Create a zen bathroom
Transform your bathroom into a personal refuge using Zen-inspired design and organic materials such as wood, stone and metal.
In line with trends to be more earth friendly, the bathroom is the ideal room to start using organic materials that incorporate the five natural elements: fire, earth, water, metal and air. Blend metal taps and fittings with stone sinks with airy rice paper screens. Move the mountain inside the house with stacked pebble tiles and add bamboo countertops and floors. Cast concrete sinks have the look and feel of carved stone, whilst granite and marble add an important grounding balance to your bathroom.
Teak is a popular wood in Zen design and it's an easy way to add an authentic touch with bathroom furniture, or add a teak stool to the shower and teak floor mats outside the tub.
In a Zen bathroom the goal is to achieve graceful balance and lighting is an important part of the design. If you are remodelling or installing a new bathroom allow for plenty of natural ight. Use window treatments that offer privacy and create diffused light, such as stained glass, window films and rice paper shades.
Choosing a variety of interior lighting sources creates a layered lighting scheme, which lets you achieve balance and flexibility. Hang canister or pendant lights over the basin so you have a place shave or put on your makeup. Placing sconces on either side of the mirror will light your entire face without shadows so you can do those delicate tasks with ease. Install indirect lights to quiet the room when you want to soak in the tub. Dimmers will help you achieve the right balance between natural and electrical light.
Zen design highlights our relationship with nature and achieving balance between the two creates the serenity that has made Zen baths so popular.
If your budget doesn't allow for walls of glass, a simple window above the bathtub that looks out onto a tree or gives a view of the sky will also work. You can also bring nature inside by having a single, intricate orchid or miniature bamboo on the vanity. The goal is to use nature to create stillness and tranquility in the room.
Here are 7 tips to help you make the most impact in your home with "Zen like" décor:
1. Keep it uncluttered: Zen spaces have no clutter and less ornamentation. Take a critical look at your living space. Evaluate which furniture pieces you actually need and use, and which decorative items you can do without. Clean out, throw out and organise. Arrange the items that are left behind and only buy something new if it is needed.
2. Stick to neutrals: Choose natural and warm colour schemes when selecting paint, furniture or accessories. The softer colours of nature like green, blue, beige and white are very "Zen."
3. Get low: Pick furniture that has low and clean-cut lines. No camelback sofas and cabriole legs. Modern or Asian furniture in neutral solids like wood, will work best.
4. Hang it: To provide more open space in an area, search for more wall-mounted objects like lamps, coat hangers, sinks and toilets.
5. Be an illusionist: Sheer curtains, glass doors and glass-front cabinets all create the illusion of a bigger space, because they transmit light and make the space more "airy." When tiling, try and tile all the way to the ceiling of your bathroom, it will make it appear higher.
6. Be a multi-tasker: Choose furnishings that are good multi-use pieces. Why not use a coffee table as a bookshelf, by using the bottom for books and magazines. It could even double up as an ottoman, extra seating and a side table. Rooms can multi-task too. Why not use the guest room as a workout area or home office as well?
7. Accessorise it: Peaceful and serene accessories in a minimalist style will work best in achieving the Zen look. Pick accessories that mirror a certain theme. If you select items that are too different, then you'll ruin the ambiance you are trying to achieve. Plan it, put them into place and move them around until you feel you have created the perfect balance. Make the space work for you and not against you.