Our homes should be a place of rest and comfort. But all too often we get bogged down in work and life, and we forget all about peacefulness and rest. We need to reclaim our homes and make them more zen. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Create A Bedroom Gallery Wall
Your bedroom is the room in which you spend the most time. So it’s worth spending some time making this room a little more zen. More zen, even, than the rest of your home. One cool thing you can do is make a gallery wall. Grab a bunch of pictures that share relatively common features and palettes. And then arrange them into a square or rectangle along an otherwise blank wall. You want to go for relatively neutral tones here, to avoid clashes. And once you’re done, you’ll get to enjoy beautiful pictures when you wake up every morning.
Gallery walls also work well with framed black and white, or grayscale, photographs. If you wish, you could have pictures of family, children, and even pets lined up along the wall. Or you could stick to more abstract pictures and even landscapes.
Install An Oversized, Full-Length Mirror
If they’re used correctly, mirror’s can work magic in any of the rooms of your home. They’re particularly great in the bedroom. But most people make the mistake of making their mirrors too small. Mirrors should be large, accentuating the size of the room. For people who live in crowded inner cities, mirrors are a way of opening up space and feeling free. Often, inner city apartments can feel cramped and overlooked. Oversized mirrors can go some way to remedying this and creating a sense of space and freedom.
Choose Earthy Colors
The Zen design style was originally conceived to make homes more harmonious and peaceful. And so it should come as no surprise that Zen interiors focus on Earthy colors. Most schemes use a beige or a soft gray as the base color and then build up the color from there. The best examples use browns, soft oranges, dark browns and greens. Plants often provide excellent contrast with the understated background colors of most Zen designs.
Make The Floor Subtle
A regular feature of Zen homes is parquet flooring designs. Parquet floors are wooden floors where the wood is arranged into patterns for decorative effect. These floors are often particularly refined and luxurious, but at the same time, relaxing and understated. They’re best married with a wool rug for softness underfoot.
You could also experiment with resin flooring. Resin flooring uses a robust plastic surface to protect the flooring underneath. It’s particularly suitable for homes that have pets or when furniture is regularly moved around. Resin and parquet flooring should be paired with the same color fabrics that are present in the rest of the room. Carpets and rugs should be khaki, gray and even moleskin.
Bring In Green Plants
Zen is all about being in harmony with one’s environment. That’s why plants are such an important feature in Zen designs. Including plants in your home immediately helps to make it more of a sanctuary. For starters, plants help to bring more oxygen into your home. But they also carry with them some beneficial bacteria. Right now, our homes are far too sterilized and contain far too few natural elements. And it’s taking its toll on our gut health. This year a team of Japanese researchers found that when we breathe in forest air, we take in beneficial substances. And many of these beneficial factors help regulate our gut flora which is important to our health.
Bringing this good bacteria into our homes helps elevate our moods and boosts our immunity to infection and disease. One study even suggested that “forest breathing” could ameliorate anorexia.
Play With Lighting
To create a space that is truly Zen, you have to get lighting right. During the day, Zen designs rely on gentle, natural light to brighten interiors. At night, they rely on dimmers, artificial candles, and wall lighting. The lighting ideas here give a sense of the range of different lighting types you can have installed in your home. If you’re going for a Zen feel, you want to avoid white, washed out lighting. You also want to avoid projecting bright lights from the ceiling. Instead, go for a mixture of wall lights and lamps. This will fill the room with indirect light in the evening and at night and it should help with sleep patterns.
Pick Zen Furniture
Zen furniture is designed around simplicity and beauty. Most Zen furniture is made from wood. For instance, you can get solid oak Zen beds and dress them with khaki colored mattresses and brown pillows.
Another cool idea is to use an egg-shaped enclosure for work. Tisenttate Nu-Ovo is a company that creates egg-shaped pods for a peaceful working environment. These pods are ideal for homes with a lot of space and high ceilings.
Korean designer Bae Sehwa recently designed a beautiful sinewy wooden seat. It was intended to mimic the shapes that one might find in nature.
Baths have not escaped the eye of Zen-inspired designers either. Recently Wanda Bathtub created an ergonomic tub with a minimalist, yet beautiful design.
Another cool Zen design comes in the form of Mikhail Belyaev’s Pebble Table. This table looks a lot like a pebble, sitting on its side in the water. It makes the perfect living room accessory in any house that wants to be a sanctuary.
Finally, yoga seating is a must in any Zen-inspired household. And now Zen Circus has made a chair with that exact purpose in mind. The seat is suspended from the ceiling. And the seat is made from white cloth. This is the perfect way to practice getting into all those unusual yoga positions.
Go Minimal On Ornaments
If you’ve ever been to a Zen home, you know how sparing they can be with ornaments. Ornaments are rarely flashy. Rather, they’re calm and soothing additions to the home. A typical Zen ornament might be a pale, replica boulder. Or it could be something beautiful, yet functional, like fire tools. The trick with Zen ornaments is to use as few as possible, yet display them in a striking way. Because Zen-themed homes tend to be so understated, ornaments, no matter what they actually are, tend to stand out.
Use Natural Scents
Making your home smell amazing the natural way is a big trend right now. And it’s the perfect way to turn your home into a sanctuary. Just like certain sounds can relax us, so too can certain smells.