One of the greatest things about living in the current era is how we are able to sample from a worldwide culture. Every culture on earth has excelled in some aspect of life, and by sampling between them we can create a lifestyle which is the best of all possible worlds. Take the bathroom as an example. In the west, bathrooms have tended to be drab and utilitarian. There’s really no reason this has to be the case, and China has long perfected the art of making a bathroom an area of actual rest.
When one goes to a store such as Chinese Arts Inc, he or she has a chance to bring the Zen aspect of China to their own home. While this process can seem complex, one should actually look to Zen for answers on how to work with it. Zen teaches harmony, and a willingness to bend to the currents of life rather than trying to force anything. This idea should be used when shopping. One should wander around, and look at the various items which are available for purchase.
One should really watch his or her reactions to things. If a faucet makes one feel at peace, or happy, that fact should be noted. One should then continue looking throughout the store and gauge similar reactions. However, on noting what one feels an affinity for, one should also consider if those feelings match the other interesting items. One should try to imagine all the items together.
For example, one might find that a beautiful wooden medicine cabinet evokes feelings of being within a natural wooded area. Now, one should consider the faucet one saw previously. Would the running water match that feeling by acting as a reminder of beautiful stream running through those woods? If it does match the feeling, one should continue feeling out that theme while looking at other items.
Basically, one should consider it a trip through every possible natural setting. Because one of the greatest aspects of both traditional Chinese design and Zen is that it focuses the emphasis on a respect for nature. The nature in question is both in the literal sense of forests and seas, but also the nature of one’s own heart and feelings. The unity of both is the main aspect of decorating in Zen, and it’s how one needs to approach the design.
In the end, one should walk the items as if walking through nature and their own heart. One should place less emphasis on finding items to decorate a bathroom, and instead concentrate on letting the items find the person. In the end, by following his or her heart, the Zen experience will lead one to the perfect bathroom. Not the perfect bathroom for everyone, but the perfect bathroom for the individual who finally put it together. A proper Zen bathroom is one where anyone else entering it will be able to feel the soul of the decorator and owner emanating from every direction. And when the person who put it together spends time there, he or she will feel a peace which emanates through the ages.