5 Simple Steps to Create a Zen Home
“Zen is not mysticism or something esoteric; it is a rational method of helping us become better people.” – A.V Grismore
Many people believe that Zen is Feng Shui redefined. however this is but a westerners misinterpretation of the true meaning of Zen and its application. Zen isn’t limited by a system of laws measured to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in order to generate an energy flow (chi). Zen masters believe that chi is created effortlessly when you seek a stripped-down, clutter- free approach to life, where less is more and space is central.
Ask yourself, ‘What can I leave out?’, rather than ‘How can I fit it all in?’
Take this moment to sit still and picture a space that is devoid of clutter, an environment that tributes the outdoors by embracing natural materials and textures in order to create peaceful and tranquil surroundings. An internal ecosystem filled with natural light and soft colour palettes that is fit for purpose; where each room flows seamlessly with the other…this is the true essence of Zen.
So how do we achieve this in our own individual environments?
Well it might be idealistic to expect a rapid transformation from tangled, lived-in Western interiors to an ascetic, architect orientated setting. However, firstly allow yourself to achieve a Zen space within one room where you can meditate in a clutter-free, crisp and peaceful environment. The rest will follow…
You can achieve this by considering these 5 simple steps:
1. Keep it clean
In order to create a calming, harmonious environment one must eliminate all clutter as it can inhibit relaxation. A simple and effective way to achieve this is to clear your room of any nonessentials by storing them in a shelving system with a door that can be closed when not in use. Remember, the tidier the space, the quieter the mind.
2. Respect the outdoors
Surround yourself with natural external elements. Your interior space should feel natural, light and calming just like a garden. You can achieve this by bringing the outdoors indoors through the use of light fabrics, deep textures, luscious plants and soft palettes. Consider these applications when choosing furniture and soft furnishings. They will make the world of difference to the energy within the room.
3. Turn the noise down
Your space is a technology free zone devoid of any electronic disturbances. Yes you heard right! No computers, no gadgets and definitely no phones. This is your time to centre yourself and feel grounded. You can create soft sounds of nature by hanging wind chimes, having a trickling water fountain or by listening to birds chirping outside your window.
4. Natural light
In order to create a softly lit space, we must substitute harsh fluorescent lighting that interferes with the natural calming environment we are trying to recreate. This can be achieved by introducing a variety of candles and lanterns. If this is proving to be a problem, try and incorporate indirect lighting that is warm and dimmable; this way you can adjust the strength to create the mood you desire.
“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.” – Leo Christopher
The time you will spend in this room is best spent alone. This is your sanctuary, your serene environment you can escape to in order to ground yourself and unwind. I know what you are thinking, ‘But how do we find the time?’ There is always time! Whether you wake up 30min earlier or spend some time here before bed. You must find the time to regroup in order to achieve and live with a clearer sense of direction and purpose.
Once you have achieved these 5 design elements, you have finally embraced the true essence that is Zen.