The Japanese word ‘zen’ literally means sitting meditation.
The word’s roots can be traced back to early Indian Buddhism, which regarded deep meditation as one of the three components to master in order to attain enlightenment.
This is why, in the modern world, ‘zen’ is often associated with Asian traditions, calmness, relaxation, and minimalism, especially in the realms of decoration and design. You don’t need to attain enlightenment in order to find budget-friendly options that can give your bedroom a decidedly zen look and feel. All you need is a bit of creativity and resourcefulness.
1. Minimalism is the Foundation of any Zen Bedroom
Minimalism is a design aesthetic that relies on simplicity, reduced clutter, and limited ornamentation to attain visual harmony.
Basically, it means relying on very little to achieve a lot. In the bedroom, minimalism means furniture with simple lines, a finished wooden floor, a unified color scheme, and the absence of clutter. You can still use elaborate furniture, artworks, and other design accents in a zen bedroom – the key is to avoid detail overkill. There’s no need to bring all of the detailed art you’ve been hoarding inside your bedroom.
Instead, choose but a few elaborate pieces to place in your zen-themed bedroom, and only choose the pieces that go well with your chosen color scheme and furniture. Everything else is clutter and doesn’t belong in the bedroom (unless you can keep them out of sight).
Decluttering is a big part of creating a zen environment. The less unnecessary objects you have in your bedroom, the closer you are to achieving a zen look and feel.
2. Adopt a Natural and Organized Color Scheme
Choose neutral, earthy, and pastel colors like light grays, white, browns, light pinks, greens, and other similar colors that convey softness and relaxation. This much is true when choosing the perfect mattress. Of course, you can’t just splatter these colors in your bedroom and be done with it. Pick a main color for your walls while picking 2 to 3 accent colors for your room furnishings – a minimalist rule of thumb used by modern interior decorators.
Do this with earthy, pastel, and neutral colors only. Striking colors like orange, neon green, and bright yellow are best kept to a minimum or better yet, completely absent.
The reason for all this is that colors commonly found in nature remind us of our connection to the natural world. And using these colors in your bedroom can strengthen that connection.
Also Read: How To Create Color Flow In Your Home?
3. Don’t be Afraid to Combine Natural and Synthetic Materials
Achieving zen design doesn’t mean sticking to just one type of material. Every material, when used right, has the capability to contribute to a zen environment. Wood is the best material to rely on for a natural look and feel, especially when the finish reveals beautiful imperfections in the material. However, if you don’t already have beautiful wooden furniture, there’s no need to overhaul your bedroom. Instead, you can just introduce some practical wooden furnishings, like a dresser, chair, or coat stand.
There’s also the option of painting your existing furniture in earthy tones for a more natural look. If your floor is cold hard cement, a soft white/light brown carpet can provide a wonderful contrast to its textured grays.
Likewise, if you have an elaborate metallic bed frame, you can cover it in soft and natural linens to create harmony and simplify lines. If your floor, bed frame, walls, and ceiling are made of wood, bring in some metal in the form of chimes, floor lamps, or sculptures.
Remember: don’t stress too much about everything being ‘natural’.
Work with what you have: combine and contrast natural and synthetic materials to achieve a balanced look.
Wood, clay, stone, plastic, metal, cement, and glass all have a place in a zen environment.
It’s not about the materials, it’s about achieving minimalist visual harmony that ultimately results in a relaxing and calming space.
4. Choose Soft and Natural Light
It’s a common practice in a lot of homes to use just a single strong source of light in the bedroom. The problem is that this kind of lighting provides the opposite of the warm and natural feeling that you want to achieve through zen design.
When it comes to zen lighting, it’s best to use soft lights in warm shades of yellow, orange, and red.
And it’s not just because soft and warm lighting complements minimalist zen aesthetics. It’s also because using dim, warm lights have less chances of disrupting our natural sleep cycle during bedtime.
Blue light and white light, particularly from electronic sources, can actually delay and/or reduce our natural production of melatonin – the hormone that tells the body to get sleepy at night.
So instead of strong white lights hanging from the ceiling, opt for 2 to 3 soft sources of dim, warm light in the form of wall sconces, table lamps, and/or floor lamps.
Of course, design-wise, the best course of action would be to use the actual element of fire via gas lamps and candles. Nothing is as natural and warm as a flickering flame in the night.
However, if you choose to use actual fire to light your zen-inspired bedroom, make sure to follow all the necessary safety precautions that come with lighting fires before bedtime.
5. Bring in Some Plants
Plants are living, breathing pieces of the natural world, and they’re a great addition to any zen-inspired space.
Choose plants that can filter the air in your bedroom. And if you have minimal to zero experience caring for indoor plants, limit your choices to the ones that are easier to care for, like aloe vera or the snake plant.
Once you have more experience with keeping indoor plants alive, move on to plants like lavender and gardenia.
While even a small and simple indoor garden can look elaborate, it certainly has a place in a zen environment, and could even provide a nice focal point in a space with a minimalist design.
- Bring in air-filtering plants.Use soft and natural lighting.
- Don’t be afraid to combine different materials to achieve visual harmony.
- Stick to a neutral, earthy color scheme.
- And keep elaborate details and sheer number of items to a minimum.
Stick to these zen design essentials and your bedroom won’t need any major renovations just to achieve a zen look and feel.