Want a cosy corner inside your home where chaos and stress aren’t allowed? We get you started on creating a Japanese Zen zone.

Your home is your sanctuary, away from the chaotic life. Therefore, it should spell serenity, tranquility, warmth and comfort. Japanese Zen, the Buddhist way of life is synonymous with inner calm, balance, harmony and simplicity. If you are longing to get away from the bustle of everyday life, adopt the traditional approach of Zen-inspired design and decor that focus on subtlety and simplicity to create harmonious and peaceful interiors. However, Zen-interiors are not about emptying a home of all its stuff but to create one that is uncluttered and projects a sense of peace the minute you step into it.

Although, it is not a conventional design and, therefore, doesn’t have a book of rules to follow, the first and the foremost guideline to adopting a Zen life is to think simple and keep everything minimal—be it your home or your thoughts.

Why Have Zen Interiors?

Zen principles emphasizes on simplistic lifestyle, which means you create an opportunity to find contentment in things that matter. It also makes you notice what you have and stimulate your senses to feel the balance in everyday things of life. “Zen refers to meditation and reflection, and things that help achieve balance and harmony, inspire this decor style. It could be a combination of warm colours, natural fabrics, simplistic furniture and lighting that complement one another”, says Mumbai-based interior architect, Akshika LuthraHemnani.

Gentle Lights

Harsh lights disrupt the human body clock, which can cause major health problems in the future. Focus on optimising your home to use natural lighting during the day. Use softer ambient lights to create a relaxed home setting for the evenings. “Lighting is critical and it needs to be soothing, not loud. Use table lamps, standing lamps and low lights that create a peaceful atmosphere”, says Mumbai-based architect and interior designer Shahen Misty. Use controlled lighting that will adjust to your mood and activities. Candles and paper lanterns are other attractive and cost effective decor ideas to add warmth to a room.

Less is More

A Zen home should be open, clutter free and have a clean and flowing space. Decluttering and organising gives you power over your house. Check every closet and drawer, and remove, sell or give away whatever you don’t use or require. Create the right space to store things appropriately (out of sight) and keep the surface free of stray items.

Relaxing Tones

Think soft hues, natural, neutral and earthy colours that bring a sense of harmony to a room. “Tone down with natural colours and soft shades, such as pink, beige, brown, white and grey”, says Akshika. Other earthy shades, such as mauve, tan, green and amber, enhances the expansiveness of the room and go well with the tranquil look.

Delicate Fabric

Choose light and natural fabrics like cotton, wool, jute, linen and bamboo to add warmth to the room. “Go for fabrics that sponge off the harshness of the light, and yet allow a lot of natural light to come in,” says Akshika. “Bamboo chatais and blinds are perfect for this space as they help maintain the flow of energy and also provide the minimal look”, says Shahen. Also, add natural fragrances that help you keep calm, invigorate and enhance the intimacy of the room. Essential oils or natural linen sprays lighten and relaxes the mood.

Simple Flooring

Wooden floors revitalizes the home and lend it an elegant look. “Wooden flooring with few soft throws here and there provides the perfect Zen-like atmosphere. If you cannot do away with the existing stone or tile flooring, then soften the sharpness or glare (like that of a white marble flooring) with rugs and cushions in various pastel tints”, advises Akshika. “Wooden flooring is easier to maintain and comes in a range of colours. Also, you could add a super soft single-toned carpet”, says Shahen.

Final Touches

Keep these tips and tricks in mind while redecorating your home into a happy space


Bring in plants—they will instantly add life and warmth to your home. Also, they have a calming effect and purify the indoor air naturally. “Be it bamboo or bonsai, plants inside the room add peace and fun”, says Shahen.


Devices, cables and wires distort the visual harmony of the atmosphere. They are a source of distraction and obstruct the flow of positive energy. A Zen-inspired room is free of such items. If you prefer to have them in the room, keep them in storage units that reduce the effect of their presence and conceal all cables and wires carefully.


Keep decor items simple and minimal. Use natural materials as much as possible. Water features, ceramic pieces, woven-baskets, shells, geometrical shapes, non-precious metals and pebbles or stones are the highlights of Zen-style decor. “You can create Zen-like interiors without Japanese artifacts. Also, keep decor items that calm the environment and not create noise”, suggests Akshika.


Keep the furniture straight-lined, geometrical and symmetrical, without too many complications. Low furniture is another distinct Zen symbol. Match the colour tones to the rest of the room for continuity. “Furniture that is below the eye level allows the eye to float through space, giving an illusion of expansion”, explains Akshika.