While all types of Zen decor share elements such as natural materials, clean lines and an uncluttered layout, there are also different ways of decorating within these main guidelines. The most noticeable differences in possible Zen decors are between those with white and those with black backgrounds. There are also Zen decor variations that pay attention to each detail, while other types contain only the main design elements of this style. While Zen is a Japanese philosophy, some decors done in this approach don't contain any Asian furniture.
Since the only real specifics of Zen decorating are to use organic shapes in natural materials within a simple, neat layout, it's not necessary to include Japanese furnishings. These types of Zen decor looks often have a minimalistic furniture placement with very few accessories. Some of these decors may feature a simple repeating shape such as a rectangle or circle. For instance, simple circular dining and coffee tables may be used with seating around them and just a few pieces of artwork.
Other kinds of Zen inspired rooms may include more detail in the number of pieces, yet the overall effect must still be tidy, balanced and relaxing. For example, a Zen bedroom with attention to detail may include night tables on either side of the bed and a chest at its end, plus dressers and a desk, yet all combined in a spacious layout. The pieces themselves will not be embellished in rich details or trims, but typically have smooth, plain surfaces.
Zen decor may have either dark or light neutral walls and furniture. Both looks can be appealing and relaxing. While cohesiveness and calmness can be created by having the walls and furniture similar in color, another type of Zen room style features a contrast between wall and furniture colors, though neutrals are still often used.
In types of Zen decors that feature color rather than only neutrals, the looks tend to reflect nature. Watercolor or muted shades of blues and greens often combine with browns in this style of Zen decor. Sometimes, a Zen themed room may have more impact by using a brighter color such as red, but the use is typically carefully done so that the room still has the signature serene, clean feeling. For the type of Zen themed decor that incorporates Japanese furnishings, bamboo may be used. Bamboo tables as well as mats can help provide a calming, natural appeal to this style of Zen decor.