Wabi-Sabi Interior Design? How To Create A Wabi-Sabi Home
It’s no typo, let’s take a look at the Wabi Sabi interior design and way of living. One of the first things most people ask me when they find out I’m an Interior Designer (well apart from “what would you do in here?” #withoutfail) is “What are the interior design trends this year?”
I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go since I started my career as an interior designer in 2010.
There was a time when you were crazy if your bedroom furniture didn’t match, every home had a giant metal clock (mine still does #youdoyou), and shabby chic was the only style of furniture you could buy, anywhere!
And whilst I like to go for timeless over trendsetting, I’m a huge fan of the design trend I see on the horizon.
Inside our home decor membership club The Home Design Vault, we take the hassle and expense out of home design and give our members 3 weekly done-for-you design schemes to recreate in their homes for less.
We continually ask for feedback and suggestions to tailor our design schemes to members’ needs and the modern design packs aficionados are craving connection and calm.
Without a shadow of a doubt, this coming decade is going to be filled with natural, minimal, calming and restorative design trends as we all recover and crave more tranquillity after the post-pandemic years.
When I moved back into our home after we’d completed (Will we ever be complete?) our four-year renovation project in 2015, I was precious about everything.
I’d constantly get frustrated with my children for marks, scuffs and scrapes…. following them around with the magic eraser and removing signs of living and life, fun and laughter.
Now as my boys grow and my eldest enters his teenage years, I realise this phase of life is so short. I have my boys for such a short time and rather than sighing over the dent in my hallway wall-panelling, I remember the hours of fun my boys had scooting it around with hysterical laughter.
Rather than seeing the stain on the carpet in the living room, I remember the carpet picnics, movie fests and long Sunday afternoons of pyjamas, blankets + family fun.
I try to be mindful every day and adapt to the idea that you always have a choice in what you see.
I’ve been learning to embrace the imperfect, to love the lived-in look and to see the beauty in the naturally imperfect world.
And this my friend is the core of wabi sabi design.
Let me share some inspiration with you for the Japanese philosophy that is more a way of life if you like finding beauty in flaws and celebrating all things authenticity, simplicity and minimalism.
1. What is wabi-sabi interior design?
The wabi-sabi interior design philosophy is a Japanese concept that embraces the imperfect and celebrates the beauty in flaws. The wabi-sabi philosophy means finding peace with the natural cycle of life, which includes birth, death and decay.
It can be as simple as admiring age spots on your hands or as complex as an entire space designed to reflect this philosophy.
The most important aspect of wabi sabi interior design is the ability to see beauty in imperfections, flaws and natural wear. Through exploring the meaning behind these 3 concepts, it becomes clear that this approach to interior decorating can be applied to every part of your life!
Wabi sabi design is all about creating a space that is warm and cosy, with an air of imperfection. It’s not about perfection or flawlessness, it’s all about embracing what life throws at you and your home.
2. Why it’s crucial to embrace imperfections in life
Imperfection is an important part of life, and it’s something that we should all embrace. Here are just a few reasons why:
1. It’s natural. Imperfection is a part of nature, and it’s something that we can’t avoid. Embracing it helps us connect with the natural world and appreciate the beauty in life.
2. It makes life more interesting. Imperfection makes life more interesting, and it’s what makes us unique. When we accept faults, we can be authentic to ourselves.
3. It helps us to forgive ourselves. We all make mistakes, and that’s okay! When we accept imperfection, we can look at our mistakes and learn from them, making us more robust.
4. It helps to create balance. Imperfection is what allows us to find balance in life. We need both good and bad experiences to feel fulfilled emotionally.
5. It reminds us of impermanence. Everything changes over time
3. How to create the wabi sabi interior design style at home
Creating a wabi-sabi space in your home is all about embracing imperfection and creating a warm and cosy environment.
It’s not about striving for perfection, wabi-sabi is all about accepting the natural wear and tear that comes with life.
The most important aspect of wabi sabi interior design is the ability to see beauty in flaws, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
The most important part of creating a wabi-sabi interior is choosing your favourite imperfections to display.
This could be as simple as choosing a chair with a few dents in it, or as complex as collecting items from the past which have been passed down through generations.
The more flaws or signs of age you display, the more authentic your space becomes.
Here are a few tips on how to create a wabi-sabi style at home:
Here are some of the wabi sabi interior design characteristics
Start by decluttering your space and getting rid of any excess furniture or belongings. This will create a more minimalist aesthetic and make the space feel more spacious.
Choose natural materials and textures for your furniture and decor. Think wooden floors, woven rugs, wicker baskets and raw silk cushions.
Keep in mind that wabi sabi interior design is all about embracing imperfection, so don’t be afraid to leave the odd scratch or patch of dirt visible on your wooden furniture for example.
Vary textures in each room by using different materials for rugs, flooring and furniture. This will create a more interesting, gathered and eclectic space.
Use muted colours and natural light to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
Add plants and flowers to your home to bring life and nature into the space.
Choose wabi-sabi or Japanese art to add a personal touch to the space. For example, look for art that can be hung unframed.
Keep wabi-sabi in mind when choosing accessories and decor for each room: raw and unfinished stone and metal elements will create an earthy feel while wooden or wicker accessories will bring in warm and natural tones.
Focus on texture and unique patterns: wicker or sisal mats, salt-glazed ceramics and patchwork quilts for example.
Use lighting to create a cosy atmosphere: we love using wicker hanging lanterns suspended above dining tables, as well as soft lighting from candles and fairy lights.
Room By Room
Place wabi-sabi décor pieces throughout the home to create a wabi-sabi feel in each room. For example, wicker baskets work well in the bedroom or bathroom while assorted antique finds can be used for display in living spaces.
Add wabi-sabi finds to your home when you are on your travels: for example, a beautiful piece of pottery or a rustic wooden bowl. This will add to the eclectic feel of your space.
Wabi sabi design is all about creating a warm and relaxed atmosphere in your home, so take your time and experiment until you find what works for you. There is no right or wrong way to do wabi-sabi all that matters is that wabi-sabi style brings you joy!
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to creating a wabi-sabi space that is warm and cosy, and perfect for embracing imperfection! If you’d like to embrace even more holistic aspects of interior design in your home here are the Feng Shui Rules to consider for your home, and 11 Feng Shui Bedroom Layout Ideas.
If you’d like more interior design help in your home, click here to grab the freebie vault with colour palette inspiration and so many resources to help you design a beautiful home.