Since most don't have space for a meditation room at home - as Will Smith's family do in Malibu - we have to make do with finding some R&R in our regular living rooms.

But how do you turn your well-used lounge into a zen den, somewhere you could meditate to Midsomer Murders or relax to Real Housewives?

[Read more: How to meditate: Simple steps for beginners]

We asked the interiors experts at Laura Ashley for their insight into how make your living room into the most calming room in the house – whatever’s on the telly.

The lighting

Aim to have as much natural light as possible. If you can’t, cheat by adding floor and table lamps for a comforting ambiance.


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Avoid harsh overhead lighting. Where possible use a dimmer switch to give you control over the light levels to create a softer look.

Candles are an easy way to create a calming, gentle glow. If you don’t like the idea of having naked flames in your zen den, LED candles are the perfect option – you’ll still get the warm, dappled light effect without having naked flames.

The seating

Think sumptuous yet simple. Sofas and chairs with plush cushions and sleek lines work best. For the best of both worlds choose a snuggler. Halfway between a sofa and an armchair, a snuggler provides maximum comfort and maximum style.


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Don’t overload on the cushions. This might seem like the obvious way to add comfort, but it’s better to focus on picking the right seating in the first place. Comfortable upholstery shouldn’t need that many throw cushions, and having too many cushions can make your room feel too cluttered.

[Read more: 12 calming yoga poses to de-stress and unwind]

The colours


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Natural and neutral colours are calming and help to still the mind. Different shades of neutral colours are calming, while still being stylish – shades of grey work well, as do soft powder pinks and warming beiges.

The accessories

Houseplants add a calming atmosphere to any room, and green, leafy plants are perfect for a zen den. Try to avoid flowering plants as they can distract from the calming colour scheme, but different shades of green work to calm the mood.


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Hanging terrariums and succulents provide the same calming effect and are easy to care for.

Add texture to the room with cable knit cushions, cosy rugs and faux fur blankets.