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Last time we discussed the theme of designing a new home for a year that features the lifestyle changes we needed to grow accustomed to in 2020. This week let’s explore the remaining four principles of the centuries-old wisdom of Zen as applied to new-home design.

The Zen virtues we discussed initially include Austerity (Koko), in which restraint, or the elimination of unnecessary or not meaningful items, can unburden the mind and free up physical space for what the 2021 lifestyle requires.

Next, the principle of Simplicity (Kanso), involves avoiding heavy ornamentation to create positive, uninterrupted energy flow. Practicing Kanso allows for more flexibility in each space. And who doesn’t need more flexible spaces?

We then covered using Naturalness (Shizen), in design, which involves incorporating either plant life or artistic elements that mirror patterns found in nature. Weaving plants or natural patterns into home design, says the wisdom of Zen, mimics the calm and relaxation that comes from time in nature.

Some of the remaining four aesthetic principles of Zen in home design may at first seem contradictory in that they steer in different directions. But collectively, they lead to balance.

First, the value of peace and tranquility (Seijaku) can’t be underestimated. Along the same lines of thinking as Kanso and Shizen, the principle of Seijaku can be woven into home design and decor by using intention when filling the spaces inside or outside the home.

Leaving an open wall, a corner, half of a room or, if possible, an entire loft or hallway bare of furniture gives you freedom to let go. Additionally, creating a tabletop arrangement of succulents in matte-finish, natural-hued plant containers will invite peace and tranquility.

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Find a shady spot in the yard for a chair or two and a water feature. Place a hummingbird feeder on a long garden stake to attract friends from nature. Or plant impatiens and red geraniums for the same effect.

Subtlety (Yugen): Think of Yugen as adding intrigue to your design by subtly blending in the unexpected. When achieved in home design, Yugen might create a feeling of refined elegance, veiled beauty, depth or elements of surprise. Any or all of these feelings wake up the mind, bringing new life to a space, even when well disguised.

Simple tricks of light can create the desired effect. Perhaps it’s a simply designed brass chandelier with straight lines that can be lit upward, toward the ceiling, or downward, over a table. Before installing standard or custom lighting, ask your builder and their electrician about ways to add interest to a room by customizing canned lighting with dimmers or different colors.

You can apply Shizen by choosing art that draws on surprises in nature. This might be a simple white mantel dotted with a handful of elegant glass figurines in a natural green, one of which happens to be a tiger winking his eye.

Imperfection/Asymmetry (Fukinsei): Also seemingly in contrast with the simplicity and minimalism often associated with Zen, Fukinsei adds beauty and balance by incorporating asymmetry.

Much like with Kanso, you can achieve …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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