5 seamless ways to emulate the Zen vibe in your spaces
The easiest way to describe the “Zen” philosophy is to think of it as a way of life – something that promotes inner peace, monastic decluttering, and a way to embrace the simple side of life. It’s the kind of aesthetic that requires very few home décor items.
Zen is a Japanese ideology and it is the physical personification of calmness, tranquility, and understated refinement. It’s a beloved interior design style that is adored because of its ability to instill calmness in a space. Let’s take a look at all the different ways that you can emulate it in your spaces:
- Embracing asymmetry
Everything in nature has subtle asymmetry, whether it’s tree branches or even your facial features. And since the Zen ideology is all about embracing nature, it also respects asymmetry. It’s called fukinsei and it’s usually emulated trough strategically offset furniture layout, structural elements or more.
2. Neutral colors
The Zen style is translated in only subtle, refined, and understated neutral hues that are complemented with gold-white lighting. Whether it’s the walls, the floor, or the ceiling, there are rarely any vibrant colors used in this style. Sometimes, there’s the occasional home décor item such as a red lantern or a green bonsai tree that adds a splash of vividness to the neutral theme, but otherwise, everything is decidedly and distinctly neutral.
3. Decluttering endlessly
Do you know what makes a Zen interior design so calm? It’s all the endless decluttering. A Zen space inspires a truly relaxed vibe because it is very simple, stripped down to its bare necessities, and isn’t furnished with needless accessories. It’s called kanso, and it dictates that reduction in physical clutter leads to reduction in mental clutter.
There’s a similar ideology called seijaku and it’s also a related but abstract concept. It doesn’t begin or end with physical decluttering of a space (although that’s a big part of it!), but can also be invoked by a window with a great view or a lived-in piece of furniture that brings you a lot of joy. Sometimes, it could also be a beloved home décor item that can add emotional value to the ambiance.
4. Strengthening your bond with nature
The Zen ideology promotes the concept of being one with nature. It is known as shizen, and it can be articulated in many ways. Many designers opt to create visual transparency between indoor and outdoor spaces to emulate this part of the Zen concept. However if your space doesn’t allow this, then you can simply bring in a small-scale bonsai tree or furnish any surface of your interior design with indoor plots and planters. Simple ceramic pots or tiered bamboo plant stands are some very good options.
5. Balance and consistency
One very noticeable quality of the Zen style is that it promotes consistency and balance. You’ll notice that there’s little to no room wall décor in these spaces. Sometimes, Japanese style calligraphy is featured on scroll-like fabric tapestries, but otherwise, the walls are either plain or finished in wood. There’s a natural consistency that carries through the walls to the floor to the furnishings and the décor in the form of a seamless material, color, and lighting selection.
This is everything that you need to know about the Zen interior design style and how it can be emulated in any space. We hope that you find these tips useful when fashioning your interiors in this theme.