Zen is a state of being, so to decide on how to design a home with the Zen influence is at best an interpretation of limited dimension. With that in mind, here are general guidelines that are Zen-like, and can be incorporated into your home and lifestyle on some level. Zen is a lifestyle and it is about a seamless transition between mind and environment.
Colors– Choose colors that are not bold and reflective of your personality. Pale colors that do not compete for the attention of your mind are best suited for meditation purposes. When deciding on a color for the Zen-like room, think in terms of what would allow one to easily meditate without visual distractions.
Accessories– Keep in mind all suggestions are based on an interpretation, there are no hard and fast rules in Zen design. Most information on Zen design is the authors interpretation based on the definition of Zen. Accessories should be limited since all things hold memory and energy and thus influence the environment. When choosing the few pieces of accessories you may want to use in a Zen inspired room, simply look at the piece, its shape, color and form. Can wind and water flow around and through the piece easily, or would its hard edges and shape be an obstruction? Chose pieces that wind, and water could flow through and around. These will allow for energy to move freely. Color should be soft, pale and not competitive visually for the attention of the eye. This is why accessories should be limited and should have a viable use. Zen is about attachment through detachment, and thus all trinkets and objects that are sentimental should be packed away or moved to other locations. Man made objects are but illusions created to remind us of what we believe ourselves to be. Inner peace and enlightenment has no use of these things for defining who and what we are. All men are the same, no one more significant than the other. Attempts to distinguish our importance through material possession is just an illusion we create to convince our own doubting and unenlightened mind of our worth. Zen is about recognizing your insignificance to find your true value.
Furnishings– As with accessories, Zen is minimalist. Furniture is a part of a seamless environment, and should be there only to use in life, but not a personal statement of preference or personality. Again, chose furniture that will allow for the natural flow and ebb of energy. Hard edges and strong colors are not conducive to tranquility, meditation, or the seamless boundary between the human, and the world they move through. Sentimentality, personality, attachments are all conditions of the mind inherited and implanted. Create the space that you could in fact walk away from and not miss. Your home is where you happen to be standing. Your walls are in your mind only. That being said, enjoy the space you occupy. Zen design is about removing mental boundaries.