The words “zen” and “meditation” often have strong visual connotations of a person contorted into a pretzel, thumb and index finger touching, chanting “om” while surrounded by a thick cloud of incense smoke. However, in the simplest terms, “zen” and “meditation” mean to think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time. As our lives become increasingly chaotic and busy, carving out a space in your home where you can relax is more important than ever. Don’t worry though- this doesn’t have to be a daunting and expensive task. Below we’ll give you 8 easy ways you can create a space to quell your mind.

  • Declutter-A meditation corner or dedicated zen space is, my nature, a place to help clear your the mental clutter. As with most projects, clear out your space first to help eliminate distractions later down the road. Chances are if you’re surrounded by random papers and trinkets, you won’t really be able to settle down and focus.
  • Warm and neutral– Bright colors are known to stimulate the brain rather than quell it. When designing your space, keep the color palette neutral and calming, sticking with warmer tones such rich bluessubtle grays, and calming tans.
  • Fabrics– feeling relaxed involves all of our senses so you’ll want to stick with materials that make you feel comfortable. Maybe that’s a silk pillow or a soft chenille blanket. Muslin and velvet could also be great choices.
  • Furniture– don’t worry. This isn’t where we tell you that you need to ditch your current aesthetic and adopt something asian centric. A lot of modern furniture pulls from classic asian design with it’s minimalism and low lines so you can easily create the space using more “contemporary” pieces. Keep it simple though- a low profile chair and simple side table will probably do the trick. You may even elect to keep it extra minimal and stick with a few large floor pillows over any “real” furniture.
  • Lighting– probably more critical than furniture or fabrics, is the light you choose for your space. Chances are you’ll want to visit your space at more than one time of day so you’ll need back up for natural light. Choose a low wattage bulb and a simple lamp to make your space accessible at all times without making you squint. Smells– smells have a way of triggering memories and emotions. Think about how a certain scent can almost take you back in time, transporting you back to your grandma’s kitchen or childhood home. People often think “zen” and immediate equate incense and sage- but that doesn’t have to be the case. Place your favorite candle in the space or an oil diffuser to keep it smelling nice.
  • Make it your own– a zen space doesn’t mean you need to sit cross legged, on the floor, meditating in silence for hours on end. Create your space around what calms you. Maybe that’s reading and you keep a stack of books nearby; perhaps it’s music so you have an docking station or Alexa handy to play your favorite playlist. Decorate with ornaments or trinkets that have meaning to you- maybe souvenirs from trips you’ve taken or gifts from loved ones you hold dear. Just keep in mind not to over do it with the tchotchkes.
  • Take it outside– does the thought of being indoors make you itch a little? You’re not alone. Nature often brings a sense of relaxation not rivaled elsewhere so take your zen outside and carve out a corner in your backyard for relaxation. Granted, depending on where you live, you may not be able to use it year round, it will expand your options as far as design goes. Space considering you could adorn it with a small fountain or a larger koi pond. Rocks, sand and bamboo can also make for excellent additions to an outside relaxation station.

Do you have another tips for creating a zen space in your home? Have you carved out a space where you can give your mind a moment to slow down? We’d love to see it!