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.
Ohm Room, zen patio

Achieve Zen-like beauty, harmony, simplicity, balance, and tranquility on your patio or deck by combining natural materials, soothing colors, and clutter-free design.

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.


hand-woven rushgrass tatami mat

Lay the groundwork for outdoor relaxation with a hand-woven rushgrass tatami mat. This square mat is filled with polyester and edged in tan fabric. 35 1/2 x35 1/2 x 1/2 inches, $79 from www.chopa.com; 800-961-2555


Sunbrella all-weather floor pillow

Take five on your deck and sink into a comfy Sunbrella all-weather floor pillow. 26 inches square, 7 inches deep; #25524; sand; $69 each from www.frontgate.com; 888-263-9850

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