The Definitive Guide to Creating a Zen Home |
The Definitive Guide to Creating a Zen Home

The Definitive Guide to Creating a Zen Home

Less is definitely more

Written by – Team
on August 30th 2016
Our team creates original content, from home tours to DIYs each piece is created especially for readers.

Is less more? We are lucky to live in a time where we can decorate our home with relative ease. Finding the finishing pieces to our perfect home decor is just a simple click away. Yet, while buzzing consumerism gives us more variety every year, there has simultaneously been a growing movement towards minimalism, and the clutter free Zen home.


While some of us might still be struggling to de-clutter our homes, Scandinavian and Japanese home interiors have long held onto the secrets of happy minimalism. Marie Kondo’s best selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has accelerated a global interest in Zen principles of clutter and space. There is a spiritual background to Japanese Zen minimalism – Zen encourages you to create a space free from distractions, where you can experience a peaceful state of mind. On this note, read on for the seven principles of Zen for a clutter free home.

White minimalist bedroom with wood beam accent in a Zen home |
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1. Simplicity, or Kanso

The kanso principle suggests that anything that is not absolutely necessary should be omitted from the space.

Minimalist living room with jungalow accents in a Zen home |
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This careful thinking gives way to a clean space that is beautiful in its simplicity. This also helps keep the home clutter free and gives more purpose to every room.So next time you are out shopping, ask yourself if you really need it!

2. Asymmetry or Fukinsei

Fukinsei principle suggests that balance can be achieved by pairing symmetry with irregularity.

White bedroom with striking wood headboard in a Zen home |
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The idea is to break from the normal and appreciate the imperfections around us. Sometimes symmetry may lead to monotony, while irregularity balances it out and keeps things interesting.

3. Naturalness or Shizen

Shizen suggests that naturalness needs to be added to our home to create a sense of oneness with nature. This is done by adding plants or a small indoor garden to the house.

Bright bathroom with plant details in a Zen home |
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Close proximity with nature has always had a positive effect on our lifestyle. A small blooming flower can change the entire course of the day. It takes little effort to create a green sanctuary at home, but it can have a very positive effect on its owner.

4. Subtlety or Yugen

Yugen suggests that some things should be left to the onlooker’s imagination to generate curiosity. Our new homes are based around an open floor plan, which is a great concept but that leaves little to the imagination.

Colorful kids bedroom in a Zen home |
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Creating interesting corners and partially closed spaces are more interesting to look at.

5. Unconventional or Datzoku

Datzoku signifies change from routine, or different from what is expected. This break from your normal routine adds an element of surprise and frees you from being conventional in every situation.

Calming blue dining room with mismatched chairs in a Zen home |
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A great example is the dining room in the image above, where all four chairs are different in both style and color. This surprise element makes it much more special.

6. Tranquility or Seijaku

Seijaku suggests that tranquility is important and that we must take time out to enjoy stillness. Sometimes just a simple act of doing nothing can be more satisfying than even your most favorite activity.

Cozy reading nook in a Zen home |
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Thus, a quite corner where you can unwind and capture your thoughts in a meaningful way is an essential part of a clutter free home. A minimal space with no distractions, and maybe some plants, could be the perfect spot for that.

7. Austerity or Shibui

Shibui suggests that there is beauty in understated simplicity. This means that a simple object that perfectly performs its function without being adorned by other embellishments is perfect in itself.

Minimalist dining area with wood table and hanging black pendant lights in a Zen home |
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We often buy things based on their look, color and added functionalities, which as per this principle may not be our ideal choice. In the world of too many options, choosing things that serve their purpose in a simple and perfect way might just be as close as we can get to having a meditative mind.

The less-is-more philosophy might not always sound practical. We are a living in a world of over-consumption and there never seems to be enough time to sort out the unnecessary. Nevertheless, if you are looking to take the first step towards a clutter free home, these seven principles will certainly help you.


Are you a minimalist? Do you follow any of the seven Zen principles?


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