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“Minimalism is not subtraction for the sake of subtraction. Minimalism is subtraction for the sake of focus.” – Melissa Joy
In today’s increasingly stressful world, there is an intensified desire to relax. Finding time to do this, however, can be a challenge. We might book ourselves in for an occasional massage or treat ourselves once a year to a spa day, but this falls short of anything that might even be deemed a “relaxing” lifestyle.
So, what is the solution? Because we spend most of our time in our homes, it is essential that they exude a sense of calm and tranquility. This has become even more important in today’s age of self-employment and “working from home.”
Creating a “zen” like home can be easily achieved. Inspired by the Japanese tradition, the concept relates to a minimalist form of design which seeks out balance and flow within our homes. By harmonising your belongings and rejecting clutter, you can create for yourself a sanctuary free from the chaos of the outside world.
The most important step to finding zen in your home is through the process of decluttering. Studies have shown time and time again that physical clutter can have a negative impact on your ability to focus, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress. By organising your belongings and eliminating the extraneous, you’ll find yourself with both more physical and mental space.
2. Get in touch with nature
Indoor plants do more than add greenery to your interior space. Research shows that keeping plants inside your home can bring a whole host of physical and mental health benefits. Not only do they purify the air and assist in breathing, they have also been proven to sharpen focus. Low maintenance and particularly good for indoor air quality are the spider plant, weeping fig, and bamboo palm.
3. Limit the effect of technology
While it would be absurd to even suggest removing all electronic appliances from your home, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce their impact. For example, you might consider special storage units that make their presence less apparent. Similarly, try to conceal any cables or wires that may upset the serene atmosphere you’ve created for your space.
4. Furniture flow
When it comes to the arrangement of your furniture, Zen design promotes simplicity. The idea is to create a flow of positive energy, undisturbed by unnecessary furniture. In this sense, keep furniture to a minimum and retain only what is needed in order to live comfortably. Use natural materials and keep style as neutral and unassuming as possible.
5. Minimal décor
The old saying “less is more” rings a bell. Rather than display every gift you’ve ever received or photograph you’ve ever taken, be selective in your accessories. Use simple elements that compliment, rather than take over, the space. If your room is neutral or subdued in colour, accent using bright colours to give the room a splash of energy.
6. Calm colours
Reduce the colour palette of your room to a quiet, soothing colour. Natural colours, such as grey, white, and beige, have a tendency to promote relaxation and avoid the distraction of bright, bold colours. Before you panic; this does mean your interior design has to be dull or lifeless. By adding accents of colour with your furniture, accessories, and ornamentation, you can create a serene and stylish design.
7. Uplifting lighting
The key to lighting your new Zen home is with soft, natural lighting. While we cannot rely on purely natural light all day long, we can create a soothing brightness using certain methods of artificial lighting. Try to avoid harsh, overhead, ceiling lights that cannot be dimmed. By placing various sources of light around a room, such as floor and table lamps, you can easily vary the intensity in order to create a suitable tone. Of course, candles are also great.