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Zen Interiors: Shifting to a More Balanced Life – Starting with Your Home!
A Zen inspired interior conjures up an image of a harmonious and peaceful space, one that invites relaxation and unwinding from a busy day. Clean and airy rooms with soft light, natural finishings, textures and decorations come to mind. Today, few would argue that life can get rather hectic at times, so it is no surprise that versatile variations of Zen home interiors are so popular.
As with any decorating style, while there is always room for creative self-expression, following certain techniques will help you achieve the desired Zen look.
Zen is often associated with minimalist style. Minimalism strives to only show the essential qualities of things without excessive decorations and overwhelming color combinations. The preference is given to simple natural materials, basic geometric forms and toned-down colors.
Try to keep your design free of clutter and only introduce one or two accent pieces that fit with the overall concept. These steps will help create a sense of peace and calmness expected of a Zen inspired space.
Accent on Nature
When it comes to choosing interior finishings, using natural materials such as wood, bamboo, stone and natural fabrics is a great way to bring nature into your home. Use earthy colors like soft hues of green, pink and grey, beige and white.
Placing plants inside a room is not only visually calming but will bring more oxygen into your home. Soft textures of upholstery fabrics, rugs and throw pillows will effectively add to the relaxed atmosphere.
Try experimenting with natural scents to engage your senses. They may come in the forms of essential oils, candles, sprays or incenses. Different scents are suited for different purposes and many have healing, calming or invigorating qualities
Nature is fascinating in the way it constantly evolves. Zen inspired interiors use asymmetry as a symbol of the process of life. It is believed to help nurture one’s imagination and creativity, whereas uniformity of design is considered a sign of stagnation. Thus, placing your furniture and décor pieces asymmetrically will create a sense of movement and change.
When your decorating process is over, don’t forget the fundamental requirement for achieving your Zen – living fully and authentically in the present moment and joyfully accepting each day with gratitude. Decorated in Zen style, your home can be your daily inspiration to live a more balanced and fulfilling life.
Don’t Let Your Bedroom Décor Put You To Sleep: How To Transform Your Boring Bedroom
Your bedroom should be a tranquil place where you can relax at the end of a stressful day. Still, the décor does not have to be dull in order for it to be calming and comfortable. Let’s look at a few different ways to transform your bedroom space into one that you can enjoy with a few simple steps.
Mix and Match
Colors, patterns, you name it. If your room is too dull for words, then it’s time to spice it up. Many people are afraid of mixing multiple patterns, but lots of patterns in a room can actually be quite harmonious! The trick, of course, is to keep the hues similar between individual patterns.
Bright colors can be great as accents if your room is mostly white or neutral. They don’t have to overwhelm a room, either – if you keep the walls and bedding white, then any colorful touch will pop on its own, whether it’s a rug, bookshelf, or throw pillow.
Find Fabrics You Love
One great way to jump start the redecorating process is to inspire yourself with fabric patterns that you love, and work from there. If you revolve your new room around a theme, it will feel like a space you can come home to and relax in.
Accessories don’t have to overwhelm a room. The right combination of furniture and accessories can even be the only things you use to do your décor overhaul – don’t forget that accessories can totally change the whole look and feel of a space. Consider graphic pillow accents with additions like these Alhambra Handprint Indigo throw pillows to round out your room and add an individual flair to your entire space, even if you prefer to keep the majority of the space swathed in neutral colors or tones.
Contemporary, modern, traditional or eclectic? Do you know what your decorating style is. Get a grip on your personal decorating style before you go shopping!
Many people struggle to find their personal decorating style, which makes décor shopping overwhelming and frustrating. You want everything to be seamlessly integrated, comfortable yet on trend, and hopefully unique to you and your lifestyle… a difficult task if you don’t know what you’re looking for. As a first step to pinpointing your unique style, let’s uncover some of the main décor and design genres.
Different Home Decorating Styles
Contemporary: This décor style is sophisticated but comfortable, featuring clean lines mixed with smooth, round surfaces. Contemporary color palettes generally focus on neutral tones like beige, white, and tan, often with accents of bold color. Décor elements include light woods, metallic or reflective accents in chrome, steel or glass, and natural, textured fabrics. This style promotes ease, simplicity, and functionality. One of our favorite contemporary pillows is the Contemporary Dark Taupe Leaf throw.
Modern: This décor style is for individuals who love both luxury and comfort. It mixes ornate patterns with furniture that is typically modeled after 18th century English, British Colonial revival, 19th Century neoclassical and French country. Think symmetrical arrangements, rich color schemes and bronze or gold accents. Traditional homes often include peach, red, tan, and green tones, a variety of trim, tassels and fringe, and heavier, luxurious textiles such as velvet and chenille. The Waverly Groovy Grille Licorice throw looks great in any modern room; pair it with a dramatic accent pillow to make your sofa pop.
Traditional: This décor style is for individuals who love both luxury and comfort. It mixes ornate patterns with furniture that is typically modeled after 18th century English, British Colonial revival, 19th Century neoclassical and French country. Think symmetrical arrangements, rich color schemes and bronze or gold accents. Traditional homes often include peach, red, tan, and green tones, a variety of trim, tassels and fringe, and heavier, luxurious textiles such as velvet and chenille. Traditional lovers should check out our Traditional Floral decorative pillow in wine.
Eclectic: Don’t be afraid to mix styles if it suits your aesthetic. Just remember that eclectic décor is not cluttered; rather it is a purposeful, mixing of styles with the goal of producing a cohesive, unified design scheme. To avoid design chaos, pay attention to scale, play up contrasts (pairing the ornate with simple and clean, or bold patterns with solids), balance the mix of different styles so that they appear to be evenly represented, mix your accessories (but don’t use too many) and use color to tie everything together. Done right, this style can produce a look that is entirely unique. We love the following pillows for their aesthetically pleasing audacity!
How to Find Your Own Decorating Style
While keeping these styles in mind, it’s time to walk around your house and look at its contents with a critical eye. Make a list that includes things you love and things you wish you could replace. Spend some time purging things that you don’t love and that don’t have any sentimental value. What are the elements that unite your home and which items do you love? Is there a theme in furniture, textiles, colors, or accessories?
Go-to Stores? Where do you shop and what are you drawn to in those stores? This will tell you a lot about your style. Do you prefer stores with a singular, strong design aesthetic like Restoration Hardware or West Elm, or do you find yourself seeking stores with an eclectic mix of items and styles?
How do you dress your walls? Art is very personal – can you tell your design style from your art choices? Oil paintings suggest a preference for the traditional, while a tendency towards landscape watercolors might indicate contemporary leanings. Or perhaps you would prefer to fill you walls with sophisticated black and white photos?
How do you dress yourself? Look at your wardrobe and see the themes. Do you love color and pretty, feminine silhouettes, or do you tend toward neutrals and classics? This will help you determine your overall style, which likely translates to your favored home décor genre.
What do you like to do? If you have strong interests and hobbies, incorporate them into your design through art, wall hangings, photographs, throw pillows, books, and accessories. Your home should be an expression of you and your life, or the lives of those you love.
Where do you like to go? Where do you go when you travel and where do you like to stay? Incorporate items you have brought back from your travels or use what you have seen or where you have stayed as inspiration for your own home. Travel is easily incorporated through art, textiles, accessories and color.
Imagine your dream home. Room by room, envision what your dream home would look like and look for a common thread. Start a file or pinboard of designs you like and don’t hesitate to use your friends’ homes as a source of inspiration. Whether your inspiration comes from design, colors, shapes, materials, or just an overall vibe—this will help you pinpoint your personal style. Match your style with one of the genres and start searching for similar items to enhance your home. Remember that your style is an expression of what makes you happy, what inspires you, where you live, how you live, where you’ve been and where you want to go. Have fun!
Check out these great DIY pumpkin decorating ideas!
Looking forward to the spookiest time of year? We are! We’ve combed the Internet to compile a list of our favorite chic DIY Halloween decorations using pumpkins. It’s proof that you can do more than just carve pumpkins to celebrate the season. If you’ve got pumpkin decorating ideas that you’d like to share, leave a comment…we’d love to see what you’ve come up with.
What an ingenious way to use a pumpkin! Thanks to the creative folks at Martha Stewart for this ‘cool’ idea.
Add drama to your entrance way without carving a single pumpkin. We love the dramatic effect that this simple idea creates. We owe this one to Good Housekeeping.
For decidedly sophisticated Halloween décor, this lacy pumpkin idea from Better Homes and Gardens, is the prettiest and most feminine we’ve seen.
Twinkling pumpkin lanterns would make a beautiful and fun centerpiece for any Halloween party you plan to throw. According to House and Home, it’s easy to achieve with a power drill.
The sky’s the limit with this idea from Country Living. Muted and striped or bright and polka-dotted, these patterned pumpkins can be painted to fit any décor.
Gilded pumpkins are always an eye-catcher, and they’re easy to create. According to Real Simple, a can of metallic spray paint is pretty much all you need.
The ultimate pumpkin decoration for those who don’t want to commit! This chalkboard pumpkin, courtesy of Real Simple, let’s you change your design whenever you please.
Upon entering a room, our eyes take in its color, proportion, balance and light as well as its overall mood. Though we may not always be able to quantify our experience, we invariably develop a strong emotional reaction. We may feel it is cold or warm, inviting or intimidating, cozy or grandiose. Regardless of how well we may be able to express our pleasure or displeasure with any given room or space, we can always identify whether or not we like its color.
Color is the most immediate experience, one that is emotional and visceral. Colors have the power to soothe or stimulate, relax or excite, please or displease. Color can also be evocative, conjuring up memories of childhood, happy or sad experiences, remembrances of travels and places. Colors can be the most effective way to establish the mood and overall feeling of your space and may be introduced in many forms. Paint is most obvious and dramatic way to bring color to a room. But there other more subtle ways. Textiles in the form of curtains, rugs and pillows are an effective and versatile means to add color and manipulate the look and mood of your space.
Given the array of color choices it is a seemingly daunting prospect to choose just one. But it becomes simple once you discern the mood particular colors create and the feelings it evokes. If you want a serene bedroom for example, choose soothing and calming colors. If you want to create a vibrant room, turn up the volume color wise. For the more permanent and widespread color installations, such as paint on your walls, you have to be willing to commit.Generally it is a good idea to create canvases upon which we can introduce further color. An easy and rewarding way to introduce accent colors throughout the room is to add pillows. You may not want to have a predominantly pink room but would be happy and quite uplifted to place a hot pink throw pillow on your couch or bed for that hit of pink that satisfies without overwhelming. You may wish to warm up your room for winter with luscious color and inviting textures. While it certainly is not practical to repaint your room to suit the seasons, it is certainly possible to affect the main color by bringing in accent colors that warm it up or cool it down.Decorative pillows can instantly bring texture and color to your space. For example, a cool ocean blue room will feel airy and light in the summer accented by linen pillows in shades of blues, greens and grays. The same room can take on a much more atmospheric and dramatic feel by adding cut velvet pillows in deep purple, dramatic charcoal and moody black. Once you begin to play and experiment with color, it becomes addictive, as it is an intoxicating and sensual experience. Our moods are so easily affected by the colors that surround us that it is quite possibly the most rewarding element of design to manipulate.The language of color
Color is a key part of our lives. Its powerful impact on our mood and sense of well being is hard to quantify and sometimes even hard to discern but it nonetheless shapes our daily experience. Imagine a gray rainy day and contrast it with a bright sunny day. Imagine the introspective mood of the grey day and contrast it with the exuberant feeling one has when the sun peaks from behind the clouds. Imagine the color of rain and the color of sunshine. It may be hard to define, but unquestionably it can be experienced.
Once we start to think about color and how it affects us, exciting possibilities reveal themselves.
At home we can change the color of our surroundings and the atmosphere of our rooms by simply painting, or adding colorful pillows and throws, or placing a vibrantly colored vase on mantel or table. It is easy and infinitely rewarding. How then, does one choose a color? Well, each color has its message and evokes a certain mood. Once you learn about the basic colors and corresponding moods, you can then apply them to achieving your design goals.
Message: Boldness, Vitality, Strength, Power, Seduction, Excitement
In nature: Attention! Red in nature either signifies danger or attraction. The amazonian red frog is poisonous and its red color keeps enemies at bay. Red spots on many birds are a means of attraction and are proudly displayed during mating season.
At home: Stimulation! Red is a bold and dominant color. Our eyes are drawn to it and will register the color immediately and intensely. For some, it can be overwhelming, for others it provides just the right amount of stimulation and excitement. Whether it is used to warm up a space, make a dramatic first impression, or add liveliness as an accent color, red is always unforgettable.
Message: Joy, Playfulness, Freedom, Light, Hope, Nurturing
In nature: Light! Yellow is the color we associate with sunlight. Sunlight expands the visual field making spaces seem larger and more voluminous. Yellow flowers are vibrant and lively and command attention because they offer such a high contrast to the predominant color in nature which is green.
At home: Nurturing warmth. Yellow is a luminous and nurturing color. It is almost impossible not to be cheered up by the golden light that is cast in most yellow rooms. Yellow is the color that most closely emulates the joyful mood of a lovely summer day. Yellow pillows are a classic way to introduce color and light to any room.
Message: Creativity, Vibrancy, Abundance, Exuberance
In nature: Liveliness! Orange flowers always convey exuberance. Even if present in small quantities, orange flowers, because of their attention grabbing hue, give the impression of abundant richness. Orange sunsets are inspiring and breathtaking. The experience of observing a sunset is enriching and satisfying.
At home: Orange is the mixture of red and yellow, both very warm colors. Whenever it is used in the home, orange and its many tonal variations (peach, apricot, persimmon, terra cotta, etc) will cast a glow. It is this warm glow that lends a subtle vitality to objects under its radiant influence. A terra cotta floor, despite its humble origin gives the impression of earthy abundance. A bright orange pillow catches the eye, while a peach room gives everyone perfect complexion. Bringing orange into a room has the same effect as lighting candles. Its magical glow instantly elevates the mood.
Message: Permanence, Constancy, Restfulness
In Nature: Blue is the color of the sky and the ocean which are vast and though constantly changing, are always present and offer us the promise of a new day. The vastness of the sky and the powerful presence of the ocean remind us of how vast and mysterious the universe is and evoke a feeling of wonder an depth.
At home: Blue is a wonderous color because it has infinite tones ranging from peaceful powdery blues to vibrant teal and dramatic nautical blues. A blue room conveys tranquility, harmony and serenity. Lighter shades bring forth a tranquil atmosphere while darker ones transmit a sense of history and tradition. Blue pillows may reinforce an overall blue color scheme or introduce a blue, tranquil note.
Message: Harmony, Life, Contemplation
In nature: Green is the predominant color in nature. Of all the colors, it has the widest range of variations. Green is the background color to nature’s bounty. It highlights the other colors and makes them come to life.
At home: Green is a widely versatile color due to its enormous range of tones. Some shades of green are energizing and lively. Some are restful and create an ideal background to hold many other colors. Some greens are associated with a sickly complexion and create instant displeasure. Some greens are considered young and modern, while others are traditional and harmonizing.
Similarly, green pillows may add a playful touch or an elegant note.
Temperature: Cool and Warm
Message: Passion, Royalty, Magic
In nature: Purple flowers are always eye catching and lend a magical touch to the garden. Purple is a complex color that offers the depth of blue and the passion of red all in one.
At home: Purple is a very vivid and sensuous color. It commands special attention. Therefore, it is not for everyone and must be used sparingly as it can easily overwhelm the space. Interestingly though, lighter shades of this color such as mauve and lavender may be used widely and act as a neutral background. In small doses, such as in pillows and accessories, purple can create a very sophisticated, luxurious look.
Message: Gentle, Delicate, Innocent, Soft
In nature: Pink flowers hold a special fascination as they present a delicate and ephemeral beauty. Hot pink flowers by contrast offer a bold statement, and convey real verve.
At home: Pink is a gentle color that tempers the hot passion of red with the purity of white. It is considered a sweet color and therefore must be used in measured amounts as not to become too cloying. Pink pillows on a bed compose a delicate haven. Hot pink pillows make a bold statement on a sofa, chair or bed.
In nature: Brown is the color of earth and wood. It is the base on which everything grows. Brown represents roots, shelter and solidity.
At home: Brown exists in almost every home in the form of wood furniture and flooring. But it can also be used as a wall color for a dramatic sheltering effect. Brown pillows and accessories seldom fail to provide a sophisticated finish to any space.
In nature: White conjures up images of fluffy clouds and pristine snow. Snow covered fields appear clean and untouched. A white landscape appears large and uninterrupted.
At home: White can have many applications at home. A white kitchen is always pleasing and never out of style. Large expanses of white walls create a gallery feel. And crisp white linens and towels look smart and sophisticated. White pillows are the perfect metaphor for the fluffy white clouds and lend a dreamy feel to the space.
In nature: Black is the night sky. It is mysterious and formal. Black represents the vastness of space and its unknown quantities. Black is also the color of many stones like onyx and slate.
At home: Black is a very suitable for any formal event. In the home, black coveys the same formality and seriousness. Hits of black in room instantly dress it up. A black lamp shade makes even the most humble lamp base appear more sophisticated. Black on pillows provide just the right amount of black to ground a color scheme.
In nature: Beige is the color of sand and various stones. Like brown, beige provides a background against which other colors and textures can be highlighted.
At home: Beige has been maligned in the past as being a bit too bland. However, beige is the ideal color to accentuate different textures and patterns. For example, a collection of beige pillow in different patterns looks interesting and inviting.