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Designing a Zen Bathroom

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Architect: Aidlin Darling Design

The bathroom should be a place where you love to spend time—an indulgent oasis that purifies and rejuvenates your body while washing away the stresses of the outside world.

Through ancient teachings, the design world has learned to achieve holistic benefits by incorporating natural elements—such as color, light, essences, and the traditional five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water—into the home. When the elements in your bathroom are balanced, you’ll have a beautiful, inviting room that affords you the serene atmosphere you desire.

The Zen bathroom is defined by clean lines combined with essences and organic textures and colors. Earth tones such as greens, browns, beiges, and blues will introduce natural beauty to your space.

All of the bathroom’s objects and elements should be thoughtfully placed to achieve a sense of harmony. Keeping your design simple but lovely will improve the room’s flow and eliminate clutter—both important to support your mind, body, spirit, and physical well-being.

Wood Element
The element of wood is natural, symbolizing spring, growth and plant life. Wood energy is expansive, nurturing and versatile. Incorporate items such as bamboo flooring, sisal rugs, teak mats, wooden cabinets, plants, and fluffy cotton towels to bring wood’s qualities into the bath.

Fire Element
The element of fire has an energy of passion, summer, honor, and heat. Just a little fire in the bathroom goes a long way. Fire elements for the bathroom include burning candles, light fixtures, man-made materials and symbols, or artwork depicting the sun.

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Designer: Divine Bathroom Designs

Earth Element
The element of earth can be nurturing, supporting, and interacting with all of the other elements. Examples of earth elements for the bathroom include granite counter surfaces, porcelain tile shower walls, vitreous china toilets, and beach stone inlay flooring.Metal Element
The element of metal represents solidity, strength, and the ability to contain objects. Metal elements will likely find their way into your bathroom by necessity, as they are found in accessories such as towel bars, cabinet hardware, faucets and shower fixtures, and clocks.

The Element of Water
The element of water symbolizes purification, truth, beauty, and reflection. Nuturing and supporting, water is a wonderful element for bathrooms. Examples of water elements include glass backsplashes, mirrors, meandering patterns, fish tanks, small fountains, and artwork (or an authentic view) of rivers, lakes, or streams.

You deserve to come home to a beautiful, relaxing space that balances your mind, body and spirit. By thoughtfully designing your bathroom with the natural elements in mind, you can achieve the Zen you’re looking for.


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Denise Turner, ASID, CID, CMG is an award winning international colorist and speaker, color and design trend forecaster, Color Therapy specialist, marketing expert, author, and president of the Color Turners. She is an authority on cultural colors for the US and international market Denise regularly appears in the press, as a media spokesperson for ASID National and CMG Expert Speaker’s Bureau. She is an ASID professional member, former ASID chapter president, Certified Interior Designer, CMG Chair Holder CCIDC (California Council for Interior Design Certification) Board Member, ASID Designated Seat and UCLA graduate.   http://www.colorturners.com/ denise@colorturners.com

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