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.
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: