“a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.”
Is it time to simplify; to strip back the complicated and focus on the beautiful?
The Japanese approach of Wabi-Sabi can be applied to interior design, it concentrates on the elegance in simplicity and imperfection, valuing the uncluttered, underplayed and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. This approach isn’t about clearing out your home and starting again, but instead about stripping back the unnecessary and appreciating natural aging. Wabi-Sabi doesn’t just limit itself to the aesthetic; its all about a representation of something deeper and more meaningful, so when truly embraced, it can lead to a more mindful and fulfilling way of living.
So how do we achieve Wabi-Sabi?
Whilst it may sound complicated and a tad pretentious we can break it down into easy steps to be adopted singularly or embraced fully.
Embrace natural aging
No need to intentionally age items, nor buying something that looks aged. Just love what you already own, be with it for the long haul. With age comes not only a natural beauty, but a story, and our homes are the perfect place to tell our own.
With the current push for recycling, plastic in particular, it is not hard to champion natural resources over the wasteful and damaging alternatives. Work with wood, glass, stone, metal and concrete to achieve a timeless, raw and honest feel.
Add a splash of colour
The Wabi-Sabi approach clearly loves all things natural and that includes colour. So in the words of Cindy Lauper ‘see your true colours’! What do you see when you go to the beach, the mountains, the desert – these natural hues, this is Wabi-Sabi colour… ‘beautiful… like a rainbow’.
Remove the fuss
Love the simplicity. Forget pressing the table clothes, don’t worry about hemming the curtains, pay no mind to scuffs on the floor, or if the sofas are a little worn – its all memories! As long as things are kept clean and fresh, no fuss – embrace the casual and simple.
Welcome nature inside
Bring in the leaves – scatter on the table, add sticks to vases, branches in pots, incorporate the acorns collected by your children on that Autumn walk in a bowl as a centre piece on the table, use craft projects with natural materials as wall art. The key is don’t overdo, let things fall naturally, again, no fuss, love the perfection of imperfection.
Let in the light
Embrace and enhance as much natural light as you can, leave the lights off until its dark outside, not only saving on the electricity bill but also improving your mental health. Where privacy is essential, install natural linen drapes and shapes. A daily connection to the outside world is great for depression and for easing isolation.
Declutter the clutter
Tidy home, tidy mind. Throw away the extra jumpers, donate the jeans you promised yourself you’ll eventually fit in to. Consider strongly what you need and what you don’t, be ruthless.
A beautiful scent
Open the windows, let the fresh air in, in all seasons at least one a day keep the fresh air circulating allowing new smells to come in and old ones to exit. Incorporate natural scented candles and diffusers to keep your home smelling wonderful, fresh and welcoming.
Ultimately Wabi-Sabi is about appreciating the little things, our surroundings and homes that weave the tapestry of our lives. Find the beauty and perfection in your imperfect…. and do it mindfully!