What is wabi-sabi you ask? It’s an ancient Japanese philosophy and way of life that’s ready to transform your living space. At the core of wabi-sabi is the notion that nothing is permanent nor perfect. This month could not have been more impermanent – with a good friend’s husband, my best friend’s dad, a second cousin, and a musical colleague all passing away, change is an absolute. When applied to interior design, the concept is focused on creating a simple environment that celebrates natural beauty to put you at peace with your surroundings. If this sounds like it could be something for you, then here are three tips to embrace wabi-sabi design into your home.
1.Imperfection is Beautiful
A main pillar of the philosophy is about embracing the quirks and imperfections of life. An antique tray that’s chipped or a handmade mug that’s slightly lopsided, for example, is not flawed, but authentic. In many ways, it’s about accepting things that are beyond your control and finding the beauty in them.
2. Look to Nature
Natural materials convey a sense of impermanence that embodies wabi-sabi. Reclaimed woods, distressed leathers, and stones that have developed a patina are a reminder that life is constantly changing and nothing lasts forever. With age, however, these items often tell a story and become more significant than when they were new.
3. Live Simply
Wabi-sabi subscribes to the idea that every item in your home should contribute to the overall energy of the living space and make you feel good. In some ways, this overlaps with minimalism because it means you could probably live without all that extra stuff that ends up in piles around the house. On the other hand, you don’t necessarily have to strip your aesthetic down to the bare bones. As long as an object holds true value to you, it’s worth keeping. The goal is for your home to feel calming and evoke nostalgia. Some even describe it as a sense of melancholic beauty.
Ultimately, wabi-sabi is for those who see that true beauty and wisdom cannot be bought, but come with age, and those who apply its principles to their home will be rewarded with a cozy environment that’s thoughtfully curated.