STYLE FILE: Serene Zen

Bringing peace into your home is the concept of Zen style. Imagine serene, tranquil spaces where the outside and inside seem to melt into each other. Earthy colors, natural materials, and plenty of plant and water elements will help you make your home a harmonious place to be.

A Little Bit of History

Zen is not just a design trend- it is a lifestyle that has been influencing the world for centuries. India was the birthplace of Buddhism. The religion spread slowly throughout Asia.  Zen Buddhism gained popularity in Japan during the Kamakura period. It's emphasis on discipline and direct action aligned with the minds of the rising warrior class.  Monks formed different sects throughout Japan, China and Korea to teach their practices. Today Buddhism has spread throughout Europe and Western countries as well. Practices teaching freedom from worldly possessions have translated over to the design world, with a simple philosophy- not to be bound to life, things, or rules. 

Minimalist House Flickr jingdianjiaju.jpg


Creating harmony within the color palette is an important factor of Zen design. Earth tones that evoke a sense of calmness do well here. Sea tones pair well with neutrals- creams, grays and browns. It is important that the colors balance throughout the space.  

Pattern + Material 

Zen style holds a simple idea of "less is more." Subtle patterns are alright- nothing too bold or flashy. An example of how to achieve this is to incorporate textural fabrics (in lieu of printed patterns) which help warm up your space and keep your eye moving around the room. 


Incorporate natural finishes to keep with the earthy and intimate setting that is Zen decor. Choosing stone and woods will help with this. Glossy, streamlined materials like chrome and stainless steel should be kept to a minimum (check out Minimalism for clean and sleek interiors.) 



Clean lines and simple silhouettes suit a Zen style home the best. Pick furnishings with little to no ornamentation, but made with high quality material. Opt for case goods (consoles, bookshelves, media centers) with concealed storage to keep your home clutter-free. Pieces with natural finishes are ideal, but painted pieces work in a Zen space as well. Keep in mind the color palette of the rest of the room and balance painted pieces accordingly. 

Decor + Details

Create your sanctuary

Turn your home into an oasis for relaxation. Bringing in relaxing and calming elements and taking the time to sort and pair down items you don't need in your home is essential. 

Add places to decompress

A space or two to recharge from the outside world is key to Zen design. Create spaces that invite you to think and relax. A meditation area in a cozy nook is a great start. Another space to focus on here is the bathroom. 

Go simple

Having fewer items, but ones that are meaningful to you whether by use or sentimental value will help you appreciate your environment. A few well-thought out decor items go just as far as an eclectic, curated mix of accessories.

Turn to nature

Take inspiration from nature to add features that will give another layer of peacefulness in your space. Add plants, bring in the element of water, and create a smooth transition from outdoors to indoors. 



Get more Serene Zen room inspiration on my Pinterest Page!

Interested in a Zen make over of your own?

Peace & Love,