Japanese aesthetics enjoys great popularity in interior design, with homes all over the world embracing Japanese simplicity, minimalism and Zen-inspired décor. The most recent Japanese trend that has enchanted the design scene is wabi-sabi, an authentic style that accentuates the beauty of imperfection and transience.
Wabi and sabi are ancient ideals that denote transient, stark beauty and the beauty of aging and natural patina, respectively.
In modern design, wabi-sabi refers to “flawed beauty”, emphasising features like simplicity, asymmetry, roughness, irregularity, modesty and intimacy. Implementing this design style will give your home a unique character and create an atmosphere of effortless beauty with a lovely, natural touch.
Imperfection is the key principle of wabi-sabi and all its beauty lies in every little flaw introduced to a home. When decorating your home, think in terms of vintage, homemade and even slightly damaged pieces that will bring in a sense of authenticity.
Rough surfaces, naturally-shaped pieces, inherently-flawed decorative items and wrinkled materials are the perfect choice for a wabi-sabi inspired home.
You can find some of your old furniture with cracks and scratches caused by the natural process of wear and tear. Such imperfect pieces are the perfect symbol of impermanence, a key feature of wabi-sabi.
Open space is imperative
Wabi-sabi-inspired homes feature open spaces, with decorative pieces and other items brought to a minimum. You should focus on minimalism and simplicity while introducing one or two statement pieces that will work as a focal point of the room.
This goes for every area of your home – the “less is more” principle will help you give your living space a spacious, airy look. For a wabi-sabi look in the bathroom, interior designers typically use extraordinary bathtubs as bold décor statements while removing other unnecessary accessories.
In your dining room, you can introduce a stunning table made of aged wood for the wow effect. A quirky, authentic armchair can be a statement piece in your living room that will inspire simplicity and comfort.
Freedom of form
There’s no need for trying to create a perfectly balanced look because wabi-sabi-inspired design values the freedom of form. Whether it comes to furniture or the arrangement of decoration, wabi-sabi emphasises asymmetry as one of its main principles.
A single piece that breaks the symmetry of a space can help you introduce omoshiroi, the interestingness that contributes to a piece’s beauty. To capture the spirit of wabi-sabi, you should introduce natural materials with unique forms and rough finishes.
Raw, natural materials, such as wool, wood, bamboo, clay, rough paper, stone, woven grass and others, will give your home a natural, wabi-sabi touch. When choosing furniture and decorative items, you should opt for naturally shaped ones for a unique effect.
No strong colours
When it comes to the colours of wabi-sabi, you should go with a neutral palette that reflects natural elements (earth, water, stone, brick and others).
Hues with a matte finish are more than welcome as long as they don’t create an excessively uniformed, monotonous look, while shiny objects should be avoided.
An understated palette of muted tones, such as greys, blues, greens and browns will help you create a relaxing ambiance in your homes. Occasional spots of rusty shades are perfect for breaking a subtle colour scheme.
As already mentioned, wabi-sabi places emphasis on simplicity and naturalness, which means that there’s no room for clutter. When it comes to both furniture and smaller details, you should get rid of all the unnecessary pieces.
Wabi-sabi-inspired homes exude calmness and openness, so you need to declutter your home in order to give it a carefree spirit. Clutter can easily burden your mind, which is why wabi-sabi insists on designing a clutter-free environment that will help you find your inner peace.
You should keep your surfaces clean and remove old magazines, mail, as well as other items that you don’t need.
Wabi-sabi will be dominating the design scene of 2018, bringing soothing natural energy and the beauty of imperfection into homes around the globe.