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A Practical Guide to Zen Home Décor

A Practical Guide to Zen Home Décor

Design and home decorA Practical Guide to Zen Home Décor

Zen-inspired home décor is an interior decorating approach that focuses on creating a calming atmosphere, one that’s largely inspired by the Zen philosophy. Its style highlights simplicity and harmony. This aesthetic features natural materials, neutral colours, and simple furniture. It very much embraces calming and relaxing natures and allows for designing a very soothing ambience all around. 

The Basic Principles of a Zen Décor

zen decor

Source: Canva

Are you thinking about decorating your home to turn it into a peaceful retreat? Here are the key aspects to consider when planning your project. 

What’s a Zen style?

The Zen style is closely linked to an aesthetic inspired by the Zen Buddhist philosophy and practice. It’s defined by:

  • Simplicity

  • Minimalism

  • Functionality

  • The use of natural materials

  • Symmetry

  • Balance

  • Harmony

A Zen décor often incorporates neutral tones like white, beige, grey, and black, along with natural materials like wood, stone, bamboo, and linen. Zen-inspired spaces tend to be uncluttered, featuring minimalist furniture and carefully selected accessories. 

In practice, this style is often connected to meditation and contemplation, aimed at creating a calming and harmonious space, one that’s conducive to inner calm and mental clarity.

How to Create a Zen Interior Décor

zen interior decor

Source: Canva

Clean and flowing lines

Set your sights on an uncluttered concept and prioritize geometric shapes. While squares and rectangles have made quite a comeback as of late, the Zen aesthetic veers away from such angular forms in favour of clean and flowing lines. As for accessories, opt for soft shapes and supple contours. Round shapes evoke a sense of completeness—round, oval, spherical shapes are unmistakably Zen-like. 

Noble and natural materials

zen decor

Source: Canva

Synthetic fibres are set aside in favour of natural fibres. When it comes to furniture, wood with machined panels is a must. As for horizontal and vertical surfaces, wood, stone, and marble take centre stage. 

A seamless material pairing

Zen-inspired bathroom walls, floors, or furniture are adorned with concrete, wood, stone, and pebbles. There’s something to say about their stability, which is an essential quality in creating a wholesome balance. While the atmosphere does give way to details, the style is unquestionably linked to the presence of noble materials. As for those details, they’re never chosen at random. All the different elements showcased perfectly recall natural textures and shades: jute, ramie, luffa, Egyptian cotton, rattan…you get the picture.

Natural and artificial lighting: complementary and harmonious

zen decoration

Source: Canva

It’s all about lighting. As the hours go by, natural light will give life to different ambiences. After that, it’s best to vary the light sources as much as the space will allow (chandelier, sconces, lanterns, etc.). In smaller, more restrictive rooms, it’s essential to benefit alternately from bright to dimmed lighting to fully bask in an atmosphere conducive to relaxation. Get a dimmer to make your life easier. Another go-to would be to place a few scented candles around the room. Trust the process!

Closer than ever to nature

Greenery and items reminiscent of nature are often displayed around the room. Some ivy strands here and there, miniature palm trees for an exotic wink…and a few potted flowers while you’re at it! Natural-hued, almost velvety-looking pampas grass is always a great add-on to bring in a softer touch to the room. Pebbles, seashells, shards of polished glass, willow branches, and pinecones are all decorative items that easily suit a Zen aesthetic. 

Also very welcomed are tapestries and murals, which conjure up nature: mountain landscapes with a misty and bluish reflection, a tropical forest depicting an array of green hues, and the list goes on.

What are the most Zen-like colours for your home?

When it comes to recreating a particular style, colour is paramount. Simply said, sometimes it’s just a matter of choosing the right shade, and going from there. Otherwise, choosing the wrong colour can lead down a path toward a humdrum, eclectic décor.

White, the symbol of purity.

zen decoration

Source: Canva

Since it reflects light and makes any space look bigger, white is a winner for all Zen-inspired bathrooms. It’s simply beautiful in all its shades and allows for designing a customized décor, at will. By simply switching out accent-coloured accessories from time to time, the area is revamped in a blink. 

Blue, most soothing colour.  

zen decoration

Source: Canva

Sky blue, ocean blue… Blue is often associated with relaxation. It has a soothing nature, beckons rejuvenation, and encourages contemplation and meditation. Blue is often associated with getaways and the promise of faraway lands. It’s also universally liked, no matter the surface it adorns. Fun fact: It’s also a shade that colourblind individuals can see! 

Green, head-on vast spaces

zen decoration

Source: Canva

Sage green, forest green, Christmas tree green, bottle green, the list goes on! Green is somewhat of a quintessential colour when it comes to nature. As versatile as can be, green can be easily paired with shades of white, grey, copper, and an array of wood essences. It’s almost like a daily refreshing gust of wind that blows through your Zen-inspired bathroom to mentally whisk you away to far, faraway lands. Green is also great for evoking rather calming virtues.

Our Top Tips for Creating a Zen Ambience

zen decoration

Source: Canva

Chic and poetic décor

Antique furniture, vintage perfume bottles, cherry blossom branches, airy and see-through veil-like curtains, rustic wood pieces, coloured glass bottles… And, to take things to a whole other level in terms of attention to detail, retro yet refined hygiene product packaging.

Welcome to the Zen jungle

zen decoration

Source: Canva

In this idyllic version of the Zen aesthetic, it’s all about adding greenery and waterfalls. Rain showerhead, waterfall faucet, strands of ivy, pretty palm trees, green wall, slate or imitation stone tiling. And, for an even more obvious touch of serenity, opt for dimmed lighting, any and everywhere, even in the shower!


Limestone, slate, marble, and granite are all well-known natural stones used for flooring, and to those 4, we’re adding travertine to complete our list. Its soft, rosy-peach shade is ultra natural and certainly isn’t lacking in the beauty department. 

Monochromatic Zen

zen decoration

Source: Canva

Now this is, hands-down, a winner! Choose one shade and slowly go through its gradients. Just a simple tip for a well-done décor at every turn. 

Natural wood

The woodwork is stripped back or feigned using exposed beams. Aside from the vanity, framed mirror, and a few select items matching in colour, the bathroom is kept as white as possible.

Stunning wallpaper

zen decoration

Source: Canva

It's all about relaxing, panoramic landscapes depicting scenes drawn from a jungle, mountains, or boreal forest, beckoning you along for the ride. 

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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