As the style of the year, wabi-sabi has charmed design enthusiasts from all over the world. What makes this style so popular and unique is its celebration of imperfect beauty. It focuses on the principle of transience, embracing flaws and aging patina. Some of its most distinctive features are simplicity, modesty, rugged beauty and irregularity, which create an ambience of authenticity in a space. Wabi-sabi, as a Japanese style, also celebrates nature and connectedness with one’s environment, which is why homes that embrace this style exude serenity, tranquillity, and harmony. Thus, if you love interiors where imperfection and harmony go hand in hand, you should welcome wabi-sabi to your home.
Wabi-sabi’s emphasis on imperfection and transience can give your home a truly unique character. Therefore, you should learn to recognise the beauty of imperfection and how flaws make certain objects one of a kind. Embrace imperfect items with innate flaws that will capture the spirit of wabi-sabi. Don’t shy away from decorations and furniture that have undergone the natural process of wear and tear. Vintage pieces, roughly cut materials and handmade details are all stunning embellishments of wabi-sabi-inspired homes. Embracing such flawed details enables you to capture the beauty that is the result of the natural aging process.
Introduce natural materials
Beautiful natural materials, especially wood and stone, are always welcome to a wabi-sabi home. Not only will they give an organic touch to your space, but they will also be another example of the imperfect beauty. Scratched and flawed wood can be used for decorative details and furniture, while reclaimed wood will be a timeless choice for your floors. As for stone, you can go with rough finishes and unique patterns for a wow effect. These materials are emblems of quality in interior design, so even though you’ll introduce a design that celebrates transience, you’ll still give your home timeless appeal. Other options are bamboo, clay, wool, rough paper and woven grass, which you can introduce as decorations and authentic features. Furthermore, introducing natural materials will also bring nature to your home and help you create an atmosphere of peacefulness that is also characteristic of wabi-sabi.
Decorate with quirky details
From handmade decorations to aged furniture, the quirkier an item is, the more character it will bring to your space. You can pick embellishments with authentic irregularities, such as old dinnerware, handcrafted furniture pieces or even unfinished art sketches for a truly unique flair. Grouping these items in odd arrangements will reflect the principle of asymmetry that wabi-sabi celebrates.
Go with clutter-free, open spaces
Openness and minimalism are also characteristic of wabi-sabi, creating a sense of effortless beauty in a home. You should remove unnecessary items from your space and keep your surfaces clear of clutter. This will help you open up your home and create an airy atmosphere. Furthermore, this will also allow you to accentuate a single piece and let its appeal dominate the space. For instance, a beautiful stone bathtub will draw the gaze in an open, clutter-free bathroom. Its simplicity will be in perfect harmony with wabi-sabi principles while its subtle design will reduce visual clutter. Furthermore, accentuating a piece can help you break up the symmetry of a room and focus on the wabi-sabi asymmetry instead.
Opt for wrinkled fabrics
Another great way to introduce imperfection to your home is to dress your beds in wrinkled linen sheets. Beautiful, light sheets in muted tones with subtle wrinkles will help you create a cosy, slightly lived-in look, which is also typical of all things transient. You can also go with a similar design for other fabrics in your home. From sofa covers and throw pillows to mesmerising curtains and drapes, wrinkles will add to the authenticity of such materials and your space without creating an overbearing look.
Embellish with flowers
Flowers are common and enticing embellishments found in wabi-sabi-inspired homes. However, instead of arranging them perfectly in a stunning vase, you should place them casually in a simple one and let them decorate your home naturally. You shouldn’t cut their stems or try to crowd a whole bouquet into a vase, but simply place one or two flowers and let them breathe. Furthermore, you should go with seasonal flowers and try to use them just like you’ve found them in nature, allowing them to radiate in their naturalness. As they slowly start to wither, you should simply let them because they portray the natural process of aging.
Look for colour inspiration in nature
Wabi-sabi colour palettes are simple and understated, yet mesmerizingly balanced and harmonious because they are taken from nature. Autumn shades are the most popular choice for wabi-sabi homes, especially gentle slate greys, browns, rusty reds, and yellowish greens. When illuminated with soft natural light, they create an atmosphere of peacefulness typical of soothing natural environments.
Imperfection, impermanence and asymmetry are all stunning characteristics that give wabi-sabi authentic appeal. Embracing wabi-sabi to your home entails recognising the beauty of imperfection and creating a nature-imbued living space that despite its asymmetry still exudes harmony.