The designers make it look so easy- perfectly arranged furniture groups, color palettes that seem to breathe deeply on their own, the right amount of accessories to compliment and enhance living spaces dedicated to work, play, food, and relaxation- browsing the internet or paging through an interior design magazine for inspiration on zen- like living can make one feel decidedly un-zen like when it comes to real life. How can we take those pristine photos of serene living spaces and apply them to the spaces we really live in? Forget balancing that glass of red wine on a stack of heirloom photography books next to an arm chair dressed in a crisp white slip cover- and think instead of applying some basic principles to the spaces we occupy every day, and the tasks we must accomplish within these spaces. Zen Living in the Real World is a series that will inspire you to create living spaces that direct the flow of energy in your home- step by step, room by room- to one of serenity, abundance and well-being.
Let’s begin with the entry. Over the holidays I was visiting with a friend over a cup of coffee at the breakfast bar in her kitchen. I glanced up and noticed there were wind chimes hanging from a hook in the ceiling just inside the door to the garage. Wind chimes? Inside? Okaaaay… When I asked her why she had wind chimes in her kitchen she told me they help defuse the sometimes negative energy her police officer husband brings home from the job. When he opens the door from the garage the chimes sway just enough to send out a small tinker that she (as well as a few select ancient Chinese Zen masters) believes helps to redirect the energy, or chi, from negative to positive. Curious, I began to explore other entry areas of the home, taking notes along the way.