After a long, busy, and tiring day, it feels divine to fall into bed and immediately slip into a deep, sound, slumber. Sadly, not all of us have it that easy. As soon as I lie down to sleep, the whole day starts playing in my mind like a film. And if that weren’t bad enough, the embarrassing memories of things that happened decades ago, makes a flighty appearance and suddenly I’m mortified all over again.
How bad can it get? I am sure you have been there too. Obsessive thoughts, mental pictures, melodious ear worms and ancient memories… They stick in your brain and do their best to ruin your chance of a good night’s sleep. How I wish we could simply sweep them away!
To get your mind off it, you turn to your smart phone. You open Facebook, stalk the ex on Instagram, tweet about your day and when you look at the clock, it is morning already! Every night the same thing occurs because it is a vicious cycle. Eventually such stressful happenings lead to insomnia and affects not only your health but your day to day life as well.
Don’t worry, though. There is a solution to our woes, and it is called ‘Zen’. Zen is a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism. It first originated in India, and then spread to China, Korea, and Japan.
In Japan, Zen generally means living a simple life where you are focused physically and mentally on each act and task you do. Through Zen, you learn the art of letting go and learn to concentrate through meditation. Gradually, you begin to see the bigger picture and realize materialistic things don’t matter in the long run.
10 Ways to Achieve that Modern Minimalist Bedroom Look
You can incorporate Zen into your life and bid farewell to stressful nights. You can create an atmosphere that speaks the language of serenity. Your first target should be your bedroom, the place where you are comfortable the most. Here is how you can turn your bedroom into a modern, minimalistic, and totally Zen space.
1. Say No to Hoarding
The first step you must take is to declutter without faltering. That would be an absolutely Zen thing to do; tidy and organized. Boost your self-control and make your willpower a super-power. Grab a box and start gathering things in it that you don’t need.
When I decided to declutter, I emptied out my closet. I kept the clothes, shoes, and accessories that I had used in the past year. I was amazed to find a plethora of dresses, torn jeans and worn out pajamas that I hadn’t used in ages. I packed them all away in a box for charity. Afterwards I organized my closet and I felt a huge wave of relief just by looking at it.
Next, take a good look around you. Is the dresser is bursting with useless hairpins and expired perfumes? Are your walls filled with pictures of people you don’t even talk to now, and most of the frames are broken and dirty? Is the side table is yet another mess you need to clear up?
Once you have gotten rid of unnecessary things you don’t need, you will begin to appreciate your calmer, tidier surroundings. This was only the initial step to brew up a modern and Zen bedroom.
2. Opt for Neutral Colors
For a contemporary, Zen and minimalist decor, neutral colors and earthly tones are the best. Think white, grey, brown, black, algae green and beige. Stick to one or two contrasting shades and revamp your bedroom.
Replace the curtains, lampshades, and bed sheets. Instead of floral prints, go for plain sheets or stripes. Coat the walls with fresh paint of similar tones. With a neutral color palette, the bedroom will have a light, fresh and airy ambiance.
Make sure that there is a visual continuity between furniture, flooring, and walls. A sense of harmony is necessary to achieve the desired result of Zen.
Zen doesn’t mean your life has to be devoid of bright colors. You can hang a solid coloured painting or a pot of green plants to add a soothing splash of colour. Psychological research has shown that pastel colors have a calming effect on the mind due to their low-saturation and softness. If it were me, I’d paint one of the walls, preferably the one facing the bed, in pastel blue.
3. Wooden or Bamboo Flooring
Wooden flooring is timeless and modern. Not only it is affordable, it is easy to clean up, and goes with any kind of decor. It is also healthier than carpets which are often dusty and could hide unwanted bugs.
Bamboo flooring is smooth, polished, and manageable. As soon as you enter the room, you glance at the floor to check whether it is clean or not.
You can throw in a rug at a corner with a couple of cushions to make a cozy spot, you can practice yoga and you can even lie down to cool down.
4. Keep Nature in Mind
The concept of Zen is nil without nature. To keep your bedroom connected to nature, you can put up a potted plant or a vase of flowers. If there is a garden facing your room, you can install a glass wall or a large window that overlooks the trees and sky. The view will look absolutely breathtaking at night and ensure a lovely sleep.
Furthermore, you can lay out smooth pebbles on one corner of the room. It will give an earthy vibe. Using a water-sound effect is another great idea. Think rainy seasons, waterfalls and or sea waves – it will instantly calm your mind and body. You can also use a white noise application on your phone, but don’t start browsing!
5. Mirrors are a Big No
This one took me by surprise! According to feng shui experts particularly, mirrors disturb the sense of warmth and relaxation. At night, your bedroom should become a dark and cozy space.
Mirrors tend to reduce the comfort and give off the vibe of open spaces. Typically mirrors are used to increase the sense of space in a room and this in effect also reduces the warmth and coziness of a space.
If you cannot remove the mirrors, try to cover them with a cloth before you go to sleep.
6. Recessed and Accent Lighting
Proper lighting is also an important contribution to a good night’s sleep. Although it is beneficial to put out all the lights at bedtime and sleep in pitch dark, some of us want to have a small ray of light to feel comfortable. Recessed lighting and accent lighting come handy during such times.
You can ether install a recessed light on the ceiling or get an accented shade for your lamp. Warm orange is the color for night, while for daytime, natural sunlight is the best. If your room is not sunny, get a blue light. Lights affect our sleeping pattern and brain activity more than we think.
Not only installing such lights will ensure you sleep comfortably, they will gel the minimalist and Zen in your bedroom. Make sure there is proper lighting if you like to read before bedtime. You don’t want to cause strain to your eyes.
7. Reduce Technology
Move your TV, laptop, computer, Wi-Fi router and other electronics to another room. They disturb the aura and can make you restless. Bedroom is your sanctuary; the place where you want to doze off and have sweet dreams. Having a TV or a laptop in the room have a bad impact on the sleep quality. Devices that emit light, signals and rays cause your brain to wake up.
If it is not possible to move them away, you can get a room divider to hide them from view at bedtime.
8. Minimal, and Comfortable Furniture
Stick to minimal furnishings in your bedroom and arrange them accordingly. Your bed should face the door, there should not be any hangings or shelves above your bed, and the closet doors should be locked. Make sure your bed is large and comfortable enough.
When I acted on these tips, I felt a huge difference. Every night, I make sure that I turn off the Wi-Fi router, shut down my laptop and put away my phone in the drawer. I switch off the lights and get into my bed. Snuggled up in warm bed with my duvet, I gaze at the ceiling and slowly drift away to a wonderful slumber.
These steps are easy. Are you willing to give it a go?