How to Create a Relaxing Sanctuary in Your Bedroom

How to Create a Relaxing Sanctuary in Your Bedroom

Decorating ideas to create the perfect zen space

Our bedrooms should be a place to retreat, recharge, recover and relax. Among the commotion of daily life, the bedroom should be a sanctuary of self-care.  

One way to create a harmonious space in your home is to borrow decorating ideas from Zen teachings.

Zen isn’t a design style per se, but a school of thought that emphasises meditation, mindfulness and a connection to nature. It teaches calmness despite a chaotic life.

By channelling Zen’s functional minimalism and love of nature into interior design, you can feel that same tranquillity when you close your bedroom door.

So with mindfulness in mind, let’s look at how to create a haven of harmony using natural materials, minimalism and deliberate design. From banishing your phone to bundling up in bamboo bed sheets, these are our favourite ideas to create a calm space in your home.

Declutter your space (and your mind)

If you’re looking for Zen decorating ideas, a great place to start is with the furniture and decorations you already have.

Zen is reflected in the simplicity of minimalist interior design. It’s not about getting rid of all your furniture.

Instead, it’s about keeping the things that make your bedroom comfortable and functional, without the clutter of decorations you don’t need.

Minimalist Zen interior design ideas

  • Everything should have a function

Ornaments for ornaments’ sake are out. It might be tough to do away with decorations, wall hangings or ornamental furniture, but a clear room is the way to a clear mind. And less furniture means less to clean, which is a bonus.

Unnecessary bed linen should also go. Rather than dressing up drab sheets with a throw, invest in high-quality bamboo bed sheets that up your game in aesthetics and function.

  • Clear your bedside table

Try to keep your sleeping area clear of clutter. Even a small change like putting your things in a drawer instead of leaving them on a bedside table means you wake up with a clear view, rather than being jumbled up first thing.

  • Don’t fear open space

There’s nothing wrong with empty space. The difference between ‘bare’ and ‘beautiful’ is the thought you put into furnishing your bedroom. More on that shortly.

Banish devices

More than a quarter of Australian adults (26%) suffer during the day because they’re checking devices too late at night. That’s according to the Sleep Health Foundation, which also says 16% of us work just before bed.

If you’re one of those people who struggles to disconnect before bed, try leaving your phone on charge in another room at night. Then you can’t give in to temptation or answer late-night work emails.

Thoughtful, not plentiful

Or, put another way, quality over quantity. Whether puffy pillows, a reading armchair, a work desk or bedsheets, your external environment should reflect your internal state.

If you’re creating a Zen sanctuary just for you, then investing in furnishings you’ll love interacting with every day is mission-critical.

Simple, functional, refined: how to create a Zen room with furniture

While you’re decluttering, consider whether your furniture meets the criteria of Zen-inspired interior design:

  • High-quality
  • Natural materials wherever possible
  • Simple design
  • Clean lines
  • Comfortable

This is perhaps the only tenet of Zen interior design that might be a little tough to adopt at first. This is mainly because furniture like work desks, beds, chairs, and wardrobes can be a significant investment.

But it’s an investment in your wellbeing, more than simply a piece of furniture.

Once you clear the clutter off your surfaces, you will quickly sense whether replacing or renovating your furniture will improve the mood in your room.

Embrace nature

Zen principles are reflected in biophilic design. Connecting with nature helps us feel more relaxed, plus having plants around quite literally helps us breathe easier.

Bringing the outdoors inside while creating a minimalist Zen room means choosing textiles and decorations that reflect nature. Keep furniture simple and natural, and seek out sustainable materials wherever possible.

Natural materials

Sustainable materials like bamboo, natural wood, hemp and cork make for great bedroom companions. Not only are these materials aesthetically and functionally superior to cheap plastic furniture, but natural furniture also maintains our connection with the environment.

So, when you’re reassessing your bedroom furnishings for function and quality, don’t forget to factor in sustainability.

Bamboo bedsheets put a big tick in all three boxes. Bamboo fabric keeps you comfortable and healthy thanks to its natural antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties. It outlasts and outperforms cotton, plus sheets made from sustainably sourced bamboo fibres are soft on the environment.

Indoor plants for the bedroom

Houseplants release oxygen, and there’s some suggestion they remove harmful toxins from the air.

But most importantly, houseplants make us happy. The mood-boosting effect of a flourishing Ficus or magnificent Monstera can’t be understated. Balancing biophilic design with Zen simplicity is easy: a single potted plant can make a bold statement.

Stay soft

Creating a sanctuary of softness allows your stresses to sink away when you close your bedroom door. Softness can be physical (soft textiles and comfortable furniture) or visual (soft lighting and clean, natural lines).

Softness underfoot

Replacing the bedroom flooring with luxurious carpet may not be the most budget-friendly interior design move. Still, it can significantly improve the comfort levels inside your sanctuary.

Alternatively, opt for a thick rug. Natural wool and hemp are sustainable materials that add a level of comfort every time you get in and out of bed.

Bamboo bedding

With the highest thread count available (500TC) and a silky sateen weave, OLARA bamboo sheet sets are among the softest sheets you can experience.

And because 100% organic bamboo is naturally durable, resilient and easy to clean, you can enjoy the same calming sensory experience soft wash after wash, year after year.

Zen colours and lighting choices

Warm, bright and earthy: three words that come up repeatedly in creating a Zen room. From furniture to paint colours, these three words should describe every detail in your bedroom.

Zen colours for the bedroom

Repainting is an easy way to transform the feeling of any room. You can start with the walls and choose furnishings to match or go the other way, picking paint colours that complement your furniture and textiles.

Monochromatic palettes of whites, beiges, light greys or earthy pastels achieve that all-important balance of simplicity and comfort.

OLARA bamboo bedsheets are available in 5 naturally-inspired colours to match your minimalist, monochrome aesthetic. Browse our range to choose your favourite from natural, white, charcoal, smoke grey and fawn.

Paint with light

As well as painting the walls in Zen colours, light is an adaptable mood setter. Luckily, we have abundant sunlight in Australia, which you can use to soften and brighten any space in your home.

  • Natural light

Use natural light in place of harsh electric lighting to simultaneously maintain a connection with nature and warm your space. Depending on which way the windows face, you may prefer to filter sunlight through a sheer curtain during the hottest hours of the day.

  • Candles

Although candles aren’t a fundamental part of Zen interior design (they’re more Scandinavian), you can bend the rules a little to make your sanctuary more comfortable. Lighting a candle during everyday moments has a profoundly calming effect.

Sparking a subtly scented candle, such as beeswax or soy, can help with stress relief.

  • Bulbs and lampshades

Softening overhead and standing lights is an effective, budget-conscious way to introduce a little more Zen mindfulness into your bedroom. It might be as simple as replacing cold (white/blue) bulbs with warm (orange) lighting.

Or you can use a lampshade to diffuse direct lighting, creating a sense of balance and warmth.

Remember: you’re creating a sanctuary for you

Here’s the great thing about Zen interior design ideas: no hard-and-fast rules exist.

Feel free to weave your personal style into the Zen interior design tips mentioned above. As long as you stick close to the guiding principles of minimal, warm, bright and natural, you can create a Zen room that becomes an escape from the outside world when you need it.

Is your sanctuary ready for bamboo bedsheets?

Head to the OLARA blog for more interior design inspiration, plus helpful tips on caring for bamboo bedsheets.

Or you can join our social media community to share your own Zen-inspired bedroom styling. We’d love to see how you create a sanctuary at home.

If you’re ready to add the finishing touches to your refreshed bedroom, browse the range of OLARA 100% organic bamboo bedsheets in our online store.

Our range is thoughtfully curated, and Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified, giving you a restful night’s sleep and all the health benefits of natural bamboo in your sustainable sanctuary.


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