Zen and the Art of Outdoor Living
A garden room offers the perfect platform for unwinding, yoga, or quiet reflection. Close your eyes, relax, and let stress melt away in a Zen-inspired space.
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Define your room with a rug, such as this water-resistant floor covering with a sisal look. (Natural sisal will deteriorate and absorb rainwater, making it so heavy that it could cause your deck to collapse.) Lay a smaller rug or tatami mat on top to define the seating area.
Choose furnishings made of natural materials, such as cotton and linen fabrics, bamboo, stone, seashells, wood, earthenware, and metals, in a color palette of earth tones. Concentrate on solid colors rather than patterns.
Add a low table and large, plump pillows covered in easy-care cotton sheets for cushioned seating comfort. For subtle sound effects, incorporate a small fountain or container water feature, or hang wind chimes.
We put together an assortment of candles with smooth stones and succulents, such as sedums, in a metal planting tray.
Choose aromatic candles with the calming fragrance of lavender, chamomile, jasmine, or sandalwood.
Bring Mother Nature on deck. Decorate rails or benches with plant-filled containers. Choose pots made of natural materials, such as redware and stoneware -- simple, shapely extensions of earth.
Mix easy-care flowers, such as petunias, with stunning ornamental grasses and a fragrant herb or two, such as rosemary or myrtle.
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Enjoy the rich sound of a wind bell. We like the Emperor Gong made of brass and ash. $72; www.nybgshopinthegarden.org; www.chimes.com for an Internet retailer or store in your area