Zen Home Design – Most of us would be glad for a moment of silence at some point in the day. It is usually when we finish our working day that we just need to sit for a moment and mentally release the events of the day. Some of us have triggers to sub-consciously signal to our brain that we can relax now. Taking off your watch, having a shower or just getting changed into more comfortable clothes are all signals that tell us to relax.
Our home environment also plays an important role in helping us unwind. Here are some of our favorite Zen design tips that will ‘soothe’ your senses and help you to create a more peaceful feeling in your home.
Daylight: Everyone is happy when the sun is out so try and let as much daylight as possible into your home. The best way to do this is by keeping your windows clean and opening your curtains and blinds each day. If your home is over-looked, use simple sheer voile curtains to give you privacy.
Flooring: If you don’t have young children charging around, use pale colored flooring to help create a feeling of space. Pale blues, soft greens and light browns all provide a neutral base for you to build your color scheme on. If your floorboards are in good condition, stain and varnish them to enjoy a natural wood finish.
Colors: Colors can have a direct affect on how you feel. To create a serene environment, avoid deeper, more vibrant wall colors. Fiery reds, sapphire blues and shocking pinks will keep your heart racing and make the room feel like it is closing in on you. Lavender, lemon, greys and shades of green will all contribute to a feeling of calm.
Accessories: Introduce deeper colors through your soft furnishings. Vary your color palette slightly and use different patterns and textures on your cushions, curtains and throws. Include cotton, linens, velvet and silks to introduce a tactile element to your room.
Ornaments: Including decorative ornaments that are pleasing to the eye and religious icons that are associated with peace and happiness are simple ways to introduce a feeling of Zen to your home. Elegant ornaments of Buddha laughing or praying are easy to find and come in various materials to suit all types of decor. Look for candle holders in natural floral shapes and water fountains that will deliver the gentle trickle of a stream in the background.
Artwork: Think carefully about what adorns your walls. If your home is sprinkled with war-themed paintings and prints (that are violent, not heroic), and ex-lovers (who you now hate), you will undo all your hard work. Choose images that make you happy or that you associate with peaceful or fun times. Forest scenes, sea-views and holiday photographs of happier times are all good at triggering positive feelings.
Plants: House plants are beautiful to look at and provide the oxygen that we need to survive. When positioned carefully, you can use larger plants to soften the sharp corners in a room and place smaller plants on windowsills where they can provide a gentle screen from prying eyes. Choose plants that you find attractive and that are low-maintenance. The goal is to create a calm living space, not create another job for you.
Scents: The smell of stale feet or last night’s re-heated curry won’t make you feel calm and lovely. Open your windows each day to let fresh air swirl throughout your home. Even in cold weather you should welcome in new air to avoid sharing coughs and colds with your family. Use naturally scented candles, linen sprays and incense to freshen up your home. Essential oils that are known to help you relax include: lavender, lemon, mandarin, rose and frankincense, so buy candles and room sprays in these scents if you do not have an oil burner. Even start to enjoy the clean smell of freshly laundered clothes and home cooking so that you begin to appreciate the little things.