Zen Up Your Space

Zen up your space-article-tulipmag

The word ‘Zen’ has Japanese roots which means meditation. The base of the Zen style lies in minimalism, transparency and it is more than materials and positions; it is about home layouts and ambiance. The Zen designs offers peace and tranquillity, excellent for those looking to unwind after returning home from a taxing day of work.

Give your home a Japanese touch

The Zen interior is all about the Japanese style of recreating comfort and a positive environment in your house. Floor cushions around a low table are an easy way to create an oriental dining zone along with high contrast dark wood against a soothing warm cream backdrop.  Sliding doors or screens, usage of wood and bamboo or other organic materials and incorporation of open spaces are a few such elements of the Japanese style.


Whether natural or artificial it is an important element of a positive Zen design. Abstain from using harsh or too vibrant lights for your home. The light should be calming and soothing to the senses. Choose the design that is cleverly incorporating the softness of daylight or go for unruffled lamps and candles for your room. The intensity of the light matters a lot in creating a soothing ambiance for you and your family. You could choose floor lighting, wall installations, lamps and indirect lighting systems. Zen style plays with the natural light.


Furniture in Zen style of decor features effortless lines and geometry. Zen style focuses on high-quality organic material without ornate elements or embellishment. A bare essential furnishing keeps the living space from feeling cramped or cluttered.  When it comes to bed, a low Japanese style platform bed is the obvious winner for a Zen bedroom scheme. Upholstery and leather are recommended for components they go well with. As decorations are kept less, you could play with colours and sizes, for example laying of cushions, armchairs and other vintage elements are a great inclusion to Zen style.

Colour Palette

Colour palette for a Zen style interior should be one that is all about softness and warmth avoid stark contrasts or use of too much vibrancy. Colour scheme should involve whites and beiges, greys and pinks, blues and soothing tones of peach or orange. There should be a special chromatic concord between all the colours you use for the interiors; all the elements such as walls, floor, furniture, and furnishings should be in perfect synchronization. If you want to do some variation then you can do it by using different shades and tones of the same colour.


Cosy and light fabrics are a must for Zen style homes. Curtains are a very important ingredient to this style with the dual benefits of their free-flowing beauty and preventing hot currents. Curtains leave you with a feeling of comfortable seclusion within and are the ultimate choice to play with décor. Go for a natural fabric that matches with décor in terms of feel and appearances.  You can even choose blinds for the fenestrations. These lend an all-new look and come in a wide variety of options like vertical, roman, roller and venetian.

Indoor landscaping

Plants are an all-important constituent of the Zen house. Plants recreate your home ambiance into a greener and healthier one as well as emanating aromas and enriching the aesthetics. Bonsai is a popular element of Japanese landscape which can be included in you Zen home too. If you don’t have an outdoor garden, you can always incorporate Zen garden within your interior room using twisted trees and pebbles.


Sapna Franswah, Furniture Designer

“Zen style designing is to make your home into a sanctuary, that is the purpose and focus. This can be radical so start with one area/room. Decide that nothing is going to encroach on this space. Your home needs to be visually balanced and relaxing.’’


  1. Keep it minimal, keep it clean.
  2. Choose earthy neutral colours for your overall look, this includes walls, flooring and furnishing.
  3. Don’t be afraid to add colour accents like teal vase or bright yellow cushion.
  4. Go in for solid wood furniture with straight lines and linen upholstery instead of false ceiling, keep it natural.
  5. Go for linen curtains as well…let natural light come in.



Supraja Rao, Interior Designer

“To me Zen interiors are not just about design it’s the way of life and state of your mind. If you think on these lines which is simple, uncluttered, light, very gentle or still. I think it’s about being at peace at yourself and at peace with your life and simplicity. Uncluttered space allows you to move forward more and that’s the crux of Zen. In minimalistic design you are seeing less, allowing your mind and body process more.”


  1. Keep it simple and natural.
  2. Use natural materials over synthetics.
  3. Use natural wood over polyurethane.
  4. Use plain bold colors or use light soft pastel colors and preferably white, let the walls breathe.
  5. Keep fabrics simple and also the furniture simple, straight, light nothing too bulky.
  6. Keep the lights clutter free you can use lamps and candles, let natural light and air flow through your home.



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Unnati Pingle, Interior Designer
“Zen to me is calmness, serenity and no chaos, being specific to interiors; it indicates harmony and balance between the interior elements. A riot of contrasting elements and colours can also be designed and composed to look Zen like. No clutter, clean spaces and most importantly close to nature by introducing plant life, foliage and lots of natural light into the interiors. Also it’s not true that Zen is everything Japanese. We could adapt the Zen concepts in Indian interiors as well.’’




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