The Art of Zen: Invite Serenity into Your Kitchen
They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Is that the case with you as well? Is the kitchen where your family spends most of its time? If so, you are probably thinking of ways how you can make this space more practical and enjoyable.
To do that, have you considered creating a Zen kitchen environment? Introducing elements of Zen can make your kitchen more serene and peaceful. Just imagine all the joy you can have in such an ambience, which will let your creativity flow and inspire you to create amazing new meals. Furthermore, spending time with your family in such an atmosphere is sure to have positive effects on your relationship.
While we’ve all heard of Zen, most of us don’t know everything that it entails, which usually means that we don’t know how to incorporate it into your homes. If you are thinking about turning your kitchen into a Zen space, here are the most important things you should be aware of and some suggestions on how you can transform the space. Take note.
Below are the Best Tips to Create Zen Kitchen Environment
A soft and natural palette is the way to go
Choosing the right colour scheme for your kitchen will play a vital role in establishing a Zen atmosphere. You do not want to go for bold and bright hues as soft and natural ones are much better for promoting serenity.
When it comes to your walls, you have plenty of options here. For example, you can go traditional and paint your walls white. However, you can also choose any of the off-white or beige shades as well as calming grey, blue or green hues. Beiges and browns invoke a warm feeling of being in nature and are often chosen for a Zen space. On the other hand, greens and blues are pretty self-explanatory as they remind us of outdoor spaces filled with greenery and water elements. Kitchen design trends still apply so you can choose to have an accent wall in blue and keep the rest white if you please.
As for the cabinets, you can choose natural wood in whichever colour you prefer, whether it is of the darker or brighter variety – just make sure it goes well with the rest of the colour scheme. The Zen headspace can be enhanced with quartz or marble countertops in greyish or greenish hues.
We cannot neglect the appliances, of course. One of your choices is to look for custom-made pieces, as there are manufacturers who make appliances with unique looks. You can probably find a fridge or dishwasher that looks like it’s made of wood. However, you can also decide to hide your appliances in various cabinets – that way, the stainless steel parts won’t stand out if you don’t want them to. On the other hand, you can choose to keep your appliances visible. In that case, you should make sure that they are all cohesive, and look for different fixtures, such as faucets and lamps, that also match this aesthetic.
Keep it comfy with wooden flooring
Most of us turn to ceramic tiles or linoleum for kitchen flooring because they are the easiest to clean, and it’s no secret that the kitchen witnesses many spills and accidents. As practical as these materials are, they can be quite cold. So, to make your kitchen more cosy and warm, think about using wood for the floors. Implementing wood in something other than just the kitchen cabinets will bring another layer of nature into your Zen-inspired space.
A great thing here is that wooden flooring comes in many varieties, from lighter to darker shades. This means that it will be quite easy to choose the type that complements your colour scheme. Other things that can affect your aesthetic include the grain pattern and the plank width.
However, more important than colour is the quality of the flooring you choose. You should consult some experts as they can tell you which types of wood are preferred for a kitchen as well as help you choose the best kind of finish. The finish you choose can have a significant impact on how much maintenance your floors will need.
Boost serenity with greenery
What is associated with the Zen way of life more than nature? Nothing. So, apart from introducing natural materials and colours into the kitchen area, you should consider bringing in plants as well.
Not only will greenery make you feel closer to nature and make the space more beautiful, but it also has plenty of health benefits. For example, it helps purify your air, and it increases humidity. Moreover, plants can also affect our mood and increase our productivity.
You are probably aware that there are plenty of low-maintenance plants, which means that they can thrive in your kitchen regardless of your skills when it comes to gardening. Among the most challenging plants to kill is aloe vera. Plus, if you keep it near the stove, you can use its gel interior for a cooling effect in case you burn yourself. Another plant that can survive any environment is the cast iron plant, so it’s great for kitchens which can be both humid and dry. English ivy, spider plant and Chinese evergreens are some of the other choices you have.
If, on the other hand, you are confident in your green thumb, you can also choose from a variety of interesting potplants that can boost the visual appeal of your kitchen but might require a bit more maintenance. For instance, gardenias and orchids will bring a pop of colour to your natural palette and a yucca plant will look elegant and calming in a corner. Furthermore, you can also add a colourful cacti collection, which doesn’t require that much maintenance.
When choosing where to put the planters, read up on the plants and see which require direct sunlight and which prefer partial or full shade. Having a shelf near the window where the plants will go is excellent but you can also choose to put them in hanging flowerpots.
Layer the lights for a relaxing mood
Seeing as how Zen is all about being relaxed, you do not want to have any harsh lights in your kitchen. This is why implementing several lighting solutions and playing with layers of natural and soft lights is vital.
Start with overhead lights. You can go for ceiling-mounted or hanging types, or even combine several kinds. For example, recessed lights go great together with pendant lights or track lighting.
However, some areas need special task lighting. Your sink and meal prep stations should be well-lit to avoid any accidents. The easiest way to make sure there is enough light to install undercabinet lights. Moreover, you can also put LED strips inside your cabinets.
While on the topic of LEDs, you should use them for all light fixtures as they won’t heat the space and will help you save money on bills. Furthermore, they can mimic the properties of natural light and come in different colour temperatures so you can choose those you like.
Of course, don’t overlook the importance of natural lighting. If you have the budget and space, you can install big windows that will illuminate the whole kitchen during the day.
Stay organised for the win
Having the right layout is crucial for staying calm and collected in the kitchen. If you divide the space into areas, you will have a much better overview of the situation. That way, you will know precisely where things you need are.
There are three most essential parts of the kitchen – the stove, the fridge and the sink. By grouping your kitchen around these elements, you should have an easier time navigating the space.
For example, the space around the fridge can be your storage area. A fridge is already a place where you keep things, so try to add cabinets and other storage solutions around it. The next part should be your cleaning area. Keep glasses and dishes around your sink and dishwasher. This means that you will be able to put away the clean items faster. The area around your stove should be designated for cooking. Have a station where you will keep all tools for preparing the food, such as knives, cleavers, colanders and similar items. Store pots and pans close to the stove to have everything nearby.
One way to stay on top of everything is by implementing the triangle design. If your kitchen space is right for this design, your movements will be much more comfortable seeing as how this approach allows for smooth traffic between the areas and Zen emphasizes the idea of flow. Alternatively, you can also opt for the kitchen work zone design, which is a natural evolution of the triangle. Both setups can work; it all depends on the size of your kitchen.
Minimalism works in your favour
You’ve probably noticed that we didn’t talk a lot about various knickknacks and decorations. That is because minimalism is essential for a Zen space. You should strive for a place with no clutter and pretentious arrangements. Everything we mentioned previously works towards achieving this effect. From wooden floors and understated natural cabinets to keep the space as practical as possible.
This doesn’t mean that your kitchen needs to be wholly bare and without any decorations. It just means that you should ensure that everything has its purpose and designated space. Keep all surfaces clear. That means that you shouldn’t leave things lying around after you’ve used or washed them – put them in their place. Opting for sliding doors on cabinets instead of the regular swinging out ones can be beneficial as that will take up less space. To make the most of your space, consider using your kitchen island for storage, in case you have one. There are plenty of other ways how you can utilise every corner of your kitchen, so that everything stays organised and easily accessible.
You should go through all your kitchen items and see which ones you don’t really use. There must be at least some which are just creating clutter and taking up space. Once you decide what you don’t need, you can throw away, donate or sell it. That will create more room for the things you actually need.
Creating a comfortable area in your home where all of the family members can feel comfortable and relaxed is probably high on your list of priorities. So why not use this opportunity to transform your kitchen into a Zen space that will have plenty of benefits for you and your loved ones?