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Zen Style: Balance And Simplicity For Your…
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Zen Style: Balance And Simplicity For Your Home

by Jane Tidbury

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0789303655, Paperback)

At its most basic, Jane Tidbury's Zen Style simply invites readers to notice their homes and their surroundings. And unlike many decorating books that focus on revitalizing your home by adding new objects or by making large-scale alterations, Zen Style is much more concerned with the details--color, light, the placement of small objects, and, perhaps most importantly, the introduction of sensory elements like scent and sound.

As the book's subtitle mentions, this type of style is about simplicity and balance. The opening chapter is dedicated to elements of this simplicity--showing the reader how to observe the space, light, and textures of their home. In the course of the introduction, the book also eases the reader out of any preconceptions of what is traditionally thought of as interior design.

One of the most refreshing aspects of the book is that very few of its suggestions require either great expense or effort to effect significant change. By making small adjustments--adding a hint of color to a white wall with a single brushstroke, placing a small collection of wildflowers in an antique jar, or lining a mantelpiece with tea lights and leaves--even minor changes in environment can profoundly alter the mood of a room.

For those with more ambitious stylistic ideas, Zen Style encourages any major remodeling efforts to be concentrated around adding more light to rooms or creating a sense of connection within a home by adding interior windows in walls. There are several smaller-scale projects explained in the book as well--the enterprising home decorator will find plans for building a relaxation fountain and repurposing an old table as a hand-painted ornamental display.

Most of the suggestions that Tidbury offers are far less time-consuming, however, and what is most enjoyable here is simply the number of opportunities to convert a bland or cluttered space into a more open and inviting place through well-chosen additions or changes. The book's color photos and Zen sayings illustrate the basic elements of simplifying not only a home's style, but the philosophy of that style as well. One such photo, a slightly blurred shot of a white cot with a simple cotton pillow and a pile of soft wool blankets at the foot, typifies Zen Style: it is often the small comforts and relaxing, familiar things that make a home a peaceful and pleasant place to live.--Kris Law

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:42 -0400)

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