I personally think February, not January, is the best place to start when planning for the new year. In December, we’re so wrought with holiday stress and excitement that we overexert our emotions and compensate by pushing our physical limitations to regretful extremes. Once January rears it’s deceiving “clean slate” of a head, we start making extreme goals that essentially double as penance for our overindulgences. Come February, we’ve been deprived of so much joy on this intense voyage through choppy seas of spiked eggnog and raw kale juice, that we admit defeat and shout “GIVE ME FRENCH FRIES OR GIVE ME DEATH.” It’s a humbling rock bottom moment, that I think is actually the best place to star new-year-new-you-ing. This month, I challenge you to stop being extreme, and start being ZEN.
Whether or not you most closely identify with the Zen style outlined, and pictured, in STYLED, it’s safe to say we could all benefit from a little Zen in our homes. No matter what your taste is, if you’re rich or poor, live in a mansion or a shack, you, yes, you can make your home a place of Zen.
Let’s start by figuring out what Zen really means. It is a way of life that I wouldn’t dare sum up in one sentence . . . which is why I will let Urban Dictionary do it. Zen: total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen in your home is similar, but focuses on the warmth of materials in a minimal way. This peace-inducing home is cleared of clutter, and has only necessities – things that truly inspire the home owner and connect him or her with the life force of the planet. It’s stripped down, but still very comfortable. AKA, get rid of your junk and focus on the most important objects and necessities of life.
Is an excess of stuff in your home keeping you from achieving a streamlined and functional space you feel happy to call your home? If so, try this self-tested, fun-for-the-whole-family, super cool 90-second mental exercise to get your started.
1. Close your eyes (because everyone knows that’s how all peaceful activities start) and picture a room in your house that needs some ZEN.
2. Take 60 seconds to roughly imagine your daily and nightly routine in that room for the last week.
3. Open your eyes (unless you can write with your eyes closed) and make a list of the items, and only those items, you saw yourself using in Step 2.
4. Now, close your eyes again (trust me, it’s way more ZEN this way) and imagine your daily routine in that room for the next week, but this time there is nothing in it but the items you wrote down, and the places they live (i.e. a dresser, or a kitchen cabinet).
5. Take a deep breath, open your eyes (all three of them) and feel the sweet sensation of enlightenment.
The goal here is to feel how peaceful and functional your own space can be when it’s almost empty. Achieving a “step 4? home isn’t the goal, the goal is to always be striving for that optimal minimalism. There are some things worth keeping around that you don’t use every day, but don’t be afraid to let go of most of them to make way for the things that truly inspire you this very moment.
Here are some things that are currently inspiring our quest for Zen . . .
9. Fray Pendant Lamp | 10. Funnel Sweeper | 11. Antique Japanese Combs | 12. End Grain Coffee Table | 13. Linen Bathrobe | 14. Handmade Ceramic Dinnerware | 15. Japanese Face Towel |16. Teak Accent Vase
Craving more style diagnostic roundups? Be sure to head back and check out Seventies, Rustic, Scandinavian and Contemporary/Minimal. What are you craving next – Industrial, Mid-Century Modern, Bohemian, Modern Glam, Traditional, or Totally Eighties?
If you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy of the book, and are craving some more interior and style inspiration you can pick up your copy here, and while you’re impatiently waiting for that postman to arrive you can check out some behind the scenes, and a few more peeks inside the pages of the book here: Book Title And Cover Options | The Real Book Cover | Behind The Book – Styling The Perfect Shot | Styled On Shelves Now
***written by Jessica Isaac for EHD