Your house can be a serene haven by making it more Zen. The Zen decorating style embodies the concepts of simplicity, balance, and harmony. Here are the ways you'll benefit. Your home will be an elegant sanctuary!

 

Simplicity

Minimalist decorating quiets your mind. When you're less distracted, it's easier to focus and relax. Creative ideas also come to you more readily. Clean lines promote a sense of order. Having a clutter-free home environment is calming. Stress evaporates!

 

Balance

Symmetry imparts serenity to rooms. Think of this concept like a mirror, with both the object and its reflection being the same. For example, envision a bed with matching nightstands on either side. The lamps they support are also identical. The beauty of symmetry is in its repetition. However, to keep it from being monotonous, add visual interest with an accessory. Radial balance is a layout resembling a wheel. Repetitive objects are arranged around a focal point in a circular fashion. An example is a kitchen table, surrounded by matching chairs.

 

Harmony

Windows symbolize unification, connecting your interior with the outdoors. They're also a metaphor for meditation, opening the heart, quieting the mind, and relaxing the body. To have greater harmony in your home, maximize natural light, brightening rooms with diffused sunshine. Try to omit harsh artificial light, especially from the ceiling. The Zen guideline is to include three sources of light in each room. The softer the glow, the calmer you'll feel. Floor and table lamps are ideal.

Say these words to yourself: "simplicity, balance, harmony." The fusion of these three elements fosters peacefulness. Doesn't merely speaking these terms help you to relax? Wait until you see them applied!

 

1. Use earth-inspired hues.

Zen design features the calming colors of nature. Soft blue represents sky, and pale green suggests the idea of water to the mind. Light gold reflects sunshine. Other soothing hues are lilac, beige, white, and tan. Try to achieve chromatic harmony among colors, visually uniting the floors and walls with your furniture. White walls expand the size of rooms, giving them an airy feel. Earth tones are easy on your eyes. However, avoid a total monochrome theme by using various shades of color.

 

2. Emphasize organic materials.

Don't you adore the sheen and grain of a wood floor? Parquet is suitable, provided the wood pattern isn't too busy. If your floors are worn, cover them with soft carpeting, imparting coziness. Create softness around windows with curtains in light fabric. Sheer material suits windows in your kitchen, living room, and home office. Examples of aerial fabrics are lightweight hemp, cotton, and linen. Wood or bamboo blinds are another option, modulating light.

Accessorize with objects made of terracotta, ceramic, marble, and cork. Texture adds warmth to your furnishings. For example, store objects in woven baskets. For accents, consider large, smooth stones or pretty seashells. Invite nature inside.

If outdoor space allows, install a wood deck. Add an Asian look by covering it with a pergola. This is a wooden shelter with a flat, slatted roof, supported by vertical posts. Beneath it is a square or rectangular sitting area. Enhance its Zen quality with flowing white curtains, draped from the roof. Consider radial balance for the placement of your chairs. If building a pergola seems too ambitious, make your deck Zen with Oriental urns, sculpture, or a stone pagoda.

 

3. Keep furnishings simple.

Zen is characterized by clean lines, so try to minimize ornamentation. This isn't to imply that your home should be stark. But embellished, large pieces are overpowering. Also, too many collections and accessories are distracting. Strive to maintain an uncluttered look. Is some of your furniture non-functional, merely taking up space? If so, donate it to a charity or sell it on eBay. For the greatest Zen effect, use nature-themed accents. Japanese furniture is typically low to the ground. You can mimic this aesthetic with low-set tables, chairs, bed frames, and nightstands.

 

4. Make plants your companions.

Houseplants create an indoor oasis, infusing your home with Zen in several ways. First, they soften the rigid lines of furniture and walls. They freshen air by absorbing carbon dioxide and pollutants and releasing oxygen. Their green hues are restorative. Plants on windowsills provide privacy and reduce sun glare. Especially Zen are plants with symmetric growth patterns. Here are some candidates, with their botanical names in parentheses.

  • bamboo palm
  • Chinese evergreen
  • dragon tree
  • peace lily
  • prayer plant
  • rubber plant
  • snake plant
  • spider plant

On your deck, consider a container garden, the perfect ambiance for meditation. Continuing the Asian theme, use Oriental glazed planters as vessels. Bonsai is classic Zen! Plants are trained as miniature versions of mature specimens. Here's a list of plants that thrive in confined space.

  • arborvitae
  • bergenia
  • Buddhist pine
  • creeping Jenny
  • Japanese pieris
  • juniper
  • red twig dogwood
  • yucca

 

5. Suffuse your home with natural fragrance.

Scent rooms with small bowls of potpourri. You'll find packaged, fragrant plant material in stores that sell crafts and home goods, such as Michael's and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. You can also make potpourri at home.

Another option is an essential oil diffuser. If you're unfamiliar with this device, it's a form of aromatherapy. The appliance disperses essential oil in mist, filling the air with natural fragrance. It also functions as a humidifier.

Essential oils are aromatic compounds extracted from plant parts, such as flowers, roots, stems, seeds, and bark. Each fragrance evokes a particular response. Here are the benefits you'll gain from essential oils, along with potent examples.

  • elevated mood: jasmine, peppermint, sweet orange, vanilla
  • easy breathing: eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary
  • sharper focus: eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, pine
  • improved immunity: lemon, rosemary, sage, thyme
  • insect protection: cedarwood, clove, lemongrass, rosemary
  • pain relief: bergamot, clary sage, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary
  • relaxation and facilitated sleep: bergamot, lavender, rose, vetiver, ylang-ylang

Unlike incense and candles, a diffuser isn't a fire hazard. It also eliminates the risk of skin burns and wax spills.

 

Your Sanctuary

Three basic elements of Zen are simplicity, balance, and harmony. Begin redecorating by choosing a soft color theme of earth tones. Examples are light blue, green, lilac, gold, beige, white, and tan. For furnishings, select organic materials and fabrics, such as cotton curtains, bamboo blinds, marble counter tops, and a wooden deck or patio by Lifestyle Patios.

Do you tend to hoard possessions? Most of us do. If so, Zen design is the perfect cure. Donate or sell items that serve no purpose, creating more space to breathe.

Keep decor simple and uncluttered. Appoint furniture that's unadorned, sleek, and preferably, low to the ground. Use nature-themed accents, such as plants, lamps, prints, sculptures, and table fountains. Also, suffuse your home with natural scents from potpourri and essential oils.

Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz said it well: “There's no place like home.” However, with Zen decor, you don't need to soar over the rainbow. Remove your ruby slippers at the door, and cozy up at home!

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

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