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Wabi-sabi, or the beauty of imperfection – trendier than ever in 2019

Fads come and go but wabi-sabi is here to stay! In a world where everything moves at full speed, it’s a real breath of fresh air.

It isn’t easy to translate wabi-sabi. Wabi refers to solitude and the simplicity of living alone in nature, whereas sabi could be translated by “wilted” or “withered.” There’s nothing particularly charming about these two words. However, this remarkably minimalist aesthetic concept encourages us to appreciate the beauty of natural phenomena and the passage of time while promoting quality over quantity.

Basically, this Japanese philosophy with Buddhist roots that is entering our homes opposes mass consumption and fleeting fads by peacefully and humbly embracing imperfection and incompleteness. Follow these basic rules to understand and adopt wabi-sabi.

Simple and refined decor

Simplicity and serenity go hand in hand. Wabi-sabi invites us to declutter our houses of the unnecessary to create a modest and inspiring space for happy living. It’s not about systematically tossing out every useless item but learning to appreciate things as they are – and oneself at the same time. It’s necessary for happiness: slow down and mindfully enjoy the present moment.

Source: http://ourfoodstories.com/

Admiring the passage of time

Don’t be embarrassed by furniture you consider worn or out of fashion. According to wabi-sabi, each mark and crack gives an object its charm: a dog-eared book, cracked ceramic, a faded wall. Why buy assembly-line furniture when you can acquire something unique from an antique dealer or artisan? The more history it has the more valuable it is. Essentially, wabi-sabi wants us to accept natural life cycles with all their imperfections.

Source: https://cupofjo.com/2018/01/colorful-hudson-valley-cottage/

Source: http://www.designsponge.com/2015/06/the-curated-quarters-of-a-prop-stylist.html

Embrace asymmetry!

Flawless decor is boring. Wabi-sabi flouts order to privilege asymmetry and difference. By rejecting the concept of the perfect picturesque house, it encourages us to decorate with furniture and items we find beautiful, fashionable or not. Mixing styles and materials is welcome.

Source: https://eclecticlivinghome.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/eclectic-edwardian/

Source: http://www.couleurlocale.eu/

Look to nature for inspiration

Out with synthetic fabric and materials! Bring in the outdoors with wood, stone, linen and cotton. Natural materials connect us to the earth and envelop us like a cocoon. As for colours, think about what grabs your attention during a trip outdoors: green pine trees, grey rainy skies, golden beaches caressed by the sun. Appreciate things in their raw state without all the bells and whistles.

Source: http://www.milkdecoration.com/ebeniste-andrea-brugi/

Source: https://www.artilleriet.se/en/

The beauty of plants

Floral arrangements can be expensive, but you can load up on plants for cheap by inviting nature inside year-round. Don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb. In a country with four seasons, opportunities are endless. Pick wild flowers in the summer and place distinctively shaped dead branches in nice ceramic and clay pots in the winter. You can also hang plants from the ceiling or simply place them on a table.

Source: https://www.marthastewart.com/869083/winter-flower-arrangements

Source: https://thefuturekept.com/products/eco-wool-baby-blanket-juniper

If you feel like taking a break and turning your home into a peaceful den, wabi-sabi is for you. You have everything to gain according to its followers.

Source for the article’s main image: http://style-files.com/2013/07/17/10-beautiful-bathroom-sinks-made-of-stone/