Zen Design for a Better Night`s Sleep

*Collaborative Post*

Originating from Japan, the Zen philosophy focuses on creating balance, harmony, and relaxation through meditation practice.

Zen principles benefit from increased popularity, and they became even more appreciated during the pandemic.

Although not an interior design style itself, Zen also moved into our private spaces, as we were all seeking to control our lives during stressful times better.

With interior design styles such as Japandi, Wabi-Sabi, and Minimalist at their pick, a Zen home is meant to be contemplative, free of clutter, and visually balanced.

As the bedroom is usually space where we seek to relax and unwind, we will be looking at a couple of principles that you can start incorporating right away.

Zen Architectural Features

If you are not lucky enough to inherit these along with your house, there are still a couple of Zen architectural features that you can incorporate into your space.


Zen architectural features may include: 

  • Rhythmic wooden structural frames,
  • Internal courtyards,
  • Sliding screen doors,
  • Tansu-style hidden cabinetry
  • Coffered ceilings.

These are just some of the particularities that you will find in many traditional homes in Japan.

Seek Simplicity and Functionality

Japanese Zen philosophy also emphasizes purity, simplicity, and tranquility.

It comes as no surprise that natural materials are key if you are looking to create this look.

Your furniture should be simple and natural.

As a centrepiece, a wooden bed in clean lines is your best bet. Low beds, floor-level seats, and floor cushions are also great choices that will inspire feelings of serenity.

Choose Natural Materials

Natural materials like wood and stone will make you feel connected to nature and help you bring the outsides in.

Bamboo furniture is a popular option for Zen interiors.

As for the choice of wood, go for earthy colours and textures in which you can notice the organic flow of the grain.

Choose curtains made of natural textures such as linen and treat yourself to some quality bedding.

Think fabrics like wool, silk, or satin.

A Monastic Rejection of Clutter

Clutter is a big NO in a Zen bedroom.

Start by decluttering your wardrobe, your bedside tables and hide all your wires.

Keep your bed accessories to a minimum, and try not to go overboard with cushions (we know how tempting that is – but it is not the way to do it in a Zen style).

Stay away from heavily patterned fabrics, wallpaper, or busy pieces of furniture.

Explore the Benefits of Negative Space

Zen is all about feeling the energy flow positively around the space.

So make sure you understand the benefits of negative space and leave enough walking space around your furniture pieces.

If space allows, create a meditation corner where you can stretch and contemplate.

Play with Soft and Natural Light

Your lighting should be soft and gentle, not harsh and direct.

Stay away from cool white bulbs, and don`t rely just on one source of lighting.

Considering your bedroom size, you should have a mix of lighting, including as much natural light as possible, overhead, accent, and task lights.

Window coverings should be kept at a minimum, so plain or white sheers are a great option.

Recess lighting is perfect for Zen interiors, and dimmers will help you control the intensity whenever required.

Paper lanterns are a very popular choice, and they are both a pretty and a cost-effective way to light up a Zen scheme.

A Space Dominated by Earthy Hues

One hallmark of traditional zen spaces is that they tend to be dominated by neutral and earthy tones.

Since Zen is all about relaxation, you will often find natural soothing tones such as beiges and browns.

The shades tend to be muted or have very low intensity.

When it comes to your bedroom décor, think of the colours found in nature.

For instance, the brown of the soil, the beiges of the sand, or the pale blue of a clear sky.

Soothe All Your Senses

When creating your Zen bedroom, think of pleasing all your senses.

You can easily achieve this with the help of greenery, comfy rugs, and natural scents.

Twisted trees such as a bonsai tree and green fonds tend to bring a sense of calm.

Other ideal plants to include in a Zen space are orchids, azaleas, ferns, and mosses.

Moss wall art was extremely popular this year, and it will work wonders to add extra greenery.

Whatever your approach, don`t forget that the result should also create balance through a minimalist approach.


Daniela Ganea is a passionate Interior Designer and Content Writer for the Home Furnishing Industry. With a PR background, she combines her higher education with her passion for interiors by helping people with Interior Design and Styling tips for a happier home.

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