In these erratic and stressful times, it is important we can find peace and tranquillity in our homes – and because of this, zen principles within interior design are increasing in popularity. But what does Zen actually mean? Zen derives from the Japanese culture meaning meditation and in interior design this can be reflected by creating harmonious, calming and relaxing environments.
Keep Things Soft
Softness aids relaxation. Placing softness at your feet in the form of a shaggy rug or a plush carpet will provide a sense of comfort from the moment you walk into the room. Keep the tones neutral and calming and avoid bold patterns or colour blocking.
A Comfortable Resting Place
The sole purpose of zen is to be able to relax, so investing in a suite of furniture that is the epitome of comfort is a must. Leather Chesterfield suites are just this, soft, plush and luxurious. With their curved edges and hard-wearing leather materials they are manufactured to your own bespoke requirements and stand the test of time. Chesterfield sofas come in a range of colours and finishes, the perfect addition to any zen living space.
Minimalise Decorative Accessories
Simplicity is everything in zen spaces, avoid overcrowding the space with decorative accessories such as ornaments, paintings and photography. This isn’t to say don’t include any at all, but just to keep the bare minimum to prohibit feelings of distraction. Books are often desired in a space of relaxation, however, can sometimes appear to clutter a space with their jazzy printed covers. For a harmonious zen proof library, consider covering books in monochrome paper or soft fabrics.
Technology is a No No
Electronic devices are often a source of disturbance and distraction, try not to integrate too many electronics within your space to ensure tranquillity and harmony remains present. If a TV is close by, a good idea may be to hide in within a specially designed cabinet. Hiding wires is also essential to avoid distorting the peaceful atmospherics.
Steer clear of bright man-made lighting and avoid projecting strong lighting directly from ceilings. Instead introduce nature inspired calming tones to your lighting. Candles, warm fairy lights and floor lamps are excellent ways to implement soft lighting options within your place of zen. Windows should not be covered with black out treatments but instead dressed in soft light fabrics to permit natural sunlight assisting the look and feel of serenity in the room.
The zen experience is all about natural, calming colours. Whites, greys, light greens, dusky pinks and soft beige have the power to induce feelings of harmony and relaxation. There’s no rule of thumb that you can only stick to one colour in your calming zone, however it is important to contour the colours together in a way that isn’t too hectic. Plain walls, with added accents of greens and pinks within soft furnishings is a clever way add variety.
The fabrics within the room should stick to the same theme as the colour scheme – light and natural. Linen is a fabric often found within zen spaces and is so versatile, linen blinds and curtains, to linen throws and tapestries are all great ways to inject this light and airy fabric into your living space.
Introduce the Buddha
Deriving from Japan, zen is grounded in Japanese Buddhism. An easy way to achieve a living space that appears zen is by introducing some chic buddha statues into the mix. If meditation is your thing, buddha statues are a great focal point. Buddha statues can range from small enough to be placed on your mantlepiece to large enough to be the ultimate statement piece in your floor plan, there are so many different shapes and sizes to choose from – why not add some traditional zen culture into your home.
Bring the Outdoors, In.
Plants and greenery have an instant calming effect, not only from their aesthetically pleasing appearance with their soothing green colours but they also provide a natural source of oxygen to the home. Try to avoid flowers as these require maintenance – not something you want in a space designed for you to unwind. Why not continue with the Japanese theme and choose a bonsai tree to really complete that zen look and feel.