By the Engel & Völkers Team
Home is oftentimes our greatest escape, better than even the most expensive getaway. As this year comes to a close, it becomes all the more important to be able to retreat to our place of comfort at the end of the day, especially when it’s easiest to feel burnt out by holiday stress and life’s chaos.
This season, if you’re looking to transform your living space into your ultimate place of zen, we’ve got you covered. When it comes to creating a space filled with relaxing, harmonious and peaceful vibes, these very calming yet chic home design tips will transport you to your ideal tranquil destination—no passport required.
Neutral Doesn't Mean Boring
Having a neutral color base for your zen sanctuary may be a no-brainer, but keep in mind there are shades beyond white, off-white, taupe and beige that can help you feel grounded without making your walls feel dull. Pale pinks like blush or dusty rose and low saturated blues like chambray or pewter can also act as fresh color bases, while injecting a clean, sophisticated and contemporary twist into a room.
While achieving the right visual aspect for a zen space is key, it’s also important to soothe all of your senses, including smell. Enhance any room with natural scents by making use of linen sprays, soy or beeswax candles and essential oils. In your bedroom, these can have a calming effect when it’s time to sleep, but also be invigorating when you wake up in the morning. Especially in an at-home office, natural lit candles on your work station can help to relieve stress throughout the day.
Let in the Light
Florescent lighting is the antithesis of zen. However, indirect or diffused lighting can work wonders to create the illusion of peace and tranquility. Consider floor lamps with rice paper shades and sheer fabrics or panels for your window treatments to re-vamp your home’s light design.
A Little Wabi Sabi Goes a Long Way
Experiment with wabi sabi—the Japanese philosophy rooted in Zen Buddhism that embraces imperfection. In line with this concept, using slightly flawed and naturally beautiful objects in your home can create a serene setting that is pleasing to your soul. Incorporating items like handmade or artisanal dishes and bronze or copper vases that have developed a rich patina over time can capture the true essence of wabi sabi. For a more raw, cool look, swap out bold florals for faux branches in large planters, or line up stones and crystals along any hearth or windowsill.
Want to feel grounded? Try incorporating low furniture and lines to get as close to the floor as possible. Simple, low-profile furniture like most mid-century pieces can instantly create a relaxed setting. Minimalist, low-slung furniture that sit below the traditional 18 inches above the ground can also make walls and windows appear taller and open up smaller spaces.