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WABI-SABI INTERIOR DESIGN: 4 WAYS TO INCORPORATE IT INTO YOUR HOME

Simple design with rustic furniture, render wall and clay pots
@Sergey Makhno Architects
How would you like to feel when you walk into your home after a busy day? If you’re searching for more Zen, meditation is not the only way. By embracing the Wabi-Sabi design philosophy, you can begin to overhaul your space and discover a newfound calm. Originating from Japanese art and Buddhist philosophy, Wabi-Sabi celebrates the beautifully imperfect. You may be wondering, what is the meaning of Wabi-Sabi? ‘Wabi’ emphasises spiritual wealth over the material and beauty in natural simplicity. ‘Sabi’ signals transcience – the passage of time – and the beauty beneath the exterior appearance. A perfect example of Wabi-Sabi design is the art of Kintsugi (repairing broken pottery with gold, platinum, or silver). There are seven Wabi-Sabi design principles to follow:
  1. Fukinsei – Imperfection
  2. Kanso – Simplicity
  3. Koko- Internal beauty
  4. Shizen – Natural
  5. Yugen – Mysterious and profound beauty
  6. Datsukozu – Unworldliness
  7. Seijaku – Tranquility
Wabi-Sabi, of course, is more than mere aesthetics; it encompasses a profound philosophy that you can extend to your life in general. Do you wish you could more easily flow with life? Wabi Sabi can give you this gift. Can you embrace the impermanent flow of existence? After all, to resist is to suffer. The Wabi-Sabi philosophy acknowledges that nothing can ever be ‘perfect’ and that humanity’s suffering can be attributed to forever seeking this illusion.

1. EMBRACE THE IMPERFECT

Simple design with rustic furniture, render wall and clay pots
@stephenkentjohnson
To emulate an authentic Wabi-Sabi style, you must let go of the modern compulsion to chase the ultimate illusion: perfection. Instead of being dismayed at a chip or crack in your piece of furniture, contemplate the more profound beauty hidden within. An authentic Wabi-Sabi interior style celebrates the asymmetrical – actively choose decor with an uneven shape and an authentically ‘worn’ look. Now is the perfect time to bring new reverence to your old furnishings – especially those that are simple and rustic. The feeling you’re looking for is warm, inviting, and a sense of overall calm. A new look at the natural ageing process will fill you with a revitalised sense of life’s possibilities.

2. EMBODY NATURE

Wabi sabi interior design with stone timber and indoor tree
Photograph by Nacho Uribe
Wabi-Sabi is set in biophilic design – aiming to bring elements of nature into your home for a welcome respite from the chaos of the modern world. Think eco-friendly and sustainable. Wabi Sabi interiors mean natural materials – wood, ceramics, linen, and stone. Though not derived from nature, concrete is also a popular option due to its pure rawness. A natural granite stone basin can bring this element into your bathroom. Colour is just as important as material when considering your overall Wabi-Sabi design aesthetic. Feel grounded with a Wabi-Sabi colour palette that embodies the earth – neutrals, shades of brown and green. Shy away from harsh, bright colours. Brass, copper, and bronze are popular materials that complement the Wabi-Sabi design style perfectly.  

3. FOCUS ON THE SIMPLE MOMENTS

Wabi sabi minimal bedroom design with neutral colour palette
@alinapelekhach
When you focus on the Wabi-Sabi Zen ethos, your daily routine will take on new life. Here, you can find small pleasures in the everyday. By embracing this timeless philosophy, you’ll switch out of autopilot and step into newfound gratitude for both your routine and your interiors. A Wabi-Sabi bedroom design should incorporate ‘imperfection’. When you make your bed in the morning, do so with a personal touch – a crinkle here, a small fold there is natural and therefore worthy of joy. Instead of aiming for impeccably ironed sheets and a hotel-style, sterile feel to your bed linen, consider what will feel truly homely and comforting to you.  Make the seemingly mundane moments, like making a cup of tea, into a cause for joy; perhaps you can create a signature blend or invest in a unique pot that brings you delight. Your choice of home fixtures ought to match the Zen philosophy – a luxurious freestanding bath is perfect for those days you need to unwind.

 

4. SEEK THE UNIQUE

Minimalist japanese inspired living room with rustic furniture and rendered sunk in lounge
@alinapelekhach
Wabi-Sabi furniture celebrates one-of-a-kind pieces that age like a fine wine. Imagine the antithesis of fast fashion – Original, unique pieces over mass-produced is key.  Consider long-lasting, carefully curated pieces that embody the wonders of nature. Flea markets and antique stores may offer an opportunity to discover extraordinary treasures that add a layer of depth to your home. With your existing decor, consider what each piece means to you personally, and do away with all that fails to bring you joy. To truly appreciate the depth of the Wabi-Sabi method, you’ll want to minimise the clutter. For more Wabi-Sabi inspiration, delve into our blog Wood Kitchens: Your Guide to Achieving the Look. If you’re looking for understated luxury, a Wabi-Sabi interior design will bring you a home upgrade that will stand the test of time. Are you ready to discover the beauty of the imperfect? Perfect your Wabi-Sabi style today with a consultation from our expert design team.  

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