist ethos in the natural world and lend depth to the otherwise restrained palette and forms. Terracotta tile is an excellent natural material that beautifully contrasts the harsh lines of minimalist architecture with texture and variation. 

Red Clay Terracotta Baguette Tile

Materials are selected for their purity and ability to age gracefully, often becoming more beautiful over time. This not only aligns with the minimalist pursuit of timeless design but also speaks to the overarching aim of sustainability and environmentally conscious living.

How to Incorporate Natural Light and Large Windows?

In minimalist design, light is both a functional necessity and a transformative design element. Large windows serve as a bridge to the outdoors, anchoring minimalist interiors to their external surroundings and inviting a seamless flow of natural light that makes the space feel open and airy.

By embracing large windows and thoughtful lighting schemes, minimalist design maximizes the influence of light throughout the day. The natural variations in light quality add a dynamic layer to minimalist spaces, evolving from the crisp clarity of morning light to the soft ambiance of twilight. 

Maintaining a Minimalist Space: Long-Term Strategies

Maintaining the minimalist aesthetic requires ongoing discipline and mindful habits. Regular decluttering, intentional shopping, and steadfast commitment to minimalist design principles are crucial to upholding a minimalist environment.

When designing your space, invest in versatile pieces that will stand the test of time. This will help you refrain from impulsive buying and maintain a clutter-free space down the road. Remember, your minimalist goal is to create a space of easy and sustainable living. 

Minimalist design is not just a style; it's a testament to simplicity!

Explore Simple, Timeless Tile Collections 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.