Wabi-sabi is the traditional Japanese aesthetic that teaches the beauty of the imperfect, the earthy, the natural. More than just an approach to decorating, wabi-sabi is a philosophy, a way of viewing life that values the fragile beauty and impermanence of nature.
According to wabi-sabi, it’s okay that my kitchen table has rings on it from family art-session watercolor-pots, or that you can still see the words “Reid and Iguana” carved on it by my six-year-old when he was longing for a pet iguana of his very own, or that there’s a darkened circle in the center of it from the heat of beeswax votives lit at dusk. These things are part of our family history, and its very imperfections are what makes our table special to us. Wabi-sabi would agree. This is one way of thinking about home-decoration-with-spirit that we can really get behind!
Do you have a wabi-sabi home? Find out here:
Do these adjectives apply to your home?
Understated, humble, unpretentious, earthy, natural, imperfect.
Does your home contain objects that are well-worn, finishes that are “distressed” or that have the patina of age?
Do you value antiques or objects that have a history?
Do you use recycled materials? Do you find that pieces that have been well-loved and reused have intrinsic value?
Are most of the materials in your home natural (like wood, sisal, and stone) rather than manmade like plastic or chrome?
Are the colors in your home muted? Is the palette taken mostly from nature? Do you favor earth-tones, muted greens, and grayed or neutral shades rather than shiny metallics or stark white?
If you answered “yes” to the above, you may have a wabi-sabi home.
If your home is cluttered and filled with “stuff,” though, your home may be “wabi-slobby!” The key is to simplify.