Zen is not just about decorating, it’s a way of life, and your décor can be the first step you take to
leading the simple Zen life. Zen is all about harmony, simplicity and being at one with your
surroundings. If you were to ask a Zen master the ‘simple’ question, what is Zen, they cannot
easily answer, for Zen is a way of life, an opening of your consciousness to a higher level.
Zen decorating is just one method of taking yourself to the next level, of laying the groundwork
for the true Zen life. It’s a strong step, and one that helps clear your mind from the everyday
stresses to help you achieve the balance that you are constantly seeking.
Zen decorating begins with subtraction. Subtract the non-essentials from the room, for
essentials; they should have a function and a place within the room. Functional storage is an
important element, and clutter is completely counterproductive to the Zen style
Zen color palettes are inspired by nature. They’re warm and natural colors that don’t jar the
senses. Patterns are minimal and subtle and cannot compete for attention.
Fabrics and flooring should emphasize nature. Cottons, wood and bamboo are right at home in
Zen Master baths. Rich woods for storage pieces and organic cotton towels are just two simple
ways to bring in a Zen look.
Art and Accessories
Artwork and accessories in Zen décor are kept to a minimum. Accessories should have a purpose
and focus on quality rather than quantity. Japanese accessories slip right into complement the
Zen style, so a textured pottery vase with simple bamboo is perfect. Artwork should be simple
and not fussy. A watercolor or nature print in a simple black frame is the way to go for Zen style.
Silk flowers and dried flowers are not part of the Zen decorating theme. Avoid them, they not only
go against the Zen philosophy, they are bad Feng Shui.
Lighting on a dimmer is important for the Zen style, as low or soft lighting is soothing and
calming. Candles are always a nice addition to the style, as they have decorative and lighting
functions and can be grouped without looking cluttered.
You know you’ve achieved the Zen purpose of the room when you consider it your haven, your
retreat and a room to relieve tension.