Life has become very fast paced and quite stressful and hectic; our day to day activities tend to drain us of all the energy we have. Stress isn’t good for your health or mental well being and it is a good thing to find a way to let go of all the stress by indulging yourself in meditation or yoga. While yoga and meditation classes are great, it is a good idea for you to have a quiet space in your home for you to meditate and relax. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room that you could convert into a space for meditation or yoga, here are some tips you get you started.
Zen is a Japanese word from Buddhism that refers to meditation. In interior design Zen represents harmony, balance and relaxation. Zen is not an official style of design but is a term used in interior design to refer to simplicity and minimalism. Creating a Zen space can be done by converting a spare room into a relaxation space, and this can easily be achieved by following some simple guidelines.
The Right Wall Coverings
Wall coverings can be plain or textured but what matters most is that the colour of the wall coverings must complement the rest of the room. It is important to maintain a sense of continuity across the room. Choose light, warm and soothing colours, for example beige, white or grey, as bright colours can be distracting.
Along with wall coverings comes the decision of whether or not to having wall hangings in the room. It is best to keep the walls of your Zen space mostly bare as wall hangings tend to engage the mind and reduce your ability to relax.
The Right Flooring Choice
There are two basic options when it comes to choosing the flooring of a Zen space. One is to have a wooden floor which gives a soft look due to its earthy colour. The other option is to have the floor carpeted. The carpeting should follow the same colour scheme as the rest of the room.
If you are thinking mostly about a meditation space, you might want to opt for carpeting as it gives a soft feel to the room and is also relaxing when you sit on the carpet. Always opt for a lighter shade of carpet. It may be difficult to maintain but it is visually relaxing and that makes it worth it. If you are thinking more yoga, or a space for a massage table, then a wooden or laminate floor is a better bet.
The Right Lighting
After the colour scheme the most important aspect of setting up a Zen space is the lighting. The lighting should be soft and calming. If possible one should stick to natural light from the sun during the day time. Allow the sunlight to enter your room and feel the natural heat that the sun emits. It is very calming and is also good for your health.
For the nighttime, use lamps that have an ornamental look and give out soothing soft light. Opt for dim yellow light as opposed to white light as it is soothing and relaxing for the eyes.
The Right Ambience
Creating the right ambience for meditation is very important. Using candles and scent diffusers is one of the most basic ways of creating a soothing atmosphere. Don’t forget if you are planning to listen to guided meditations or yoga sessions, you will need a way to play sound. Keep it simple though – a well-designed bluetooth speaker and a meditation timer on your phone are far better than a boombox for keeping it Zen. Any of these will do the job – but keep it simple! Nothing garish or outlandish to distract you from your calm.
One of the best types of candles to use are tea light candles. They are small in size and can be used as floating candles in a large bowl filled with water. Alternatively, large scented candles are also available. When lit, they give off relaxing scents that help relax the mind. Alternatively you could think about joss sticks, but many find the scent overpowering.
When it comes to scent diffusers, there are a variety of scents to choose from, for example sandalwood, lavender, vanilla etc. Choose the scent that you feel will be most relaxing when diffused in the air of your Zen space.
Having an inlet of natural air is also important as leaving a window open, (provided there is no noise from traffic or other sources) and allowing the wind to enter adds to the relaxing experience..
Think about using natural elements such as flowers (orchids are beautifully structured and long lasting), houseplants and a few well-chosen prints and candles would be far better than making the place look like one of those shops full of joss sticks and Indian trinkets you find in Camden or Glastonbury!
The Right Furnishings
When it comes to furniture there is no right or wrong furniture, but for a Zen space it is best to keep the furniture neat and simple. Plain designs that lack intricacy are more likely to create a peaceful atmosphere as opposed to furniture that has complicated designs. Complicated designs are visually distracting and are likely to keep the mind from letting go and relaxing.
When choosing furniture, do not forget to follow the same colour scheme as the rest of the room so as to maintain a unified look. Think about comfort for your seated meditations (there are many meditation stools available) and soft cushions for you to relax on.
For meditation, these guys at the Calming Breath online store do some wonderful meditation cushions, benches and seats which will do the job far better than folding up a pillow or piling up regular cushions as they are filled with buckwheat which is much more solid than regular foam or feathers.
The Right Window Treatments
A Zen space is most relaxing when natural light is allowed to enter through the windows. The best window treatment is to use blinds or shutters that can be adjusted as per your preference. Avoid opting for heavy curtains or drapes as they tend to block out the natural light which is essential in a Zen space.
When choosing the curtains or blinds for your Zen space, take care that the colour should go with the rest of your room. Although, as mentioned above, light, warm and soothing colours look best in a relaxing space, you may also opt for earthy or dark colours such as dark brown or deep maroon.
Creating a Zen space is very easy if you follow these basic guidelines. The idea is to keep the room looking as simple as possible, while avoiding the use of bright colours and busy prints or furnishings that are likely to distract the mind and hinder the relaxing effect of the room. However, there are no fixed principles and you can experiment or follow your own instincts and tastes to create a Zen space that is relaxing for you. Enjoy!