A zen interior is one that is visually balanced, soothing, and relatively minimalist, making use of light, space, and natural materials in thoughtful and effective ways.
Want to know how to achieve this?
Here are 13 ways to make your home more zen…
Go With a Soft and Neutral Color Palette
In order for your home to exude an aura of calmness, you need to have a soft and relatively neutral color palette. Go for earthy tones over the brighter and bolder hues you may have previously favored. You can then add in a few accent colors to complement the more neutral shades – greens and blues work especially well.
Make sure that the palette you choose will work well throughout your home. It’s always a good idea to incorporate white in there too – when used on walls, white can really make a space seem bigger and brighter.
Don’t be afraid of patterns either…
So long as they adhere to your color palette and the pattern itself isn’t too distracting, patterns can work well in a zen interior. However, if this is too much, play with texture instead, especially when it comes to your soft furnishings.
Nothing kills a tranquil and stress-free vibe more than clutter, especially when it comes to cluttered surfaces. Clutter feels like chaos, which really is the opposite of zen, making de-cluttering one of the best things that you could do to amp up the zen in your home.
While some people love to de-clutter, chances are that if you’ve managed to build up quite a bit of clutter over time, then this isn’t an activity that you’re going to enjoy. So, take it gradually!
Start by dedicating just five minutes a day to de-cluttering, slowly working your way from single drawers to entire rooms. While you may be able to speed up the process to get it over and done with faster, de-cluttering is something that you’re going to have to continue to do in the future, so it’s worth turning this into a habit.
Add in Some Greenery
Houseplants are a great way to inject a dose of zen into your home. While just about any plant will add something special, try to pick one that will complement the space you have in mind for it.
Here’s an example…
If you’ve got a large space to fill but it’s on the opposite side of the room to a window, go for an elegant plant that doesn’t require high light levels, such as the ZZ plant.
The Dracaena Lucky Bamboo is a towering plant that comes in both straight and spiral options, while a classic cactus is low-maintenance but extremely dramatic.
Of course, in addition to looking ultra-chic, houseplants can also have air-purifying benefits. Here are a few to consider:
- Aloe vera
- Dragon tree
- Spider plant
- Broad lady palm
- English ivy
Incorporate Natural Materials
Houseplants are great for bringing nature indoors, but there are other ways to enhance your home’s natural, zen-like feel.
Take a look around your home – do you see lots of plastic and metal?
If so, these are choices you may want to reconsider…
Try to make use of materials that can be found in nature instead. Some good examples are:
- Wooden wall and flooring panels
- Clay pots
- Organic textile rugs
- Cork trays or storage containers
Be careful – it’s easy to get carried away once you really get going with the natural theme. Make sure that you don’t undo all of the time and hard work that the de-cluttering took!
Hide the Tech…and the Cords That Come With it
No matter how zen your home may look, you won’t be feeling very zen if you’re constantly stressed out by emails bleeping on your phone and the TV blaring in the background.
In order to really create a zen environment, you’re going to need to hide some of that tech away…
Try designating one area in your home where you keep all of your devices. Not only will this ensure that it’s all out of sight, but it also makes it inconvenient for you to constantly be refreshing your newsfeed, giving you the chance to really enjoy the moment.
If you’re simply not able to hide your tech away, then turn your attention to all of those cords instead.
They add such a cluttered feel to a room, detracting from a zen atmosphere. Fortunately, there are so many creative ways out there to hide cords away. From creating a charging drawer to using cable clips to organize cords out of sight, this one simple step will instantly make your home feel so much more peaceful.
Add in Some Calming Music
Having a zen home isn’t just about what your home looks like…
The way in which you feel when you’re in your home is important too. You want your home environment to leave you feeling more zen too, and music is a great way to enhance this.
There are already numerous studies out there that point to how music is great for inducing relaxation and helping with stress management. The type of music matters – generally, tunes that are around 60 beats per minute are best for helping the brain to relax and de-stress.
Wondering what type of music this actually translates to?
Some of the most effective genres for promoting relaxation are:
- Native American
- Light jazz
You can also try playing some nature sounds through your home. Whether it may be falling rain, crashing waves, or crickets chirping, pick whichever makes you feel most zen.
Infuse a Soothing Scent into the Air
A sweet-smelling home will instantly make you feel so much more relaxed and comfortable. Certain scents also have additional calming and anti-anxiety benefits, which are great if you need to de-stress.
Don’t be afraid to go for different scents for each room of your house either. While a soothing scent may be perfect for your bedroom, you may want something a little fresher for your living room.
A few popular home scents to get started with are:
- Lavender – famous for its calming properties, while also reputed to help treat migraines and headaches, lavender is a great bedroom scent
- Peppermint – this is such an invigorating and stimulating scent, known for boosting the energy. Pick this one if you have a home office, or use it when you are working from home
- Jasmine – uplifting, optimistic, and revitalizing, jasmine is perfect for the common areas of a home
How should you use these scents?
You can either dilute the essential oils in water and then spray this mist around your home, or you can invest in an aromatherapy diffuser, which will gently fill a room with your chosen scent.
Increase Natural Light
A zen home is one that is filled with plenty of natural light, so you should try to do this for your own home as much as possible.
Remove heavy curtains and anything that may be preventing light from flooding in through your windows. Gauzy curtains and blinds work well, but hang or roll these up during the day to let the light in.
Take Down Some of Your Mirrors
You’re probably thinking…
Why would I want to take down some of my mirrors? They bounce so much light around a room – surely this is a good way of increasing natural light, which is what you’ve just told me to do?
Sure, there’s no denying that a strategically placed mirror can make a room seem much brighter, but all of this light bouncing around can also be extremely distracting. Research also suggests that having lots of mirrors around can increase anxiety, which is definitely not what you want when trying to feel more zen.
The rules of Feng Shui state that the dining room is the best place to hang a mirror, but avoid placing it opposite to a window. Avoid having a mirror in your kitchen, and, when it comes to your bedroom, make sure that your mirror doesn’t face your body. This is said to bring on bad dreams and restlessness. There are many other Feng Shui mirror rules out there, and even though this may not be something you believe in, following those beliefs will give your home a zen look and feel.
Soften Your Lighting
Harsh overhead lights are definitely not zen. Just like with your color palette, you want all of the lighting in your home to be soft and natural-looking, which is why lamps tend to work so much better.
Pick smaller lamps for various parts of each room, rather than one larger lamp. This not only keeps the light more balanced, but it also gives you full control over how bright or dim you want each room to be.
Twinkling, decorative lights can be great for enhancing that special, zen-like atmosphere in the evenings, but make sure that you keep the overall look chic and sleek, rather than permanently-festive.
Don’t forget to dot a few candles around your home too, and make the effort to actually use them. These add such a mystical and romantic atmosphere to a space, and can help fill an area with a delicious fragrance too.
Set Up a Water Feature
There’s nothing quite as calming as the sound of trickling water, which is why the best spas around the world are always kitted out with gorgeous fountains.
Well, why not install one in your own home?
It may seem like a big step, but the result will be truly uplifting, bringing a refreshing new energy into your home.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that your entire house needs to be redesigned…
There are many plug-and-play indoor water features out there that you can choose from. Simply choose where you want it to sit, plug it in, and then sit back and enjoy the soothing sound of water.
Organize Your Home’s Entryway
The entryway to your home is the first space you see when you enter your house, as well as the last space you see just before leaving your house. You may not have given this space much thought before, but the way in which your entryway is designed and organized can have quite the impact on your state of mind.
This is usually an area of the house where clutter can easily build up. So, in addition to de-cluttering, try finding more efficient homes for all of your belongings instead. Keeping them on surfaces just looks messy, but tucking them all away into drawers can end up wasting precious time in the mornings.
The solution is simple…
Hang everything instead!
From your jackets and bags to your keys, shoes, and mail, hooks and shadow boxes on the walls will help to keep your entryway organized and as zen-like as possible.
Create a Gallery Wall
It’s important to be able to display art on your walls that makes you feel happy, but scattering random pieces throughout your home won’t add to its zen appeal.
One way in which you can still display all of your favorites without addig extra distractions to each room is with a gallery wall. Pick one room in your home where you can display everything in an organized, gallery-like style, even opting to purchase the same frames for each piece to increase cohesiveness.
Leave the rest of your walls blank to really open up each room a little more.
At times like these, it always helps to be able to feel a little more zen, which is why it’s worth spending some time ensuring that your home exudes a calm and relaxing aura as much as possible. It doesn’t need to be complicated – just a few unique touches is all you need to transform your home into a soothing oasis.