Interior design styles: zen

Quiet serenity with a touch of Japanese influences are what most people think of when choosing a Zen interior design style. This is quite acceptable, however there's more to Zen than simply having a futon on the floor! Clutter is one aspect of everyday living which is not included in Zen interiors; hidden storage will help to keep rooms calm for the mind to relax and unwind.

Furniture also needs to be included in your de-cluttering project. Simple designs and styles which are both practical and functional are all that is needed. If you have pieces of furniture which are never used they need to be removed. Surfaces, floors and table tops also need to be kept devoid of unnecessary objects. If you do have objects you wish to display do so in an orderly fashion rather than scattering.

As Zen décor is all about peace and quite loud and garish patterns and colours need to be toned down. There are plenty of different plain coloured curtains online to help you keep a calming look at your windows. Wooden blinds will also fit neatly into a Zen interior and can be used to connect with nature and compliment wooden floors just as long as the colours are calming with a natural warmth. As everything counts in a Zen interior high quality rather than quantity is what counts.

Use of natural materials, wood, wicker, natural fabrics such as cotton, wool and linen along with natural stone, pebbles and non-precious metals. The use of contrasting textures and styles are key features of this tranquil interior design style, place rough next to smooth, and place a round or oval shaped ceramic vase or bowl in square and rectangular windows.

Neutral colours or those with earthy tones should be used throughout the home. Plain bedding and large rugs can be used to contrast with walls and floor colours and textures. Fancy bed-frames aren't required, if you're not keen on sleeping directly on the floor, floating beds are a great alternative, make sure you leave the space under a bed completely clutter free.

Although we usually suggest a focal point which screams to be noticed and looked at – the opposite applies in Zen interiors – yes, you need a focal point but it shouldn't scream out for attention, subtly is key to achieving a beautiful interior which is tranquil, calm and peaceful.

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