Easy Design Styles: Zen

Create a reflective and relaxing space in your home with our calming design ideas.

By: Grace Mitchell

In Japanese, the word “Zen” has quite a few meanings. But the basic definition is harmony and peace, which is often achieved through meditation.

In interior design, you can achieve a Zen style by creating balance, relaxation and harmony through your decorating choices. Read on for these five easy-to-implement ideas to help you achieve a sense of peace in your home.

1. Color
As you may have guessed, there is not much color involved in a Zen style. Think white — lots and lots of white. The shades of white can vary if you want some contrast, and you can add a pop of color or two through art or accessories. If you choose to use an accent color, try colors associated with land and sea (green or blue), both of which are often associated with feelings of peace and tranquility.

2. Furniture Style and Placement

  • Choose furniture pieces with simple, clean lines made of natural materials. Look for pieces made of wood, bamboo and rattan.
  • Cushions should be simple and low to the ground, so it is easy to access from the floor.
  • You don’t want anything overly plush.

Tip: Place furniture around the perimeter of the room to allow for a nice, open space in the center. This will give your room that bright, breezy feel you need to calm your senses.

3. Décor
Decluttering is essential to achieve a Zen style in your home. One or two accessories that are especially sentimental to you are all you need. Rugs that are neutral in color and free of busy patterns will provide a clean base for your space.

Since we live in the age of electronics, it can be difficult to achieve a peaceful zone with cords everywhere. Try to enclose the television in a cupboard or behind a decorative screen, and keep cords as hidden as possible.

Finally, use plants to revive you with their fresh color! Hanging plants are perfect options.

Tip: If you like flowers, orchids are a fairly easy to care for and have a quiet beauty to them. Watering them once a week and keeping them in a sunny area usually keeps them happy and healthy.

Tip: Create another calming, relaxing look in your home with our easy Mediterranean décor ideas.

4. Lighting

  • Replace harsh fluorescent light bulbs with bulbs that cast more of a natural light.
  • Use windows to their full extent by allowing natural light to come in through the use of sheers or light window coverings.
  • Place table and floor lamps around the room, rather than having just one harsh central light. This way, you can control the amount of light in the room, especially at night when you may desire a softer, darker atmosphere.

5. Scent
Scent is often a neglected when it comes to the décor of your home, but it is an important part of your home’s overall aura. Some scents can be sentimental and familiar, perhaps connecting your home to a special memory. Linen sprays can give a calming effect when you slip into bed.

Tip: Beeswax and soy candles, and even essential oils, can help invigorate and relax you as needed.

Though there are no hard and fast rules to a Zen design style, you can create your own inner peace through your surroundings by using the above tips.

Grace Mitchell lives in Texas with her husband and four small children. She writes the interior design/DIY blog, A Storied Style, and achieves her Zen through licorice tea and long baths.



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