What better place than the bedroom to create an oasis of peace and tranquility? A zen bedroom should evoke Asian traditions of design, many of which are concerned with unity, nature and minimalism. Begin decorating your zen bedroom by removing the clutter and objects that distract the eye. Invest in some creative forms of hidden storage so that the detritus of daily life doesn't interrupt the flow of your space.
The zen palette is subdued. Natural shades are favored, especially wood tones, soft beige, pale gold and antique white. Avoid an overly cold, minimalist look, however, by keeping finishes more matte than glossy. A little black lacquer goes a long way, so save it for details like gallery-style frames for wall art and photographs. A touch of green can work in a zen bedroom as well, as long as it is not too pastel. Aim for muted lime, olive or khaki and, in small doses, pine green.
Zen decor, like Japanese traditional design, uses low, modular pieces simple in their lines and construction. Use lightly stained wood for bed frames, shelves and wardrobes. Avoid crowding the space with furniture, which can also block the flow of natural light, a key element in zen design. Japanese furniture is the natural choice for a zen bedroom. Choose from futons, cabinets featuring joinery techniques, lanterns or a step chest, a stylish piece of furniture that incorporates a cabinet with drawers at different heights, creating steps. You can use a step chest as a room divider and the individual steps as display shelves for candles, tatami mats or incense burners.
Create a space for meditation, be it a traditional altar in front of a meditation bench or a loose interpretation of a meditation corner, such as a basket filled with interesting magazines set next to a floor cushion. Look for pieces that serve multiple purposes, such as a bed with hidden storage underneath or a desk with a built-in bookcase on the side.
Bring in Nature
Incorporating nature into your zen bedroom is a key step. If you have the budget, expand your current window to extend from the floor to ceiling, and create a garden view. Skylights or solar tubes are other options for allowing the sun to shine in.
Use minimal window coverings, such as traditional Asian folding screens that have translucent paper panels for privacy. Place branches with blossoms in simple containers throughout the room. Create a tabletop zen rock garden, consisting of sand, pebbles and pathways.