Although not strictly a decorating style, bringing Japanese Zen into your home is all about creating an environment of peace, relaxation and inner sanctuary from the stresses and strains of life in the outside world.
Bringing Zen principles and philosophy into your home décor is associated with calm and neutral colours, minimalist and simple furniture and decorations, and features that bring balance and clean lines. It is also all about letting the energy flow positively around the space.
Done well, the look can be simply stunning.
The best palate is natural and neutral. Think of the colours in nature – the pale blue of the sky, the greys of rocks and the golden beige of a sandy beach. These are the perfect Zen shades to bring into your home. Pale pinks and soft whites look perfect too. Mix it up by choosing a couple of complementary colours to run through your room or home; introducing colour onto your walls, floor and into soft furnishings.
Natural products like wood and stone bring nature into your home too, creating texture, interest and warmth in a wonderfully subtle way. Bamboo is another great medium to introduce into your décor.
As well as using wood and stone in your home, use fabric to keep things soft and inviting. There are some beautiful one colour rugs and cushions out there and fabrics can be wool, silk, satin – whatever you would love to snuggle up to on your couch. Introduce statement pieces such as these gorgeous modern Sloane & Sons Tub Chairs with simple lines and beautiful curves.
Heavily patterned fabric, wallpaper or carpets and rugs do not suit this style at all. Again, think plain and simple, although as above, different textures all add to the overall finished look. Chintz has no place in a Zen world! If you really want to sneak a little pattern into your room or home, a touch of Japanese blooms or a very simple geometric pattern should not be too far off the theme.
Any lines should be straight and simple, with softer curved edges thrown in to soften the look. Elaborate table legs and swirls or embellishments should be left at the door. As well as harsh, sharp angles and pointed features.
Less is more
Do not overcrowd your room with too many pieces of furniture or too many little decorations. Space and balance is important. You do not need to fill every wall and every corner. Spend time in the space, see how it feels to you? Do you need everything, or might the room feel more spacious and relaxed with less in there?
Keep ornaments to a minimum and do not be tempted to add a pop of colour. Every shelf definitely should not be packed with this calm minimalist look. Try add a couple of items at a time, then standing back and taking in the overall look to see if you feel the balance is right.
Lighting should be soft and gentle, not harsh and direct. Think warm white bulbs and avoid cool white bulbs. Lighting can make all the difference. Strategically place lights in different areas, such as on up-lighters on walls and a lamp in a corner, so you are not totally relying on one harsh ceiling light directly above. Florescent and strip lighting is also another big no.
Good storage is a must with a minimalist interior. We could probably all do with a good de-clutter, but let’s face it, we all need and are going to have some stuff in our homes! Think wooden cabinets, blanket boxes and wooden crates. Hidden storage under the bed is another great idea. Or if you have a certain area you need to hide, how about a Japanese screen divider?
Splash of green
A touch of green always adds the finishing touch to a Zen style home. How about a bonsai tree? Or some lush plants with large leaves to create calm? A stunning orchid is never out of place in a Zen-inspired interior too. Plants help to add even more calm and create more oxygen in their environment. Even a tiny plant can help to add a little bit of peace to a room.
Minimalism absolutely works when the right textures and colours come together, and done right, Zen-inspired interiors can be places of utter relaxation and tranquillity.
Moretti Interior Design can help you to create beautiful spaces. For more information or to book a consultation in our West London studio, contact us today.
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