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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.
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!
Whether you like a few or a lot, pillows can make your bed look as good as it feels, night after night!
Neat and Simple
If you like orderly style, stack a couple of uniformly sized pillows at the head of the bed. Inviting, but not overwhelming.
Luxurious Bed Pillows
You want your bed to look and feel ultra-luxurious. Stand differently sized (feel free to throw in rolled pillows with square ones), and patterned pillows up in three rows in front of your headboard. Fluff each one up, and give each that ol’ karate chop in the top centre for that extra touch.
Carefree bed Pillows
If your style leans more towards the less structured, this look is easy to achieve. Just toss and enjoy!
Office design doesn’t have to be boring. We recently had fun looking for great examples of pillows in the workplace. Here are some of our favorite examples of outstanding office interiors. While some people might think that a pillow in the office might promote napping on the job, the opposite seems to be true; great office interiors can boost productivity at any corporation. Maybe these ideas will inspire you to initiate a little redecorating at your workplace!
Pocket Change in San Francisco
Keeping a neutral taupe, gray and white background, the gathering areas at this office get their personality from bright and bold yellow and black accents. We also love the giant chalk wall. What a great way to promote creativity among your employees.
Bring the outdoors in
Google, in Zurich, Switzerland
You wouldn’t expect much less from Google’s office design. How many office spaces can boast indoor birch tree trunks? We love the way this office has brought the great outdoors in with cowhide-patterned throw pillows inside the green hives (where worker bees must gather) and flowery fabric-covered ottomans.
Tying it all together
Whether you want a seasonal shake-up or you’re looking for a trendy, vibrant change, it’s easy to do with the right pillows. Go with wild patterns, bright colors or flat-out trendy styles to give your home an updated look. Pillows are an inexpensive way to make an impact on a room, and because they’re not a big commitment like furniture or lighting, you don’t have to be afraid to change them often. In fact, you’ll want to – that’s the point.
More than just couch cushions, have you ever thought of utilizing pillows to display your favorite art instead of filling up your walls? Or transforming your garden patio into a modern extension of your home by adding contemporary textured pillows? The experts at Pillow Decor Ltd.(www.pillowdecor.com) offer the following creative tips for decorating with pillows.
1) PILLOWS AS ART
So many homes now have walls of glass and open plans, so there are fewer walls available for hanging art. Use hand-painted, one-of-a-kind pillows to add original art to your home. You can even try a pillow that features the work of one of your favourite artists. They are easy to decorate with, and don’t leave holes in the wall. Among Pillow Décor’s collection you’ll find hand-painted, one-of-a-kind works of art by up-and-coming designers as well as classic renditions of famous works by artists such as Gustav Klimt, Marco Fabiano and Fabrice De Villeneuve.
2) SEASONAL MAKEOVER
Update the look of your home seasonally with new pillow covers and accessories. It’s the quickest way to give your home a makeover. Most pillow covers have zipper closures, so you can put lighter-colored pillow covers on your existing pillows for a fresh look. Just store your fall and winter pillow covers flat in the linen closet. Choose lighter-weight silks with a slight sheen to capture the light and add sparkle to your room. You can also switch pillows and accessories from room to room for a quick change. Pillow Decor makes it easy by enabling you to buy just the pillow cover, or the pillow cover with your choice of a polyfill insert or feather insert.
3) MIX FABRICS LIKE A PRO
Professional designers combine different fabrics, shapes and sizes for a layered look. You can easily pull this off yourself by mixing florals, stripes, textures and solid-coloured pillows. Traditional themes feature pairs, balance and symmetry, but modern and contemporary decor is known for odd numbers and a more eclectic, collected look. Resist the “matchy-matchy” impulse, and build a collection of different fabrics to add colour and personality to your home. Unify your open-concept décor with fabrics that reflect and tie together the colours in the room. Study magazines to see how the professionals do it.
4) INEXPENSIVE UPDATING
To modernize an outdated room or sofa, pick new pillows in a color you are moving towards. You will be able to test out the new colors in the room, and begin the transformation. You don’t have to redo the whole room at once, just do it piece by piece as budget allows. Reupholster that sturdy reading chair and ottoman. Throw in a cozy chenille. Combine rich textured dupioni silks and modern solid colored metallic pillows for a clean look that is versatile, so that once you decide on the furniture and flooring, your pillows and accessories are already in place. For a final touch, add patterned pillows that incorporate the colors of the sofa fabric.
5) BRING THE OUTDOORS INSIDE
Botanical and floral-print pillows will bring the feel of the outdoors in. However, it certainly doesn’t have to be your traditional floral imagery. Pillow Decor offers a wide variety of contemporary, subtle botanical styles. Combined with textured fabrics, you’ll feel more connected to the Earth even, in the heart of the city. There are many color schemes to choose from, including gold and silver. Add a few coordinating striped pillows for a masculine touch. Use a digital picture from your hike in the woods, have it printed in a poster size, and place it beside a leafy new plant near your Earth-inspired pillows for a great look!
6) TAKE THE INDOORS OUT
Decorative pillows offer an ideal way to help transform your outdoor living space into a comfortable continuation of your home. Whether it’s a kitchen, family room or bedroom that opens up onto a deck or poolside patio, try using throw pillows that pull from the dominant color of the adjacent indoor room. The transitional effect will create harmony and continuity between your indoor and outdoor living spaces. Don’t hesitate to use designs that might typically seem unfitting for the outdoors. Go with pillows that feature bold circles, stripes or colors not standard of nature, such as black and white. The pillows will stand out amongst all the earthy greens and browns and really spice up that outdoor space!
7) KEEP THE PEACE
She wants mauve florals, he wants green and orange geometric pillows. Compromise with pillow covers in each color scheme and theme, and alternate them occasionally. Or try finding some common ground with a coordinating pair that combines the Yin and the Yang. Your room will feel new, and the change will be refreshing. Everybody’s happy!
8) DRESSING UP A CHILD’S ROOM
For the kid whose room is never tidy, solid color pillows will help create a less cluttered look. If texture and pattern is what you are after, you can add wide wale corduroy or striped pillows to a boy’s room, and wavy or florals for the girls. You want soft durable pillows for a child’s room made from microfibre suede – the microfibre fabrics are so tightly woven that they are tougher and more durable than most other fabrics. Spills just bead up and roll off, and they can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Try 24-by-24-inch box-edge faux-suede pillows, which are practical and fun for floor pillows in a child’s or teen’s room. These pillows are very soft; perfect to sprawl on while reading a book or playing a game. They come in a wide variety of bright cheerful colors, and while the superhero or princess themes will soon be passé, these durable pillows will have staying power.
9) WHAT’S HOT NOW
The hottest new pillows are the versatile rectangular shape, sometimes referred to as “lumbar” pillows. They can be used in so many ways, to add back support to children and petite people, to add color to an armchair, or nestled against each arm of your sofa. Layer them in front of larger, square pillows in the corner of your sectional, or on a window seat or daybed. Add one in front of pillow shams to give your beds a decorative touch. On a low-backed, clean-lined sofa, place one at the back of each seat cushion.