The popular Zen design concept traces its roots to Zen Buddhism, which started in China and eventually spread to Korea and Japan, where the very first Zen structures still survive to this day. The Kokedera (also known as Saihoji) or Moss Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a fine example of Zen-inspired landscaping.
Zen design is characterized by simplicity, closeness with nature, tranquility, and austerity, among others. When properly applied to any home, one can expect a relaxing vibe that is hard to achieve with any other principles of interior design and landscaping.
If you’re aiming for a Zen atmosphere in your home, here are eight quick improvement projects that you must consider:
Buy minimalist, earth- or neutral-colored furniture pieces
A key element of Zen design is simplicity, which is why you must go for furniture items that are elegant in their simplicity. You can easily buy a sofa online from reputable manufacturers or sellers to find a great-quality minimalist sofa or other furniture pieces such as chairs and tables. Be sure to get ones with a neutral or earth color to adhere to that Zen look and vibe.
Invest in soft lights
Zen design is not one to overpower one’s senses, which makes perfect sense to swap blinding fluorescent lights with candle lights that project soft light. If you can, install dimmers, so you can control the intensity of light that the bulbs emit. You may even light up a scented candle if you want a diffused light effect from time to time. Just be sure not to leave it unattended or placed near anything that can catch fire.
Buy some relaxing scents and diffusers
Speaking of scented candles, another quick way to achieve a Zen feel in your home is to invest in essential oils with scents that are proven to calm the nerves. You should try lavender, bergamot, chamomile, and lemon, among others. Also, don’t forget to buy some nice diffusers to go with the scent. Place them in areas where you spend your time frequently such as bedroom, bathroom, living room, and home office or study area.
Bring a piece of your outdoors inside
If you want a truly relaxing indoor space, then consider getting some nice bonsai trees or indoor plants with air-purifying properties such as English Ivy and snake plant. You can also install a small terrarium if desired. This simple project should be an easy affair since there are plenty of local suppliers and online sellers from whom you can purchase the plants that you need for your indoor areas.
Go for natural fabrics
Zen is big on things that remind one of our inherent ties with nature, which is precisely why you should have as much natural fabric as possible. Linen, cotton, wool, and other natural textiles are the perfect materials for curtains, pillows, and other interior accents made of fabric. Again, pick colors that do not overpower visually to stay true to your desired Zen vibe.
Apply a fresh coat of nature-toned paint on walls and ceilings
In many cases, all that a home needs to look like new again is a fresh coat of paint on its walls and ceilings. In this regard, be sure to consider repainting your ceilings and walls with nature-colored paint such as green, tan, khaki, gray, or beige. While you’re at it, be careful not to use paint that emits a toxic fume to protect your family’s health.
Remove clutter and invest in discreet storage spaces or custom cabinets
No Zen design would be complete without mentioning the need to declutter. You can easily achieve this by organizing your things in storage areas that do not take up unnecessary space and can be hidden in plain sight. You can also order some custom cabinets for your kitchen, bathroom, garage, or living room to achieve the minimalist look that you’re after.
Buy some plush beddings
Zen principle is not all about the visual things but sensory ones as well. As such, you should go buy some plush mattresses, pillows, comforters, and bedsheets, so you can always feel relaxed whenever you doze off in bed. They may be more expensive than typical beddings but the calming and soothing feeling of plush beddings more than pay for themselves.
With these eight quick and simple home improvements, achieving and enjoying that authentic Zen atmosphere is easy. Just make sure that you’ll do your research first, so you’ll know exactly how to proceed and how much money you need to set aside.