The words tranquility and serenity are associated with different concepts for different people. Some people might associate these terms with greenery, waterfalls, and chirping birds while others would associate it with isolation and complete silence.
The word ‘zen’ comes from Japanese origin translates to medication. As an aesthetic, zen is associated with relaxation. Basically, zen aesthetic and living decor isn’t particularly linked with any colour, theme, or anything of that sort – it encompasses anything that would relax the homeowner.
The Importance of Zen
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Traditionally, the zen lifestyle was synonymous with Buddhists monks who would go on retreats to find serenity. It’s a lot more difficult to find a waterfall in urban areas, plus the fact that you can’t reasonably take weekend getaways every week to find zen.
The 21st century is the era of technology, we can not reasonably let go of our phones and computers because they’re not solely used for entertainment. Your phone is also your workplace and your library. We need technology.
Buddhists monks lived in simpler times and even the few practicing today have completely withdrawn from society to live a peaceful lifestyle. People living in cities, with bills to pay aren’t offered the same luxury.
However, the impact of it all is pretty evident. Especially when you find yourself constantly in a negative state of mind, lethargic, and losing the will to get up each day. We need to find the right balance in our lives and one way to achieve this is by redecorating our living space for more zen.
How to Redecorate Your Living Space For More Zen
Declutter, Declutter, and Then Declutter Some More
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Different people associate serenity with different settings, however, no one walks into a room that’s cluttered and thinks of medicating there. As aforementioned, the Zen aesthetic isn’t confined to a particular catalog or certain design. Zen encompasses anything and everything that declutters your head space and allows you to relax.
Naturally, the first step in achieving that through your living space would be to declutter it. Making space seems like a relatively easy task in theory, however, when you’re asked to choose between the coffee mug with the pug in a sweater or the one with two kittens, you’ll realize it isn’t that easy.
The simplest, yet the most effective way to declutter your living space is to look around and ask yourself, ‘what brings me joy and what doesn’t?’ When you ask yourself a binary question such as this one, it gets easier to choose which coffee mug you should keep and which one you should store away.
Incorporate Natural Elements
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The idea of greenery, earthy tones, and natural lighting have been synonymous with the idea of relaxation, serenity, tranquility, and of course Zen. Incorporating natural elements is, however, not limited to the number of potted plants you have in your living space. It can encompass your apartment’s color scheme as well.
Go for natural colors such as beige, off-white, and a blend of brown or dusty pink to your walls better contrast against natural wooden and green elements in your apartment.
It is also important to understand that you do not necessarily have to completely redecorate your home for it to become more Zen. Zen is essentially a frame of mind that calms and appeases you. If you can achieve zen with a small, cozy corner then incorporate natural elements there.
Aromatherapy is the Best Form of Therapy
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Several studies have shown the positive effect aromatherapy has on your mood and your general well-being. While it might seem like a stretch to say that aromatherapy is the best form of therapy, it’s evident by the way people relax when they smell something appeasing.
Zen scents are often those that are mild, calming, and retain some semblance of nature in them. The following description fits best with essential oils, namely floral, peppermint, and other natural scented oils.
Alternatively, you could go with scented candles that are scented in combinations such as amber and oud, jasmine and green tea – all these to name a few.
Minimum and Natural Furniture
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If you were given an empty room and asked to decorate it to be more zen, you’d have it pretty easy. Why? Because open spaces are usually synonymous with medication and relaxing. However, you would understandably need some furniture to keep it from looking like a holding cell.
Keep furnishings to a minimum and avoid bold patterns or colours. Ideally, go with wooden furnishings of high-quality and that can serve dual roles. For example, an Ottoman that can function as a seat and a table.
Shown in Image: Radcliff Wooden Claw Pendant Lamp
One of the most crucial aspects to consider when decorating a room to become more zen is to consider lighting elements. Nothing beats natural lighting for a more serene feel in the apartment. Other lighting solutions include ambient, task, and accent lighting.
Ambient lighting is intended for general illumination, task for dedicated functioning, and accent for accentuating certain areas of the room. In this case, avoid strong halogen lights for ambient lights, go for more toned down and calming lights. Incorporate as much natural light as possible and accentuate areas with dedicated artwork.
Visit Light Vault for an extensive catalog of lighting solutions for every aesthetic.
Credits: Renopedia, Starry Homestead
Most interior designers are stumped when you ask them to decorate a room to make it more zen. This is again because of the fact that Zen is more of a mindset than it is an aesthetic. However, a cheat code decorators use to achieve any desired aesthetic is to incorporate artwork for that aesthetic.
Zen artwork, as implied, would be something with a lot of greenery and incorporating Japanese traditions. Most artworks in this category include cherry blossom images and scenic artwork.
Incorporate Large Windows and Mirrors
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As aforementioned, nothing can beat natural lighting for a serene and peaceful outlook. The best way to bring natural light in is to install large windows. This goes with the zen aesthetic because your room has minimal furniture, clean edges, cool colours, and now a lot of light.
A helpful tip for making the most of natural lighting is to install large mirrors all throughout your living space. Natural light reflects from one mirror onto the next and accentuates that serenity plus it gives the illusion of a larger living space.
Achieving zen refers to achieving peace through relaxation and meditation. Your living space has to be your personal asylum and retreat. This is best achieved if you incorporate principles and elements for a more relaxing, tranquil, and zen aesthetic.