Connect with Nature in Your Zen Bathroom

Make the natural world the focal point of your Zen bath by adding a window, a piece of art or a beautiful plant.

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If you need a respite from your busy life, consider transforming your bathroom into a personal refuge. Follow this simple seven-step path to create an authentic, Zen-inspired design.

There is a Zen saying that goes like this:

Silently sitting by the window. Leaves fall and flowers bloom. The seasons come and go. Could there be a better life?

Zen design highlights our relationship with nature and achieving balance between the two creates the serenity that has made Zen baths so popular. When designer Merrie Fredericks of Design Concepts Plus in Newtown Square, Penn., was asked to create an Asian-inspired bathroom, one of the first things she considered was how to incorporate it with nature. She designed a large window that looked out onto a Japanese garden, letting bathers soak up beauty while soaking in the tub.

If your budget doesn't allow for walls of glass, a simple window above the bathtub that looks out onto a tree or gives a view of the sky will also work. (See enlarged photo.) You can also bring nature inside by having a single, intricate orchid on the vanity. The goal is to use nature to create stillness and tranquility in the room.

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