These Zen Living Rooms Are the Blissful Escape We All Need Right Now

Updated 08/21/19
Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

The idea of creating and finding your zen is no longer reserved for enlightened Buddhists, though that is where the concept originated. Today, many strive to bring zen into their homes with the hope of fostering peace and relaxation. One way to start is by decorating your home with specific elements known to enhance well-being.

For example, infusing a space with houseplants and other natural elements can be used to reduce stress, and certain colors can work to boost your mood. Other zen ideas include inviting greenery into your home to increase your sense of calm, and using cool paint colors like blue, green, and purple to evoke feelings of serenity. There's also simple elegance in multi-functional furniture and décor. And with that, check out these zen living rooms below that will make you feel super relaxed and how to recreate the look in your own space.

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Incorporate Natural Elements

Zen living room full of earthy elements
Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

With plenty of earth elements—from a tall, leafy tree to a wooden coffee table—this living room feels connected to nature. The greenery stands out against the bare white walls and promotes stress relief while eliminating toxins from the air. And when we consider naturally occurring elements like woods and greenery, the same also goes for patterns that occur in nature, like the circular pattern and curves of the vases, or spheres that top the coffee table. This is a space that looks as good as it feels.

Experiment with plants in your own home to achieve this look.

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Add Cool Tones

Living room with large, cool-toned artwork
Studio Ashby

Cool tones are thought to promote relaxation, but if painting your entire living room feels daunting, hang a large-scale painting instead. Add accent pieces with equally cool tones to promote a serene feeling of tranquility. In addition to the calming colors, these floor-to-ceiling works of art feature intricate designs to captivate any onlooker.

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Less Can Be More

living room décor
Alyssa Rosenheck

In a neutral space, one plant can be enough to create a zen living room. This gray-and-white room is transformed with a single fiddle leaf fig plant in the corner. Its green leaves are bright and soothing and keeps the room full of life. Restrained décor creates a simple palette that feels open and soothing.

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Consider Zen-Inspired Art

zen
Heidi's Bridge DESIGN: Indigo & Ochre Design

To take a more literal approach to zen décor, think about incorporating traditional Japanese and Chinese art elements. A large painting hung above the couch can create a connection to the long history of zen meditative practice, inviting a sense of calm into any space.

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Select a Simple Color Palette

zen décor
Pella Hedeby

For some, peace may be found in more minimalist décor choices, which by zen design principles, allows for more energetic flow. For example, this chic black-and-white living room achieves an orderly feeling of calm thanks to its simple color palette and uncomplicated furnishing designs. While there are no bright green botanicals, a single plant still makes an appearance in this zen living room, adding a small element of nature to the space.

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Bring the Outside, In

living
Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Nothing says zen quite like the soothing sight and sound of crashing ocean waves. This oceanfront home utilizes expansive windows to bring the calming outdoor elements inside. An elemental view paired with sleek, modern designs makes this room feel utterly relaxing.

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Favor Natural Light

zen home
Studio Ashby

A deep blue couch captivates the eye and evokes a sense of calm throughout this modern living room. In addition to the color of the couch, an alternative chandelier almost acts as a mobile, drawing the eye upward with its intricate details and reflecting light from the sun that shine through enormous windows. When the sun goes down, opt for dimmers to create the effect of sunlight to keep the harmonious mood going. These elements come together to create a seriously relaxing effect.

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Plant Your Intentions

zen living room
Heidi's Bridge DESIGN: Indigo & Ochre Design

It doesn't get much more zen than being surrounded by a 360-degree view saturated with green nature. This light-filled living room incorporates botanical elements both inside and outside. It also offers a unique fireplace surrounded by stones and statues, which all create a feeling of pure serenity that's perfect for meditating and focusing on the present moment. Live in more urban surrounds? Take your pick of a plethora of indoor plants to create a similar feeling; some even thrive in dark corners.

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Celebrate White Space

zen rooms
Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design

Another sleek, minimal space, this living room features cool, white elements to invite feelings of relaxation. One small plant on the mantel is all it takes to add a pop of life to the simplistic interior. Imagine a roaring fire to set the tone for a quiet evening in.

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Choose Art With Flow

zen décor
Studio Ashby

Artwork is a surefire way to employ color and design to your liking in order to create the mood you desire in a room. This blue-and-black abstract painting does just that, stirring up peaceful thoughts and meaningful meditation. Paired with more neutral elements in the rest of the space, this zen living room is just the thing to quiet a busy mind at the end of a hectic day.

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Spread The Blues

zen living rooms
Heidi's Bridge DESIGN: Indigo & Ochre Design

Take peaceful blue elements to the next level, and coat your walls and ceiling with the relaxing shade. In addition to the paint, this room is full of calming elements, from the sunburst wall hanging and lantern pendant to the deep green sofa and sculptural table lamp. Other natural colors to incorporate include colors reminiscent of bamboo, stone, wood, and anything that mimics natural sunlight. At the same time, a pop of color can infuse energy into a space, so it just depends on how you want a room to feel.

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Add Texture

Zen living room décor with bright yellow couch and natural light
Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & Design

Finally, this open living room features a bright yellow couch and cozy area rug, offsetting the industrial look of the exposed pipes on the ceiling. There are also traces of nature found in a potted plant situated in the corner of the space and, of course, the light streaming in through expansive windows. Looking at this zen living room is like taking a deep, intentional exhale. 

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