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Transitioning to a new decade always means establishing a new era of interior design. While 2019 focused on bold colors and clever, multifunctional furniture pieces, home, and business owners are looking for fresh decorating ideas to liven up their spaces in 2020. There’s been a lot of talk about the “Roaring 20’s” but you might be surprised to find that simplicity and quietness are the way to go this year. Here’s how you can make any space an area of tranquility with the zen interior design trend. 


What is Zen Interior Design? 

First thing first: what exactly is zen interior design? Your initial impression might be trickling water features, bamboo shoots, and sand gardens but zen is much more than that. Originating in Japan, Zen refers to meditation and has become an increasingly popular principle for interior designers. The design style focuses on creating balance, harmony, and feelings of relaxation through a minimalist approach. 

Zen interior design has seen tremendous growth in popularity recently and this might be a result of the stressful, hectic times we live in. With a zen interior, you can come home to an atmosphere that offsets daily stressors to help you relax and rediscover your inner peace. 

Choose Earth Tones

One of the first aspects you’ll notice about this design style is the neutrality of the colors. Think of sand-colored cushions and light green hues that help to brighten up the room. Take inspiration from the natural world by studying the places that make you feel the most relaxed. Maybe your dream location is a white sandy beach with pale blue waves or maybe you find your inner peace in lush green woods with muted bark colors all around. 


Any interior designer will tell you that earth tones are best for creating a soothing, natural space, but that doesn’t mean you have to have a plain space. You can energize various portions of the room with pops of color like bright red or a bold blue. The understated background helps to highlight any bright color notes, so make sure you select a worthy piece to shine the spotlight on. 



Go for Natural Fabrics 

The focus of a zen design is always creating a feeling of closeness and connectedness with the earth. You can achieve this visually and tactilely with natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and wool. Natural fibers offer a relaxed, informal aesthetic that never looks shabby and they’re usually easier to clean and maintain. Make sure your fabrics are light and comfortable, from your bedspread to your curtains. 


Every aspect of the room should feel inviting, so do away with the scratchy rug and opt for a luxuriously soft material that you’ll love walking across. 


Keep the Lighting Soft

Many aspects of contemporary interior design all play on the lighting of a room. Bright fluorescents and blue lights from computers are common staples in most people’s work lives, so they want to come home to something calming. Zen design uses mostly dim or natural lights to create a feeling of relaxation. This is where floor lamps, scented candles, and indirect lights can work to your advantage since they’re not as harsh as overhead lights, which are designed to flood a room in brightness. Lights that mimic sunlight help reveal the subtle colors of your space in a soft, harmonious way. 


Simplicity Over Extravagance 

Another key feature of a zen design is the attention paid to simple clear lines. Zen interiors avoid showcasing excess design elements and complicated lines by opting for parred down pieces that focus on sleek comfort. Furniture is the focal point of most rooms, whether its the bed in the bedroom or the couch in the living room, so this is where you can make the most impact with your design choices. Select pieces that integrate well with the overall theme of the space by using similar color schemes or materials. For example, you could have a primarily cotton bedspread in a neutral tone with a bamboo motif of a similar shade throughout the room. 


You can browse around an online interior design store and play with textures that can add depth to your living areas without complicating the aesthetic. 



Downsize the Decor 

Less is more is a staple of zen interior design and this applies most when it comes to incorporating decor. Avoid clusters of decorations, such as gallery-style displays of artwork that can quickly make a space feel cluttered and chaotic. The same goes for knickknacks and other items that have a tendency to accumulate like magazines and books. 


If you’re searching for a more cohesive look, but can’t bring yourself to part with your literary collection, one simple solution to add more uniformity to your library is to swap out the book jackets for monochrome paper. However, greenery is always welcome in a zen space, since plants have a calming effect and they produce oxygen. 


When you’re ready to transform your space with zen interior design, our expert team of interior designers at Nativa Interiors can help. At our showroom, you’ll find ample pieces of fine, handcrafted furniture and decor that catches your eye and our friendly staff can help you seamlessly integrate each addition to your stylish living space.