Giving Your Apartment a Zen Makeover

Between work, school, social outings, commuting, and the general busyness of everyday life, things can get pretty stressful throughout the week. That’s when it’s nice to have a place to come home to that’s relaxing and helps to get your mind off of all the other things you have to do from week to week. To create this kind of space, it can be useful to apply some of the essential Zen design principles that will give your home a feeling of clarity, balance, and beauty that will erase any outside stressors that dog you throughout the week.

Here are the fundamentals you’ll want to address to get that perfect Zen space.

Asymmetry: Zen philosophy teaches that imperfection is a normal, expected part of life. In your own space, you can work to create beauty through balanced asymmetry, creating relationships between the objects in your space that are harmonious and engaging.

Austerity: While you don’t have to go for complete minimalism, this ruling principle of Zen focuses on reducing things to their essentials. In your space, this can mean paring down what you own and reducing clutter. This will help your space feel more open and give you a sense of relief, as you won’t have the task of caring for all of those things hanging over you at the end of each day.

Naturalness: This is generally taken to mean the absence of pretense or artificiality, but naturalness in design is somewhat ironic, as by nature it cannot be accidental; it is always man made. In this, the feeling that you’re going for is one that does not embrace raw nature so much as natural elements that are placed with purpose and intention. This can mean bringing in natural materials, plants, or other elements that draw on nature and using them in ways that are pleasing to the eyes and the mind.

Simplicity: To create a Zen-like space, consider furniture and decor that is simple and unembellished. This type of fresh and neat design, often focusing on harmonious colors and shapes, can still be comfortable without cluttering your visual space with too much information.

Subtlety: The ideal Zen room would suggest rather than reveal. This can mean creating a certain feeling without being literal about inspiration. This kind of subtlety requires an air of mystery, which can keep your space interesting even if it is pared down to largely functional elements.

Tranquility: This is the quality that most often comes to mind when people think of Zen, and with good reason as it will help you find the stillness and calm you need in your space in a chaotic world. While you might not be able to block out all the noise from the outside world, you can work to pare down the distractions and create spaces within your apartment that give you this feeling of tranquility. If you don’t know where to start, consider the bathroom where you can create a warm, comforting place to take a shower or bath that helps to relieve the stress of the day.

While you don’t have to incorporate every one of these elements into your space, embracing a few can help you to give your space a look and feel that will strip away your stress and let you relax when you’re not busy with work, school, and other obligations.