Wabi Sabi isn’t really a home decor style, but it’s a way of thinking that has been used in decorating for a very long time. Wabi Sabi is a Japanese concept centered around appreciating beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. This approach celebrates the simple, the austere, the rough and the modest and follows three simple rules: Nothing Lasts, Nothing is Finished, Nothing is Perfect.
There are elements of this method of thinking in many popular home decor styles like Shabby Chic, Arts & Craft, Vintage Industrial, and even Contemporary. If you’d like to implement some Wabi Sabi methods in your own home, check out our 8 tips:
Photo from Apartment Therapy
8 Steps to a Wabi Sabi Household:
1. Create a quiet space. There should be at least one place in your home dedicated to simply relaxing and meditating. A small reading nook or comfy chair in the bedroom may work for this. Dedicate it as your “quiet” space and don’t do anything else (no watching t.v., working on your laptop, or making to-do lists!).
2. If it’s broke, don’t fix it. Accidents happen, and sometimes beloved items like dishes or vases become chipped or broken. If the damage is only cosmetic, keep the piece isn’t of tossing it. Broken items can also be reused in new ways if you use a little imagination (that broken teapot may look beautiful in a flower patch).
3. Bring nature into your home. Use natural color palettes that use soft, earthy hues like browns, greens, and blues to create a soothing and simple atmosphere. Clean white makes a good primary color, too. Decorate with flowering branches, flowers, seedpods, and plants. Just make sure you keep it seasonal— don’t bother with pricey hot house flowers when you can get something from your own area and current season.
4. Spend time to personalize your space. You don’t have to be a DIY guru to create items that are really you. The best part of creating your own home decor pieces is the process. The tactile sensations of cutting, gluing, sewing, and crocheting are good for the soul as well as your home’s Wabi Sabi style. You’ll also feel more connected to your space when you have items you’ve created as part of your decor.
5. Minimize the gadgets. These days it’s hard to make eye contact with anyone because they’re too busy staring down at their phones or tablets. Get rid of the screens for at least a few hours a day and give your eyes a rest. Go a step further and take a break from electricity all together by turning off the lights and dining by candlelight.
6. Stop and appreciate. Your home may be filled with beautiful objects and art, but when was the last time you actually looked at any of them? Take a few moments each day to stop and appreciate the items in your home. Instead of just dropping a few fish flakes into the bowl and walking away, take a minute to watch the fish eat and swim around. Try to notice something new in a piece of artwork hanging on your wall, or take a closer look at a book cover.
7. If it’s not beautiful or useful, get rid of it. In order to focus on what is important in both your home and in your life, you must get rid of what isn’t important. Eliminate obstacles and clutter in order to create a more soothing and personal space. Minimalism is key here.
8. Go Green. Not surprisingly, the concept of Wabi Sabi goes hand in hand with eco-friendly living. Buy locally made furniture, shop at local flea markets for one-of-a-kind recycled items, and support local businesses instead of large retailers.
Some Additional Reading Materials: