Embrace Calm: 10 Zen Interior Design Tips for 2024

Are you looking to create a tranquil, stress-free home where you can escape the rat race of life? Then, you need these zen home decor ideas to make your home an oasis of calm. 

Zen interior design is closely linked to meditation and equally helps you to live in the moment. The word comes from Zen Buddhism, which dates back to Japan in the eighth century. 

The practice of Zen Buddhism focuses on meditation and a minimalist way of life. And in interior design, a zen home will be simple yet comfortable. It should be functional but also have a sense of balance and harmony. 

We can glean inspiration from the Zen way of living and interior design practices. Then, we can apply certain aspects to our own homes to create a calm, relaxing space to live in. 

Read on to discover ten simple tips for zen interiors you can easily use in your home.  

What is Zen Interior Design?

Zen as a practice and way of living comes from Japan. But in the mid-twentieth century, westerners began to become more interested in this Eastern practice. 

People in the West began to discover meditation and Buddhism. So, it naturally followed that interest in Japanese interior design would also grow. 

Japan zen interior

Around this time, Scandi and Japandi minimalism became popular in interior design. So, the interest continued to build as more awareness of different design styles grew.

Many Japanese families had incorporated their zen beliefs into their homes. Now, zen interior design is associated with a sense of serenity, harmony, and balance. 

Japanese zen

Practically, that means that zen homes will have lots of space to breathe. They aren’t cluttered, bright, or attention-grabbing with vibrant colors. Instead, they are calm areas that invite you to relax and be present in the moment. 

But with zen interior design, there aren’t any strict rules or a manual to follow. Instead, it’s more about creating a certain feeling within your home. That’s great as it gives you more freedom to make your home truly unique. 

But without more guidance, it can be a little overwhelming to know where (or how) to start. So, this guide should help you create a gorgeous zen home in ten simple and achievable steps.

10 Tips for Zen Home Design

1. Create a Zen Themed Living Room

Your living room is one of the most important rooms in your home. No doubt, you spend a lot of time in your living room and want it to feel calm and zen. 

And with a few zen living room ideas, you can create a gorgeous living room for your modern zen house.

create a zen themed living room

First of all, take out anything that shouldn’t be in your living room. Find homes for items elsewhere if you need to keep them. But if they’re just cluttering up the place, you can donate or chuck them. 

Then, take a look at your furniture and see whether you have a calm, balanced layout. Do the items come together nicely, or does something feel off-key?

If that’s the case, you may need to invest in some new items for your zen living room. Look for simple and practical items with clean lines. 

The staples for a living room are a comfy sofa, a coffee table, and a nice rug for the floor. You can add side tables or other things if you have more space. 

I would also recommend choosing artwork or two for the walls. Just make sure it doesn’t feel crowded!

2. Select Zen Colors for Your Living Room

Now you have your zen living room design, and it’s time to think about the color scheme. When you’re designing a zen-inspired living room, you need to think carefully about the colors. 

You don’t want to go for bright, vivid colors that will provoke strong emotions. (This is a similarity shared with Feng Shui interior design). 

select zen colors for your zen living room

Instead, you should opt for calm colors that are elegant and serene. You can look to nature for inspiration. For example, think about the shades of the ocean, the forest, or the beach

Don’t go overboard with too many different colors, either. Choose one main color and two accent colors, and make sure they all come together cohesively. You could go for:

  • Coffee, cream, and white
  • Off-white, gray, and pale blue
  • Brown, beige, and rose pink

Cool colors are often calming, such as blues, purples, and greens. But warm, earthy colors like brown and burnt orange are also excellent for zen homes. They feel cozy, comforting, and welcoming. 

You can also let your personality shine through with your color choices. Remember – your zen home doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s.

Most importantly, you want a color palette that is minimalist and soothing. Make sure that you don’t use any clashing colors. If you’re interested in finding out more about which colors to use, look into color psychology. 

3. Choose Simple, Practical, Yet Elegant Furniture

Once you have your color schemes, it’s time to think about your furniture. In zen interior design, clean lines and simple shapes are preferred. 

simple zen furniture

You don’t need your furniture to be a show-stopper for an accent piece. Instead, it should be both comfortable and practical. 

In a minimalist zen home, it’s even better if you have multifunctional furniture. For example, you could choose an ottoman that has some handy storage space inside. 

4. Bring Nature into Your Home

Nature can inspire us and make us feel calmer and more meditative. It’s even been shown that having plants around is good for our mental health. So, it’s not surprising that you’ll find plants in most zen homes.

nature zen interior

Not only do plants introduce gentle color into any room, but they help to purify the air. Without a doubt, getting out in nature is beneficial for our health. But inviting nature into your home by using house plants is the next best thing.

And the great thing is that there are so many different types of plants to choose from. You could go for a gorgeous succulent or a delicate orchid. So, you can go for your favorite and make your home your own. 

nature decor zen

If you want to keep with the Japanese look, a bonsai tree is a nice addition. But if you’re not green-fingered, go for one of these hardy, low-maintenance plants. 

5. Use Natural Materials, Too

Scattering house plants throughout your home is a great way to bring nature indoors. But you can also use natural materials too. 

Soft furnishings are ideal as they can soften up areas that might feel cool or impersonal. Think cushy rugs or cushions made from fabrics like wool, linen, cotton, or hemp. 

natural zen materials

Undyed natural fabrics feel amazing and will fit into any color scheme. But you can go for dyed materials if you prefer – the choice is yours. 

Make sure you look for quality materials that are durable and feel soft and relaxing. It’s worth spending a little more on a better quality product that will last. 

zen interior furniture

Cozy fabrics can even help to cut down on echoes and noise pollution from outside. As a result, they can make your home feel like a cozy cocoon.

6. Remember – Less is More

One key tenet of zen interior design is that less is more. Take, for example, the practice of meditation. It aims to clear your mind of all the unnecessary thoughts cluttering your brain.

less is more zen home

As with meditation, your zen home should be free of your clutter. With decorative touches, the more you have, the less you can appreciate them. And when it comes to furniture, you don’t want items there just for the sake of it.

For your personal items, everything should have its proper place. (More on that below!) 

The more you own, the more time you’ll spend cleaning, washing, dusting, etc. But if you declutter your unnecessary items, you’ll have more quality time. That can allow you to deepen your relationships, make more memories, and feel happier!  

7. Invest in Clever Storage Solutions

Decluttering your zen home is an essential step. But once you’ve done it, you need somewhere to store the items you do want to keep. 

There should be a clear place for everything you own. That way, you’ll always know where it belongs, making it easier to keep your home neat and tidy. You’ll know where everything will go and won’t have to waste time wondering where to put things.

zen home storage solution

So, you need to make sure you have enough storage space in your home. Bookshelves, closets, and storage cubes are some obvious ways to store your possessions.

But you can also look for multipurpose furniture with built-in storage space. For example, under-bed storage compartments or a coffee table with drawers.

The kitchen is often one of the trickiest rooms to keep tidy and clutter-free. So, you can also find my tips on organizing a small kitchen here.

8. Make the Most of Any Natural Light

If you think of a zen home, a bright, airy space tends to come to mind. Natural light can make people feel relaxed, positive, and happier. So, you want to make the most of any natural sunlight you get in your home. 

First of all, you should make sure that you’re not blocking any of that natural goodness. Move any bulky furniture in the way of your windows to maximize the light in your rooms. 

natural light zen home

You should also choose your window furnishings carefully. Use light, gauzy fabrics in your living room and add ties so you can secure them during the day. 

But in a bedroom, you want to have more control over the light entering the room. While you want natural light, you don’t want to wake with the birds on those early summer mornings. So, opt for blinds that allow you to darken the room when necessary. They are quick and easy to adjust throughout the day and night. 

You can also use lamps and overhead lighting to boost any natural light you get. That’s especially important during those long winter months. I would recommend a table lamp, a floor lamp, and an overhead light or wall sconces.

natural zen interior

These different lights allow you to get the perfect combination for any time of day. You can add in a candle or two for a cozy and comforting atmosphere. But make sure to avoid harsh overhead lights that can make your home feel clinical.

9. Create a Sense of Harmony Throughout the Room

As your zen home is coming together, one aspect to keep in mind is the harmony in your home. That can sound a little confusing, but it’s pretty simple. 

harmony zen room

In a zen space, it’s key to nurture a balanced environment. You need to make sure all the different elements come together well and don’t overwhelm each other. You want your furniture, colors, and layout to feel even and cohesive. If you do it successfully, it will be a place where you can let go and relax.

japanese zen interior

If you’re unsure how to achieve balance, you can go with a symmetrical room layout. That could look like a sofa, two side tables, and a rug and coffee table in front. Or, you could balance out a bedroom with bedside tables on each side and a chest of 

10. Appeal to All the Senses

Finally, there’s one last element I’ve yet to mention. A zen home should appeal to all your senses. Your sense of smell, touch, or hearing can trigger strong emotions and reactions.

For example, you might find that the smell of cinnamon or lavender instantly relaxes you. Or, it could be some gentle background meditation music or the sound of waves. 

zen interior sesnes

You can add some little touches that take your zen home to the next level of comfort and calm. While these extras will be very personal, some ideas include a scented candle or an oil diffuser. It could be a cozy blanket or a soft rug beneath your feet. 

You could also spritz a lavender linen spray around to help you fall asleep at night. It’s up to you, but don’t overlook the significance of these little sensory touches. They could be the key to creating a calm, zen ambiance in your home.

Zon home ideas for a calm and peaceful interior

Final Words

If you’ve been dreaming of a beautiful zen home, these zen home decor tips should be just what you need! They are simple and easy to apply to your home. But they will allow you to create that cozy, calm, and welcoming atmosphere. 

Your home should be the place you feel most relaxed. So, take these tips and let me know how you get on. 

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest. I’ll share more interior design and minimalist living tips and reviews to keep you inspired and up to date. 

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