Wabi Sabi Style

With Marie Kondo one of the hottest new trends on Netflix, I thought it fitting to talk about Wabi Sabi, an on point interior design trend that Bobby Berk suggests will be this years top home decor style in an article I read on Vogue.

So what is Wabi Sabi you may ask? Believe it or not, this design trend has been around longer than the 14th century but it was at that time that the meaning started to change into what we know Wabi Sabi to be today which is is more than just an interior design trend, it is a philosophy and way of life which is all about simplicity, the use of natural materials and finding the beauty in/embracing imperfection.

“In traditional Japanese aesthetics, Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō), suffering (苦 ku) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū).

Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.”


Credit to Amber Road Interior Design, Photo Credit Prue Ruscoe

For me personally, there is something incredibly calming and relaxing about an uncluttered, simple space where everything tends to have a purpose or a purpose for being there. As Marie Kondo says “keep only those things that speak to your heart then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.”.

In Zen philosophy, there are seven aesthetic principles in achieving Wabi Sabi:

  • Kanso — simplicity
  • Fukinsei — asymmetry or irregularity
  • Shibumi — beauty in the understated
  • Shizen — naturalness without pretense
  • Yugen — subtle grace
  • Datsuzoku — freeness
  • Seijaku — tranquility

If you would like to Wabi Sabi your home then I highly recommend reading Beth Kempton’s article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Wabi Sabi your home: How embracing imperfection can benefit your health here, you will learn the 10 principles for a Wabi Sabi-inspired home.