4 Tips For Creating A Home Centered On Wabi-Sabi Teachings

If you've been following various lifestyle and interior design websites, you'd probably have seen the term "wabi-sabi" at some point over the recent years. Despite the surge in popularity of wabi-sabi in the interior design world, wabi-sabi isn't an actual decor style or interior design theme.

Clean, white bedroom

However, before you start questioning its relevance to interior design and why it's something that you might want to keep in mind when designing your home, let's first discuss what it's really about. 

What is Wabi-sabi?

Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a Japanese philosophy that seeks to promote the idea of finding beauty in imperfection. Deeply influenced by Buddhist teachings, wabi-sabi advocates for an appreciation for what's natural and for an acceptance of things as they are, despite their flaws. 

To break things down even further, "wabi" expresses simplicity, impermanence, flaws and imperfection. "Sabi", on the other hand, refers to finding beauty and acceptance in the ageing and wear that inevitably follows as time passes. 

To relate this philosophy back to interior design and decor, a wabi-sabi home is ultimately one that seeks to embrace authenticity, one that finds value in rustic character and charm, and one that seeks to promote a sense of peace and calmness by keeping things simple. Rather than obsessing over every little detail and trying to make sure that everything is perfect, a wabi-sabi home finds peace in authenticity and imperfection. 

How can we incorporate the teachings of Wabi-sabi into our homes? 

Now that you've learnt more about Wabi-sabi, you might be curious to find out how you can incorporate some of its teachings into your home. Well, look no further because here are 4 tips that will help you to incorporate this particular philosophy into your own home! 

1. Clutter? There's no room for it here

Whilst wabi-sabi finds beauty in imperfection, it certainly doesn't tolerate a cluttered home. A wabi-sabi home focuses on keeping things minimalistic, with no room for any unnecessary items. Everything in your home has to earn its space. You should only be keeping items that you love and will make good use of, so all your clutter has to go. 

Living room with earthy tones, minimalistic   Earthy tone bathroom that is clutter-free

Ultimately, a wabi-sabi home should help you to find peace in your home. Clutter, on the other hand, absolutely does not help you to achieve this objective, since it tends to do the exact opposite, often contributing to and aggravating feelings of stress and anxiety. 

2. Simple is best

When trying to decide upon the colour palette of your home, opt for a neutral palette of browns, greys, greiges, greens, whites and creams  colours of nature. Opt for colours that will pay homage to nature, which forms the foundation and basis of the overall interior design theme of any wabi-sabi home. If you're a fan of loud colours, try using them as accent pieces instead. 

Living room with a neutral palette

Keeping in line with this idea of maintaining simplicity, a home centred on wabi-sabi teachings is devoid of any unnecessary ornaments and embellishments that have neither emotional nor practical purpose in your home. 

3. Find beauty in imperfection

Not everything has to be perfect in your home. You don't have to iron out the creases in your linen drapes or tablecloth or sofa. So what if your home isn't asymmetrical and things are looking a little wrinkled and aged? So what if your walls aren't perfectly smooth? Once you've learnt the art of finding beauty in imperfection, you'll attain this sense of peace and calmness that comes without being overly pressed about every little detail. 

Room with walls that aren't perfectly smooth

In fact, when striving for a home that's perfectly matched and symmetrical, a home often starts to lose its character and welcoming atmosphere, resulting in a home that's rather cold and devoid of any personality. So, the next time you purchase an item that you love but find that it might not be a perfect fit for your home, don't rush to return or get rid of it. Because after all, when it comes to wabi-sabi, that imperfect fit is a perfect fit. 

4. Reconnect with nature 

Rather than synthetic materials like plastic, try opting for more organic and natural materials like wood, metal and stone that will age gracefully over time. These materials tend to look better with age, as they develop scratches, blemishes, cracks and peeling layers that display their unique character and one that can never be replicated in another piece or home.  

Vase of flowers on dining table  plant placed in bedroom

Elements from nature are also a key component that should never be missed in any wabi-sabi home. From flowers in vases to green potted plants to succulents, incorporate as many natural elements as your heart desires. 

References: 

  1. https://www.thespruce.com/wabi-sabi-home-4157535
  2. https://www.renonation.sg/goodbye-muji-hello-wabi-sabi-how-to-do-up-this-trending-interior-style/
  3. https://qanvast.com/sg/articles/wabi-sabi-living-finding-beauty-in-imperfection-1332
  4. https://www.marthastewart.com/2225027/wabi-sabi-strategies-tips
  5. https://www.kyoto-ryokan-sakura.com/archives/191

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