Have you been inspired to bring some serenity and zen into your living spaces – indoors or outdoors – for the new year? Consider turning to the East for inspiration with a calm considered design that will provide a peaceful and relaxing space. What better way to embrace the Japanese culture of Zen.

Japanese gardens are designed – not only for considered reflection but to enhance the experience of meditation. As a concept and practice, Zen principles were embraced by the ruling elite as a way of calm during the swirling storm of the country’s discord. The end result is a time-honoured culture which has become deep-rooted in civilization.

Japanese gardens favour blank spaces, carefully raked gravel or contrasting sheets of moss with a minimal amount of perfectly placed plants. Part of this reasoning is that it is thought to make any garden look more spacious. Even if you’re working with a plot just three metres by five metres or even smaller – which is the size of many courtyards or dry gravel gardens – this enhances that sense of space.

Do Your Research

Designing and creating your own indoor/outdoor garden may seem like a cinch. A few rocks here a few bamboo sticks there and you’re all done, right? Wrong. 

Japanese gardens are an art form that has been around for centuries and in order to create an authentic design, the form must be studied carefully. Luckily the resources to create your very own oasis are endless. 

Garden Types to Consider 

The Moss Garden Japanese culture venerates age and history. Because moss doesn’t grow overnight – and instead takes years and years to cover the surface of stone this is deemed a definite choice and something of virtue for whoever is creating the garden.

Moss Sponge 13 cm

Floresy – Moss Sponge

One of the moss plant’s characteristics is that it thrives in a humid and rainy climate. It doesn’t need much water (important as our climate proves more and more unpredictable) and can absorb nutrients directly from the air regardless of any humidity that may occur.

The Rock Garden Traditionally, Zen rock gardens are not meant for social occasions or gatherings. It is a sacred space for Zen monks to perform their daily practice. This design is meant to portray a vista of mountains and rivers, yet the minimalist design itself contains no actual water.  Instead, it uses the carefully placed features to emulate a majestic scene on a miniature scale. For example, sand and gravel raked into a particular pattern will symbolize a river, while rocks placed on the sand symbolize mountains.

Japanese Rock Garden Floresy

Japanese Rock Garden

It may surprise you to know that there are only a couple hundred people in the world that claim to have created an authentic Japanese Zen garden.

Want to create your place of calm and balance?

Japanese oriental bamboo Floresy

Japanese Oriental Bamboo

Fatsia Japanese | Japonica 150 cm

Fatsia Japanese | Japonica 150 cm

These design tips can be used to bring calm to any space whether it be a quiet room in an office for employees to take a minute or the spa section of your hotel to add that ambience of calm and reflection.

Although the design of such a space can take some time, just work through the stages so as not to overcomplicate matters. Start with an understanding of the ancient foundations of Zen and the principles of Japanese garden design. Make sure you have the right space and tools to incorporate it into the designated space that you wish to transform.

Once completed, your reward is that you will have a space that brings you peace of mind with the added bonus that you’ll have learned the history behind your design, giving your space a purpose that is based in the roots of Japan’s cultural history.

Could a bespoke service be the best fit for your organisation?

Whilst mass-produced products may be cheaper or convenient, bespoke products are the best way to ensure that each piece that ends up in your business reflects your brand style, so as to create a harmonious concept.

But what is a bespoke service? It essentially means a custom made product designed just for you.

Having an item designed and made for you provides more flexibility when enhancing the style of the space concerned. It increases your trademark over the whole creative process and enables you to create spaces that may not have been there before, showing your aesthetic vision to the world.

With the right professional guidance, you can be certain that the style and materials are fit for purpose and that the finished piece meets your exacting requirements and budget, big or small. 

artificial lighting bespoke service

4 Benefits of Using a Bespoke Service

  1. Skys the limit:  With mass-produced items, you are always going to be constrained by colour and size and you’ll always feel deflated when you see,  what you thought was a standout look in a rival commercial venue.
  2.  Experts on hand:  Because you are working so closely with an artisan or workshop to get the exact product you desire, you have direct access to experienced and skilled tradesmen. 
  3. Quality not quantity: Working directly with a designer or an artist gives you the added layer of assurance that the bespoke item in question will be built to last – sustainability is key! This is often a concern with mass-production and the carbon footprint that comes with it. 
  4. Space solutions: One of the best things about a bespoke piece is that it will be built to ensure a perfect fit. This can solve the problem of awkward spaces that you want to fill. Even better, you’ll have a unique piece suited to your taste. Central interior tree design bespoke service

Is a Bespoke Service Right for Me? 

Working out whether a bespoke design is right for your business can be tricky to figure out and plan logistically. After all, this custom made product will essentially be built to last. Here are the questions that you should ask yourself to see if this is the right fit.

  • Is quality more important than price?
  • Do you want to stand out with your style choice?
  • Would you like to fill a specific space or dimension?
  • Do you want to ensure you are working with a highly specialised artisan?
  • Would you like an eye-catching feature?
  • Do you need an item that will last?

Why not consider commissioning a design that is as unique as your business?

Could you or any of your employees benefit from great outdoor space at work?

In today’s working environment, the economic pressures are high and the demands to succeed are intense. It’s no wonder lunch breaks are slowly becoming a thing of the past for many and adding to stress levels.

Space for employees to remove themselves from staring at their screens and recharge for a moment equals smart business thinking. A breath of fresh air feels like the best thing in the world if you’re bogged down by work. It delivers that much-needed energy boost and clarity of mind – which in turn leads to a more productive workplace.

According to a poll undertaken by hospitality specialist Sodexo and the nonprofit health body Ukactive, 800 British workers they surveyed only took an average of 22 minutes for their lunch breaks.

How employees can benefit 

Taking a short break every couple of hours from a tough work schedule helps employees keep in good shape physically, mentally and emotionally, considerably improving productivity.

Spending as little as 20 minutes a day outside can:

  • reduce stress
  • improve memory and concentration
  • restore mental energy 
  • encourage team building
  • improve social interaction

How to Create an Outdoor Office Space

  1. Plants, plants and more plants

    Fill the space with (you guessed it) … plants. As a business, things can get busy and stressful at times, so the last thing you may be thinking about is tending to green spaces and making sure it looks luscious all year round. Try a low maintenance version of a botanical garden by opting for artificial plants. You can still mix in live plants for the extra wow factor. Grow herbs or vegetables. Or, plant flowers and grasses and create a space that attracts butterflies and pollinators.
  2. Seating

    If you really want to entice employees into using the outdoor space, provide comfortable seating where they can enjoy lunch, take a moment to themselves or even have a catch up with colleagues. 
  3. Walking Trails

    For larger spaces with land. A walking trail would be a great way to get out, take in some fresh air and get some vitamin D. For an extra endorphin boost,  this could be a great time of the day for a run or team walk.
  4. Outdoor Grilling Station

    If you really want to splash out, how about a grilling station? This would make a fabulous way for the team to get together on a Friday afternoon.

With the pressures placed on today’s workforce, it is important to remember that employees need to detach from their screens and take those all-important regular breaks.   

Giving employees an opportunity to untether themselves from technology is one more step on the ladder to staff retainment and loyalty.