From a skillful interior design enthusiast to a complete beginner, anyone can decorate a Zen space that they can be proud of.
When creating your Zen inspired home on a tight budget you should focus on the following characteristics:
- Decluttering the space
- Implementing Zen color palette
- Removing heavy curtains to let natural light in
- Adding house plants
- Bringing in more natural elements
- Having simple pieces of furniture
What Is Zen Interior Design?
Originating from the idea of finding enlightenment and inner peace; finding one’s Zen was mainly about freeing the mind and body while integrating the essence of nature into one’s own being.
This idea is no longer reserved for Buddhists, although they were the originators of the concept. These days, many people seek to bring the element of Zen into their home, with the intention of creating a sense of relaxation, peace, and tranquillity.
There are seven interior design principles commonly associated with Zen design that you can keep in mind when transforming your home.
These are austerity, simplicity, naturalness, subtlety, imperfection, breaking from routine, and stillness.
A Zen inspired home merges the principles and philosophy of this teaching through neutral and calm colors throughout, taking on a more minimalistic approach to decorating. It is best achieved by choosing simple pieces of art, furniture and decorations that create a balanced feel with clean lines.
In this article, you’re going to learn ideas you can start implementing right away if you want to create your dream Zen inspired home on a budget.
Make Some Room
First on the list of cheapest methods to creating a Zen inspired space is to clear up the clutter in your home. But if you’re a hoarder you might have a hard time doing this.
The goal of doing so is to let go of the small, unnecessary items you’d have lying around the house. Have a stack of old magazines you barely read? Maybe it’s time to let go of them.
You want to start by taking it all out, taking down the art hung up on the walls, clearing the contents in your dressers, items under the bed and even your curtains. Don’t think too much when doing this, have a blitz session on the cleaning to avoid staring at things too long. Determine what the essential items are and what will be going back into the room.
Zen décor aims to create a sense of spaciousness and is essentially rooted in order. To create a bare space, which is calm and uncluttered is the ultimate goal.
If you’re willing to try out a more minimalistic approach, you can even sell the extra dressers, furniture, artwork, and also your clothes, and use the money to buy paint and other items that are more aligned with your desired décor. Anything that will be going into the rooms should have a set place. Try not to leave much on the floor.
The Zen Color Palette
Your home is a place meant for relaxation and comfort, thus, a space that allows you to relax and unwind is essential. The color of your walls plays a huge role in helping achieve this calmness and helping you feel more like yourself by reducing your stress and anxiety.
The paint colors existent in your home greatly affect your mood. Choosing a color that is not distracting and does not heighten your anxiety, brings you a step closer to achieving Zen.
If you have some extra change from selling your old items after clearing up the room, you can buy a few cans of paint and take on a DIY job painting your walls. There are certain colors that help you achieve this.
Here is a quick explanation of which colors are best and why they are a definite go-to.
First off, an icy blue color communicates presence, stability, and calmness. Blue is known to encourage productivity for the days you may not feel like getting work done but it’s also important to watch out for the blues (sadness) that this color can inspire.
A beige or light pink is also great as it indicates a sense of cleanliness and simplicity. As long as the colors you choose induce a sense of relaxation and tranquility, you’re inching closer to achieving a Zen inspired home. You may also paint the walls, trim, and ceiling in white, blush, or other pale and soft shades.
Bright colors help uplift one’s mind and spirit, while neutral tones can facilitate relaxation. Keep this in mind when planning your Zen color palette to avoid designing a room meant for relaxation that actually gets you excited.
Let Some Light In
The lighting in a room can alter the way a space looks and feels. Great lighting can change the perceived size of the space, hence why it is such an important part of Zen décor.
You can choose to not install window coverings in some rooms to allow more light to enter the space during the day. For the areas that you might feel the need for window coverings, you can opt for plain or natural sheer curtains that don’t have patterns. This avoids the eyes being drawn to the curtains and instead, allowing them to blend with the rest of the room.
A major consideration in Zen interior design is the flow of energy, and this includes removing those things that prevent the free flow of energy in the room. For this reason, and in keeping with the aim of establishing a stronger connection with nature, you want to maximize the amount of natural light that enters the room. You also want to avoid artificial light and electronic devices in this space.
Add House Plants
Plants allow for there to be an energetic flow within the room. Inviting nature into the home can reduce stress and anxiety, helping you feel calmer and much more aligned with yourself.
There are some great options for air purifying plants, which are great for your energy as well as the energy in the room. The presence of plants also lifts your mood and improves your creativity.
Zen interior design asks you to bring the calm of the nature within, starting in your home, and ultimately in yourself. For this reason, greenery and small plants are an absolute essential in any Zen interior.
What’s more, plants easily complement the neutral colors you would have on the walls or the furniture present in the room. There is a wide range of plants that you can buy to fit the Zen theme of your room, as well as your budget.
When deciding where to place the plant, scan the room for spots that look dull and could be livened up by a leafy fixture. Stand from different angles, taking in different perspectives as this will help you pick the best spot for your plant. This will also help you to get a good picture of how the room is coming together.
When dealing with large plants, it’s important to know that they create a statement in the room. They are more suited for spaces with minimal furniture like your living room, as it might look more cluttered in the bedroom. Here you would rather place smaller plants for that greenery feel.
A great choice for small plants can be a cactus, aloe, or any air plants. Check out my older article on home decorating with indoor plants for more explanation.
Just as a reminder, make sure not to clutter the space. Although house plants are a fantastic addition to your Zen space, if they are failing to blend well or if the room is too small, avoid adding them into your décor.
Bring In More Natural Elements
In addition to using indoor plants to give your space that natural feel, there are other pieces of décor that can also be used to achieve this.
One example of this is a water fixture which can be coupled with some smooth stones. Just remember that the presence of the water fixture should not be too overpowering.
Next you want to give your floors a natural feel as well. For this, you want to go for either stone or wooden floors, coupled with area rugs or mats made from sustainable resources.
There are also other decorative items that are not necessarily natural fixtures but can help to give any room that tranquil feel that you are after. Some lovely scented candles help to introduce soft, natural light while also infusing the room with soothing scents.
Sculptures or statues can also give the room a calming meditative energy. Take advantage of your book shelf space. Instead of filling them completely with books, put a nice decoration on the shelves, such as a Buddha head statue. This will create a personalized focal point that will grab everyone’s attention and have you enjoying your Zen space even more.
Another brilliant idea to consider is to utilize wellness items received in a Lunarly box. This way you’ll be able to revive your Zen room by adding new, inspiring items each month. A Lunarly box includes, among other awesome things like gemstones or crystals, either a bespoke hand-made natural candle or a specially curated house plant. By cultivating products that are inspired by nature and aligned with mindfulness, taking care of your emotional wellbeing while beautifully decorating your home will be effortless.
Have Simple Pieces Of Furniture
A Zen themed room includes furniture that does not give off a statement of its own; rather, it is calm and blends in with the walls, floor, and the rest of the space.
Any pieces with elaborate legs or designs will have to go. If you have detailed furniture with extreme patterns, a great idea would be to sell or exchange them for some simpler and natural pieces.
If you are in the mood for some DIY project, you could even repaint the furniture with simpler colors and muted tones.
Bringing It All Together
Now that we have established the pieces required for a Zen space, we need to put the elements together.
The main principles to follow are to have a clear, open space, keep a natural feel, keep the furniture simple, and go for soothing colors. Remember, this is your space and you will have an intuitive feel for what brings you the most sense of calm and alignment.
Do not feel the pressure to incorporate every single item mentioned above, after all we are going for a more minimal look. Picking just a few essential elements will help keep you on budget while giving you the tranquil space of your imagination.
Keep it simple, invite the light in, bring in some nature, and last but not least, follow your Zen.