The Guidelines of Zen Decorating

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The Guidelines of Zen Decorating

Staff Writer · May 11, 2010

Zen decorating is derived from the Buddhist spiritualist ritual of communing with nature in a peaceful and harmonious manner. Therefore, your living area should reflect this theme when you use this type decorating style in your apartment home. In Japanese, the word “Zen” means meditation; thus, Zen decorating promotes the idea of a simple and serene style.

Get Rid of the Clutter

As Zen decorating encourages a minimalist design theme, you’ll need to rid your apartment of unnecessary items or knick-knacks. Keep the walls clear of too many pictures or paintings and shy totally away from using colorful accessory items. You want to create clean and simple lines. Therefore, the atmosphere you devise should instill a sense of balance or one that is calm and relaxing. To maintain this type of harmony then, don’t buy any unnecessary items. Only use items you actually need if you want to make the principle of Zen work in your apartment. For ancillary items you want to keep, you’ll need to make good use of storage. Buy underbed storage boxes, hang in-closet shelves and use ottomans that double as repositories to reduce clutter and keep any additional items hidden from view and in order.

Keep the Elements of Nature in Mind as you Decorate

As Zen inspires the interaction of man with the elements of nature—or, water, earth, fire, wood and meta—then use these elements as you decorate in the Zen style. For example, place a small water fountain on a coffee table. Use candlelight and lamps made of metal. Bamboo furniture is a good choice too. Hang two or three pictures that depict nature, such as the scene of a waterfall, a floral rendering or a seascape. Remember the focus is nature; therefore, never use plastic or any materials that do not promote the earth’s natural elements.

Use Neutral Colors and Earthy Tones

As the idea behind Zen decorating is to use materials and furnishings that denote nature, the colors should do the same. Use earthy colors and tones in hues of blue, brown, forest green and pale purple. Choose neutral shades on walls and ceilings, window treatments and furniture cushions. Select whites with soft pink undertones or creams with pale yellow or ivory shadings.

Keep Accessory Items to a Minimum yet Interesting

Zen decorating accessories should be minimal yet elegant. Use Japanese shoji screens to divide your space or for privacy. Include table lamps with shades made of rice paper. Add recessed lighting so the clean and simple look is maintained. Window treatments should allow plenty of sunlight to enter the apartment. Enhance the Zen scheme with curtains made of natural materials such as sheer organic cotton or flax. Impart the feeling of nature in your small confines with bonsai trees, floral displays in clay vases or bamboo plants and smooth stones in metal or wood containers.

Choose Furniture with Low Lines

As you want to open up the space you have in Zen decorating, choose furniture with clean low lines in your decorating arrangement. Make sure cushions are colored neutral and covered in light, natural fabrics. Add silk pillows in pale hues and shades.

Use the above information and you can create an apartment that is inviting, functional and a relaxing place to spend time alone or with family and friends.

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