If you look up the word “sanctuary”, you’d most likely find that it refers to a place of refuge and safety. And if you would like your home to be just that, then you should deck it out in soothing hues and meaningful objects – after all, this is where you would want to be most comfortable. Borrowing some elements from the minimalist interior style, the Zen-inspired home is swathed in a neutral palette. Nature also plays a starring role in such a home – and it manifests in features such as woodgrained finishes, stone-like materials and the abundance of natural light. So if you think your home should be your very own personal oasis, then read on for how you can achieve one that exudes a calm and relaxing ambience.
Start with a clean slate
An uncluttered scene can really bring about peace of mind, so for a truly relaxing abode, keep things organised. Seamless storage solutions are a great way to keep it neat in any space – think built-in wardrobes and under-bed storage units. Plus, if you want to hide any electrical cables or piping, look for clever ways to keep them out of sight, such as installing false walls or ceilings.
When in doubt, opt for white
There are many benefits for using white as a base for any space. The first is its soothing and clean-feeling quality that makes a room feel fresh. The second is that the shade has a tendency to visually enlarge a space. To avoid a clinical-looking result, add subtle hints of neutral hues into the mix, such as brown or grey, for warmth. Introducing some texture in the form of soft furnishings or woodgrains can also create a cosier ambience.
Bring the outdoors in
Nature is a major element in a Zen-inspired home. Whether it is in the materials used on the floors and walls or in the colours seen in furniture, nature-derived motifs have a tendency to create a soothing scene. If you have ever spent a day out in the forest, you’d probably experience a sense of wellbeing. And decking your space in nature-inspired elements, such a wood-inspired vinyl tiles and laminates, has just the same effect.
Create a spa-like haven
The bathroom is one area in the home where you can pamper yourself. So take a leaf from a tropical spa resort and make it as calming for both the mind and body. Choose natural textures and organic shapes for your bathroom’s surfaces and fixtures. Grohe’s Eurostyle range of faucets and sinks are perfect for a spa-like bathroom thanks to their organic shapes inspired by nature. Together with a woodgrained vanity counter and other naturally derived accessories, the result is a relaxed space for total rejuvenation.
If you are more inclined towards a luxurious bathing space, you can add subtle hints of glimmer. Think pairing metallic finishes with neutral tones and textures. Keep everything else streamlined and minimal for a truly soothing space.
Focus on soft lighting and soft furnishings
Natural light adds to the calming vibe of a Zen-style home but if your space receives direct sunlight, diffuse the effect with sheer curtains. The soft light that streams in through the curtains will transform your space into a comforting sanctuary. That said, soft layers can also have a calming effect on a space, so pile on those pillows, cushions and throws and you’d want to stay in all weekend.
Keep clutter at bay
Your kitchen is probably a hive of activity on most days but it can exude a Zen-like ambience too. With the right material and colour choices, this utilitarian zone can be a place of calm. Ample storage solutions also mean that you can keep clutter at bay –just don’t forget to return items to where they belong once you use them.
Furnish with purpose
A tenet that Zen-like homes borrow from minimalist abodes is that items that are housed within are meaningful. What this means is that any extraneous items should not have a place here. As such, furnish your home with purposeful items and resist the urge to buy multiple quantities of the same thing. Another practice borrowed from minimalism is choosing quality over quantity so that your furniture and accessories will last you a long time.
This was adapted from an article originally published in IdealHomes vol.9