When creating your Zen bathroom, choose colors that harmonize with nature.
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Zen design flows from the natural world like water from a spring. Bring those elements of stone, water and air into your bathroom by picking colors that reflect them. Designers commonly choose sand, taupe, gray, green and black but bright colors work, too (if you like red, use pomegranate or cranberry, not stoplight).
In addition to choosing natural colors, find a balance between light and dark colors. "People often misinterpret a Zen bathroom as a dark space," says architect Michael Morris of Morris Sato Studio in New York City, "but the light is just as important." For example, if you paint the walls taupe, enhance them with an iron vase of orange zinnias or a black granite sink.
Designer Jodi Fitzpatrick of Renata Resources in Fresno, Calif., recommends keeping the background neutral and monochromatic. She accomplishes this by painting the walls the same color as the tile. She also matches the toilet and towels to the wall color. She suggests choosing one or two beautiful objects to spotlight against the neutral background, such as a smooth stone sculpture or a richly colored landscape.