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Yen for Zen

A gentle curved staircase relaxes the eye as it hugs the room. Credit: VicenteWolf.com

A gentle curved staircase relaxes the eye as it hugs the room. Credit: VicenteWolf.com

If your work day is anything like mine, it’s got more deadlines, distractions and near disasters than you can shake a stick at. By day’s end, is it any wonder we human hamsters-on-a-wheel yearn to escape somewhere -anywhere- that’s calm and soothing? This yen for Zen is everywhere and is easier to achieve than you may think.  Here’s how the pros do it and you can, too.

Less is more decor

Lots of clutter creates visual noise. In the foyer above, designer Vincente Wolf opens the door to stylish serenity by accessorizing with just a handful of nature-inspired pieces (a trademark Asian design element) that also double as sculpture. The effect is dramatic and cool.

Grass cloth wallcovering adds texture and a touch of nature. Credit: Vicente Wolf, ElleDecor.com

Grass cloth wallcovering adds texture and a touch of nature. Credit: Vicente Wolf, ElleDecor.com

One–just one–focal point

Tempting as it may be to shine the spotlight on several pieces of favorite decor, resist the urge and go with the one with the most wow.  In this Hamptons den, it’s the large decorative Asian fragment that’s installed as art.

Materials like teak and concrete ground this space in a palette derived from nature. Credit: Laura Resen, ElleDecor.com

Materials like teak and concrete ground this space in a palette derived from nature. Credit: Laura Resen, ElleDecor.com

Clean lines only

The simple silhouettes of the cabinetry, island, barstools and vent hood lend this California kitchen its serene sensibility.

High on the Zen list is order, inside and out.

High on the Zen list is order, inside and out.

Order –both on the inside and outside – is delivered in spades with this Veramonte Chest from the Mélange Collection. Inside, the chest features an adjustable shelf, double drawers and a pair of removable wine racks.

Geometric figures

Carved into the Mélange Veramonte chest veneer doors are two large circles, a classic Zen symbol of enlightenment that also adds a modernist decorative touch.

Although fretwork dates back centuries, this bed shows how contemporary such interlaced decorative woodwork can look.

Although fretwork dates back centuries, this bed shows how contemporary such interlaced decorative woodwork can look.

Freestanding wood frames

The Ludlow Fretwork bed is a trendy spin on soji screens–a classic design element in Asian homes.

Pretty and practical, this nightstand has two sizable storage drawers (and one is felt-lined!) plus a three-plug electrical outlet on the back.

Pretty and practical, this nightstand has two sizable storage drawers (and one is felt-lined!) plus a three-plug electrical outlet on the back.

Light & airy

With its open shelf base, the Palisade Two Drawer nightstand creates lots of visual air which makes the room feel larger and less cluttered.

With its clean lines, the Palisade collection has a definite Zen quality.

With its clean lines, the Palisade collection has a definite Zen quality.

Whatever your favorite design point-of-view is, these tips work.  So Zen up, then sit down. It’s time to relax and reboot in style.

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