Calm Zen Decor For Your Home

A Calm Zen Retreat
A Calm Zen Retreat. Photo: Trinette Reed - Getty Images

Today's hectic lifestyles have given rise to the popularity of Zen style. Why? Because after a full day of waging web warfare and big business battles, it's relaxing to come home to the soothing and simple style of Zen decor. If you are looking for a calm oasis in a sea of stress when you return home, decorating in the Zen style may be the perfect answer. And it won't cause wallet anxiety! Here's how to achieve that tranquil space you envision on a budget:

1. Uncluttered

If you are a pack rat, this style is not for you. Zen spaces have no clutter and less ornamentation. Its aim is to let go of attachments. So the first task you should do if you're going Zen is to clean, clear and organize. Get rid of what you don't need and even reconsider things you think you need.

2. Neutral

Choose a neutral and warm color scheme. The softer colors of nature are very Zen. Flashy or vivid colors take away from the overall calm of Zen decor. This doesn't mean you need to be devoid of color

3. Low lines

The furniture you choose should have simple low lines. No camelback sofas and cabriole legs in this design. Modern or Asian furniture in neutral solids would work best. There are plenty of pieces you can gather to help create clean lines in the living room or bedroom and some may find a good way to de-clutter the home is to actually get rid of "fussy" pieces. Read more about buying Chinese furniture here.

4. Silk

If you add pillows, silk fabrics would be pleasing to the soul and the eye. Soft colors would work best. Raw silk is actually a very durable material. A nice, nubby raw silk has great texture too and won't show spills or stains quite as easily as a shiny silk. 

5. Recess. Recessed lighting is perfect for Zen design. They are streamlined and uncluttered. But reading light is also important. Choose a lamp with a rice paper shade and plain lines for the perfect accent.

6. Screens. Of course, it can be Asian without versatile shoji screens. Use them for room dividers or to hide those non-Zen items you want to keep in the room.

7. Water. The sound of water is wonderfully calming, so adding a water feature to the room makes it more tranquil.

It can be a large feature in the middle of the room or a small fountain on the tabletop.

8. Natural. Add natural elements wherever possible. Bamboo plants, smooth stones, and water can be used for decor elements.

9. Flooring. Flooring can be stone or wood in keeping with the natural theme. For area rugs, choose woven reed mats or sisal rugs. They are made from sustainable materials and are versatile as well as earth-friendly.

10. Natural light. Window covering should be a simple as possible. Plain white or natural sheers with no ornamentation are perfect. If more privacy is wanted, bamboo blinds will harmonize with all the other natural elements in the room.

Zen design is both minimalist and elegant. Everything in the room is meant to calm the spirit and the eye. It's the perfect retreat for a go-getting, business-booming, cell-phone talking, blackberry-carrying, late-working entrepreneur like you.

Or was that your neighbor I was thinking about?