A Design Blog of Feng Shui Designer Sherry Burton Ways

Archive for the ‘Zen Decorating’ Category

Four Ways to Love Yourself Through Your Environment

 

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It is often said that your home is a reflection of your personality.  This Valentine’s Day consider a few changes in your home décor can cause a big change in your attitude and is a great way to explore and love yourself.  It gives you a chance to indulge in creativity and channelize your thoughts.  Our interiors elicit emotions like happiness, joy and peace which truly equates to loving oneself.

1.  Discover your likes and dislikes

The most important aspect of loving yourself through your environment is to learn more about your interior environment is to learn more about your likes and dislikes.  Spend time looking at pictures on the internet and in magazines and identify your interior style.  Follow your instincts and create a home that truly reflects your persona. There is no right or wrong in interior design, it is after all your home!

2.  Choose colors that help you feel motivated.

What would life be without colors?  An important aspect of your interior environment, different colors are linked with different feelings and emotions.  Pink is the color for love and promotes a feeling of comfort in uncertain times.  Decorate your home with accents of pink to feel the love.  Similarly, orange is a beautiful color to use when you want to feel younger.  Light purple is the color for spirituality and will deepen your sense of gratitude.

3.  Create a gallery wall

Happy photographs will stimulate an emotion of happiness and contentment.  Print pictures from memorable events in your life and create a gallery on a blank wall.  This will give you a reason to smile every time you look at the photos.

4.  Indulge in a cozy corner for yourself

Every now and then we all need some self-indulgence.  Create one such corner in your home where you can retreat to be with yourself.  Choose a corner in your home and place a comfortable chair, a reading light and a stack of books.  Once in a while, give yourself the liberty to cozy up in a throw with a mug of hot chocolate in your little corner.

I was fortunate to be one of 75 great authors who co-wrote the book the Art & Science of Loving Yourself First:  Cause Your Business Should Complete You Not Deplete You.

In this book, I wrote a chapter on “Supportive Space.”  To purchase a copy of the book click here:

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On Sunday, April 6, 2014 I will be doing a special book signing for the Art & Science of Loving Yourself in Washington, DC.  Stay tuned for details!

 

 

 

Four Quick & Easy Ways to Zen Your Space

Unlike what most people think, introducing a Zen sensibility to your space is quite easy.  Zen interiors mean living a simple lifestyle and design aesthetic that lends a calming effect to your home.  It does not require extensive remodeling of your home, just a few changes can create a huge impact.  Imagine bringing the serenity of your yoga class home!

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Here are four quick and easy ways to Zen your space:

1) Live a clutter free life–  The first and probably most important rule of Zen decorating is getting rid of clutter.  The Japanese art of home decoration believes that clutter creates chaos and will not let your mind be at ease.  Clear everything that disturbs your line of sight.  Open spaces enhance the free flow of Chi-energy and it will instantly have a positive effect.  You will quickly realize the importance of a clutter free home.

2) Spare the bright colors– Zen decorating emphasizes the use of earth tones.  Your Zen home should be like a retreat where you can relax and feel at ease.  Bright colors disturb the balance.  Look for invigorating and fresh earthy tones like greens, browns and blues.  These are subtle yet soft making your home feel close to the outdoors.  Painting is the easier and most inexpensive solution to bringing in the Zen energy.

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3) Use the Five Feng Shui Elements for your decor-  Zen decorating does not mean having a sparsely decorated, boring home.  In fact decorating with details is an interesting aspect of Zen principles.  Borrowing from the ancient Chinese art of placement, Feng Shui, the use  the the five elements earth, water, fire, mental and wood in your decor.  Bring in the wood element of a house plant which will add wealth as well as vibrancy and cheerfulness into your space.  Consider a mix of metal and wood for furnishings, accessories and  wall treatment inspiration.  Decorate your bare walls with serene paintings and photographs.  Limit your decor to one painting per room.  Use objects found in nature like rocks, shells and tree branches to creatively decorate your space.  You can also fill a glass bowl with shells for display on a mantel or shelf.

4) Organization and storage– Organization is another important aspect of Zen design.  An organized home will help you keep calm and feel at peace.  Take time to organize your closets, the kid’s room, drawers, refrigerator and the pantry.  These are some of the places where clutter tends to build up quicker than you think.  Make use of storage binds and boxes, label them neatly and create a place in the home for them.  When everything is neatly stacked and labeled, it will free your mind from small issues like finding birthday candles at the nick of time and will give you the opportunity to be at ease.

Here is another Zen Decorating Tip:

If you would like to create a Zen Decor and do not know where to start, contact me at Kreative Ways & Solutions, LLC and I would be happy to provide you a free phone consultation to get started.

An Introduction to Zen Decorating

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Zen decorating is a Japanese style of interior decor that embodies the values of minimalistic and simplistic living.  Does the word Zen transport you to a dreamy land of peaceful Buddahs and stress free living?  Then you are on the right track.  Applying Zen principles can help you break the stress and relax in familiar surroundings like your home or office.

A few basic principles can help convert your home or part of it into a Zen inspired space that feels like a retreat.  Here are four aspects of Zen decorating to get you started:

1) Minimalism- Decorating your home with Zen sensibilities means that you have to clear your surroundings of clutter down to the bare minimum.  Do away with knick knacks sitting on the console table, ornate displays of decorative pieces and even intricate wall papers.  The interiors must be unobstructed and filled with abundant natural light.  Think simplicity and open spaces.  Swap your exotic Victorian style furniture and upholstery with intricate patterns for simple textures and clean, straight lines.  Hide any disturbances in the room like electrical wiring and electronics that can cause stress.  This does not mean that you stop watching TV but simply place the TV in a cabinet with doors that can be shut when not in use.

2) Color Palette- Zen decorating takes its inspiration largely from nature.  Use warm, neutral colors to paint your walls.  Avoid any pops of bright colors as these will clash with the Zen style of design and disturb the balance.  Choose a muted, earthy color scheme for your upholstery, carpets and furniture as well.  Some of the most commonly used colors are creamy whites, coffee browns and shades of green.  Avoid stark colors like white and black, your palette should be warm and subdued.

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3) Nature Inspired Accents- Use minimal accessories to personalize your home.  When choosing accents, look for ones that represent the Zen elements of Feng Shui like earth, water,  fire, wood and metal.   Potted plants like bonsai and bamboo tend to create a tranquil atmosphere in the room and do not need a lot of care.  You can also place an indoor waterfall that creates a soothing trickling sound.  Fabrics made of natural fibers like wool, linen, and jute will ensure that your interiors are comfortable, warm and inviting.  Keep your walls free of intricate paintings and pictures.  If you want to hang a Zen inspired painting, limit it to only one per room.  Remember the rule of thumb- keep only what you really love, and harmonize with nature.

4) Lighting- Light is an important aspect to the Zen style of decorating.  Don’t block any natural sources of light like windows and sunroofs.  Avoid using drapes, instead you can opt for translucent screens that fill the room with abundant natural light.  For the evenings after the sun goes down, opt for wall sconces or pendant fixtures.  Instead of using only overhead fixtures that cast dark shadows, enhance the lighting by adding simple but modern wall sconces.  Dimmers can be used to set the mood.  Soft light and the scent from aromatic candles made of soy or beeswax will help you relax after a hard day of work.

In the next few weeks I will be focusing on Zen Decorating through a several videos.

Here is the first on how to accessorize a Zen inspired console:

 

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