Interior Design / October 15, 2018 / Gabriella Cheek.
As such, in spite of its recent reputation for austere luxury, it’s the sort of style that can do on a budget. Zen as a religion and philosophy, is an emphasis on simple utility and elegance; when a noted British philosopher met with a Zen master and asked question after question after question, the master had him look at a teacup, full of tea, to study. Then dumped the drink on his visitor’s lap, saying that he could not learn Zen until he had emptied his mind as the teacup left – one must make space for the Zen ideals to come to fore.
By that same line of reasoning, focus your Zen re-decorating on one room at a time. Think about having one focal point for the room, and focus your efforts on drawing attention to that focal point. As a consequence, the first step in Zen Decorating is to remove things from the room and your life that are non-essential. Anything that is essential in your office should have storage space, so that put away when not in use.
Works remarkably well for making austere and exciting family rooms and parlors, and less well for children’s playrooms, but even in the latter case, having clearly defined storage areas for toys and books to go into when not in use will help.
For accents and colors, look for neutrals to warm hues. Zen brings an emphasis on connection and simplicity – so solid tones are better than patterns, and walls should have one or two paintings or portraits rather than cover in a kaleidoscope of imagery. Natural materials, such as bamboo and oak, are emphasized over manufactured items, and austere comfort over heavy padding or construction.
Above all else, remember, that the focus of a Zen-themed room should be calm contemplation. It’s a retreat from the spell-mell world of modern life; a pure water fountain with the burbling of water over stones can help with this, as an art in a spare and straightforward style. When you can come into a room, immediately see its focus and exhale, letting the stresses and tensions fall away, you’ve achieved Zen decorating.