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Zen Interior Style

Zen Interior Style

Create a tranquil and oriental inspired interior with our Zen interior style guide, complete with pictures and links to zen inspired fabrics, wallpapers and products. 

Inspired by Zen

Although technically not a decorating style, the Japanese art of Zen involves creating an environment of relaxation and peace into your home. Making your environment an inner sanctuary from the stresses and strains of life in the outside world.

Zen principles and philosophy are associated with minimalist, simple furniture and decorations, calm and neutral colours and features that bring balance and clean lines. The energy flow in a Zen home should move positively around the space.

Zen is more a way of life than a style trend, it elevates simplicity to an art form and is a deeply personal, pared down philosophy. Often making use of natural materials, patterns of light and space, and a strong rejection of clutter. These principles embrace all aspects of life alongside our interiors.

Elitis ‘La montagne sacrée’ wallpaper from the Soleil Levant collection is applied in 2 recesses to reflect the symmetry and flow in this Zen inspired space. The collection designs are based on patterns taken from Japanese kimonos.

Zen wallpaper La Montagne Sacrée from Elitis


How to bring the art of Zen into your home?

Create Flow

Unlocking the energy in a space means taking away all obstacles. You may not be able to remove walls and structural items, but you can create a more open, less restricted environment by making doorways less visible (fit glass internal doors with very slim profiles) uncover windows to allow the light in (remove heavy and elaborate dressings) and reduce excess bold and busy pattern. Along with reducing clutter and possessions this will all help enhance the feeling of space around you.

Removing un-necessary doors and heavy window dressings will help to create a light filled, flowing space. Luxury brand Mark Alexander embrace the Zen philosophy in their Shibui collection shown above.

Zen Fabric Shibui from Mark Alexander

Perfect palette

A Zen home tends to focus on a natural and neutral colour palette. Think of the colours in nature – the pale blue of the sky, soft greens of foliage, the greys and browns of rocks and the golden beige of a sandy beach. These are the perfect Zen shades to bring into your home. Soft whites and pale pinks can look great too. Don’t be afraid to drop a small note of bright colour into the surroundings though; a fuchsia pink single orchid, red lacquered hallway console or a simple vivid piece of art can help to create a sense of energy in the space.

Products made of natural materials such as wood, slate and stone bring the outside into your home too, creating texture, interest, and warmth in a wonderfully subtle way. Bamboo is another choice that you can consider for your décor. Consider a smooth wooden or simple stone floor and add some slate tiles to bathrooms and kitchens.

Soft, natural colours and wooden furniture will help create the Zen mood. Villa Nova’s Huari Weaves collection combines textured small-scale weaves with organic colours. Pared with natural wood the feeling is calm and simple.

Soft Colours Huari Weaves from Villa Nova

Latus wallcovering from luxury brand Arte is a silk imitation paper which could be well utilised in a Zen bedroom. Featuring the irregularities of natural silk, with a thicker or rougher thread from time to time, the colour palette is soft and neutral.

Silk Effect Vinyl Wallpaper Latus from Arte



To balance the harder wood and stone in a Zen space make sure you use considered fabrics to keep things soft and inviting. Wool and silk can be added, for window dressings, accessories, and floors. Also look out for natural cotton, linen and more textural cloths.

Rare Alchemy by de Le Cuona is a striking collection of beautiful fabrics which explore the raw beauty of natural materials. Luxurious linen and silks made from high quality yarn give excellent draping quality and wonderful texture to a room.

Naturally Organic Fabric in Cashew from De Le Cuona

Zinc shorn sheepskin is an unbelievably soft and sumptuous texture that adds comfort and warmth to the clean lines of Zen furniture.

Include a silky rug underfoot to balance hard floors – Designers Guild offer a wide range of plain rugs such as the Eberson (below left) and the Saraille (below right). Both are ombre style rugs with neutral shades fading from intense to pale. 

Neutral Rug Eberson in Espresso from Designers Guild

Neutral Rug Saraille from Designers Guild


Pattern-free zone

Zen is not a style where you should be considering heavily patterned fabric, wallpaper, or rugs. Keep things simple and if you do want to add in a little pattern to break up space, consider soft oriental inspired designs such as Japanese blooms, geometric shapes, and clean stylised designs.  

Yulan Birch fabric from Designers Guild or Haiku wallcovering from Phillip Jeffries (both shown below) would both be great choices for some simple Zen pattern.


Simple Patterns for Japanese Style Yulan Birch fabric from Designers Guild

Simple Japanese Pattern for Zen Haiku Wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries



Simple, graphic designs can also be considered. ‘Canaria’ fabric, from luxury brand Nobilis, with an abstract but soft pattern evoking vegetation, comes in a range of natural tones. It is simple enough for a statement item of seating in a Zen setting.

Simple Graphic Design Pattern for Zen Canaria from Nobilis

‘Ukiyo’, also from Nobilis means "floating world" in Japanese and is inspired by traditional prints to evoke a chain of mountains. Perfect for one feature wall to bring the outside in.


Simple Graphic Pattern for Zen style Ukiyo from Nobilis


Simple pieces

Furniture pieces in homes that follow a Zen philosophy are usually clean, simple, and unfussy. Lines should be straight with gentle curved edges thrown in to soften the look. Very elaborate detailing and embellishments should be avoided. That isn’t to say furniture must be stark or un-inviting – simple and organic detailing can work very well. Consider one tone wood finishes rather than heavily grained along with lacquered and matt finishes for interest.

The Aubrey cabinet from Andrew Martin has clean lines softened by a simple facetted door front. Soft textured wood contrasts with the dark frame.

Simple Furniture for Zen Style Aubrey Sideboard from Andrew Martin

Integrated bench seating softened by a seat pad in a hard wearing but soft velvet from Zimmer Rohde.

Simple Furniture for Zen Interiors bench with Zimmer and Rohde Fabric


Less is more

Zen is a style which should not be overcrowded. Try not to fill your room with multiple pieces of furniture or too many little decorations. Space and balance are important. Add a few accessories to a shelf then stand back and see if the balance seems right.

Simple Accessories for Zen Style shown with Scene Wallpaper from Villa Nova

Carefully curated objects and artwork will help to maintain the calm and uncluttered look associated with Zen style.

Carefully Created Objects for Zen Style shown with Elitis Wallpaper


Finishing touches

Lighting in a Zen interior scheme can be soft and gentle, it can also be used to accent a key piece or area of the home. Bulbs should be warm white rather than harsh. Consider layering light sources to create a balanced feel. Look for striking but simple designs to create a focus.

Simple But Dramatic Lighting for Zen Style Iago Ceiling Light from Porta Romana

Storage is also key for a Zen space, de clutter and remove items no longer needed and ensure you have enough storage to keep that all important sense of flow in each room.

A splash of green will always suit a Zen style home, lush but sculptural plants can be placed either side of a window or door for balance. A sense of calm and peace will be increased by living plants dotted around the room.

Arrange Lights and Plants Thoughtfully for Zen Style Shown with Elitis Wallpaper

Candles and oil diffusers can be added for visual and sensory benefits.

In an ever-faster world, introducing some elements of Zen into our lives will be all too important, Here at TM Interiors, we can help you fulfil this look with our collections of fabrics, wallpapers, accessories, lighting, and furniture.

Zen Interior Style With Elitis Wallpaper Paper Sculpture Collection