In a cluttered, busy world, the appeal of minimalism is obvious. Living up to the classic design dictum that everything in the home should be both beautiful and useful, minimalism cuts out the 90 percent of items that aren't.
In these two baths, the owners have obviously conquered the impulse to let meaningless "stuff" accumulate. Their challenge was to create decorating schemes that celebrate freedom from clutter without looking cold or uninviting.
Both baths utilized tile as a solution: Sleek to look at and easy to care for, tiles epitomize the best of modern design. But because tiles are made from earthen materials and they're as old as civilization itself, tiles also impart a timeless, natural quality that makes a modern aesthetic livable.
Interesting textures, varying color tones, and a few non-rectangular shapes really stand out in minimalist schemes like these. In this context, a small row of round tiles makes a friendly statement and a sink bowl appears as a dramatic decorative accessory.
Using tile isn't the only way to incorporate natural materials into your bathroom design. See the next page to learn how stone can have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of the room.