Wabi-Sabi in Home Design – Create a Place of Peace and Tranquillity

Story Highlights
  • #1 - Imperfect Doesn’t Mean Clutter
  • #2 - Show Your Appreciation for Nature
  • #3 - Crank up the Comfort
  • #4 - Use Muted Colors
  • #5 - Choose Handmade
  • #6 - Always Aim for Authenticity

Are you overwhelmed with photos of perfectly-styled homes that you find in design magazines and on Pinterest? 

Well, you’re not the only one. 

While we have nothing against the meticulously-made beds, shelves that look like they are borrowed from a bookstore, and magazine-ready living rooms, this perfection is rarely achievable for an average person just trying to enjoy their home. 

The design trend that ditches formality for casualness and serenity might just be the solution that we were all waiting for. Specifically, this ‘new trend’ is called Wabi-sabi, and it comes from an ancient philosophy that promotes accepting imperfections and living life in moderation.

If you want to dress up your home in this casual attire, here are some tips that will help you:

#1 – Imperfect Doesn’t Mean Clutter

Clutter is the enemy of the human psyche, and it is also the most undesirable feature in any type of design.

The furniture and the accessories should be stripped down to only the necessary items.

The rooms need to be left with space for breathing. This way, you will have a space that exudes serenity, as well as sufficient room to include all the necessary decorative features.

#2 – Show Your Appreciation for Nature

Nature is the basis of the Wabi-sabi philosophy, and every room should be connected with natural elements.

This can be done with large pieces, such as an aged wood table with visible knots in the dining room or a wooden bed frame in the bedroom.

It can also be achieved more subtly with herbs in the kitchen, house plants in every room, and decorative baskets made of natural materials, such as bamboo or wicker. 

Don’t hesitate to use nature in its pure imperfect form, with flaws, cracks, and irregularities. It will add more character to the décor.

#3 – Crank up the Comfort

The whole point of Wabi-sabi design is to feel comfortable in your home.

Naturally, this calls for creating a space where you will want to lie down and cover up with a warm blanket.

Throw pillows and layered rugs will do the trick in the living room. In the bedroom, choose the type of bedding that looks casual but not cheap. Organic, natural fabrics are your best choice. You can even choose the ones prone to wrinkling, as this design approach encourages pretty imperfections. 

#4 – Use Muted Colors

Thinking about painting your living walls bright violet? Don’t do that if you want to create serenity and apply the Wabi-sabi aesthetic. 

To follow this concept, you’ll want to use tranquil tones, such as light, earthy colors. These tones will bring a sense of ease and help you connect to the natural world outside your home. Get inspired by the similar colors you see in nature, such as soft stone and beach sand.

If you think using muted colors is boring, try combining one or two shades.

#5 – Choose Handmade

Because of their availability and affordability, mass-produced items are most likely to end up in most modern-day homes.

However, going for handmade artisanal accessories and furnishings is a fantastic choice for a number of reasons. You’ll be supporting artisans and small businesses, your home will look unique, and you’ll get closer to the Wabi-sabi design principles, to name a few. 

This doesn’t necessarily have to take a toll on your decorating budget. For example, you can find salvaged pieces at your local flea market or a thrift store. You can even learn how to repurpose or refurbish old pieces via YouTube tutorials.

And remember, you don’t even have to be perfectly precise while doing this – the whole philosophy behind this concept is embracing imperfections.

#6 – Always Aim for Authenticity

Wabi-sabi is not an approach that goes by specific rules. It is not something you can just do in a couple of well-explained steps.

Your idea of Wabi-sabi might not be complementary to the idea someone else might have in their head right now.

So, fill up your home with items that speak about who you are. Don’t shy away from using a chipped bowl you broke while being an adventurous child. Add something unexpected.

Let the designer in you play with the idea of Wabi-sabi.

Final Word

Wabi-sabi is difficult to explain and put inside a box. The most important thing is to understand the ideas behind it.

Try to implement these guidelines and delve deeper into the philosophy if it sounds intriguing to you.

You’ll definitely learn a lot along the way, and you’ll likely redefine what “the home of your dreams” means for you.


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