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The Zen of Bathroom Remodels

Considering the amount of time, you spend in the bathroom on a daily basis, it should be a place of peace and harmony—a place to unwind with simplicity.

Here are six principles of bathroom Zen inspired by Japanese aesthetic, Shibui, and how you can use them in your remodel.

1. PLAINNESS
Zen attempts to achieve a state of harmony and balance and restraint is a key part of that. Clutter only makes things confusing. Restraint removes everything that isn’t necessary so one can simply “be” rather than always having to sort through multiple sensations and determine what to focus on.

You can achieve this austerity in your bathroom by keeping to natural colors, simple designs, and subtle details. Plainness doesn’t have to mean boring. You can add plenty of interest without distraction using textured tiles and simple but unique layout.

2. SIMPLICITY
Simplicity is very similar to plainness. It calls for elimination of things that don't belong, but it also asks you to determine what is most important. When you refrain from complexity, you make room for the things that are the most important to you. 

If taking an aromatic bath is your thing, then be sure to invest in a soaking tub. If luxury makes you feel at peace, select a natural stone—like marble—or a focused mosaic to boost the elegance factor. As long as your selections make sense to you and don’t create tension or confusion, you’ll love every moment you spend in your bathroom.

3. SERENITY
One valued aspect of Zen is meditation. Achieving a state of stillness unlocks an energy that helps you focus and increases your awareness, so you can find insights that you might have missed otherwise. 

The flow of your floor plan becomes important here. If your soaking tub is next to a busy room or utility room, you may find your tranquility interrupted. Adjacent spaces should play a part in your bathroom design. 

If there’s nothing you can do about that view of the neighbor's water meter from your bathroom window, frost the glass and introduce elements of harmony like a plant or a calming tile mosaic on the floor.

4. IMPERFECTION
It may seem counterintuitive to introduce an interruption to your Zen space, but simple interruptions provide opportunities to draw attention to things that might go unnoticed otherwise. A vacation from work refreshes you; a change in plans keeps you mentally alert; challenges help you evolve.

Achieve imperfection in your bathroom and increase your ability to leave the room emotionally renewed and mentally alert. Consider asymmetrical tile designs or unexpected details that capture attention.

5. SUBTLETY
A higher awareness allows you to enjoy life on a different level; you'll see things you didn't notice before. Understatement gives you something to discover later, which awakens your awareness and leaves you feeling empowered. 

Incorporate a sense of simplicity in your bathroom with subtle details in color, texture, and design. Put meaning behind your choices and you’ll be able to draw happiness from the story behind your bathroom every time you enter it.

6. NATURALNESS
Zen has long been associated with nature. The natural world brings the energy of life into your space. Dappled light filtering through the trees awakens something inside of humans that can't be found anywhere else.

Aside from including natural colors and designs into your bathroom tile and décor, consider using the rhythms and patterns of nature in your bathroom. A spiral mosaic or Fibonacci inspired wall of tiles can tap into the power of nature too.

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