Wabi-sabi is a Japanese concept that encourages us to seek out the beauty in imperfection and the natural way of life. Derived from the principles of Zen Buddhism, this philosophy has grown in popularity in recent years, as the clarion call for mental well-being has become more sonorous. Here are ways to achieve a wabi-sabi home.  

1. Go natural

A wabi-sabi home centres around an appreciation for asymmetry, simplicity and authenticity. For this reason, the wabi-sabi aesthetic is heavily inspired by nature’s colour palette. Earthy tones and the use of natural materials, such as jute, reclaimed wood, and terracotta, create a harmonious ‘lived-in’ space that’s still a little rough around the edges. If you have a green thumb, consider incorporating some houseplants for added warmth.

2. Amplifying the senses

A wabi-sabi home is one where your senses come alive. Be more connected with yourself with these simple design gestures to stimulate your senses:

Touch: Use natural materials and fabrics

Smell: Burn incense or candles

Hear: Listen to audio books, meditative music or nature sounds

See: Display décor that inspires you, like a striking artwork

3. Go vintage

One characteristic of a wabi-sabi home is the appreciation of the natural aging process. Embrace this by picking out items that can weather well and look great with age. Vintage wood furniture, brass fixtures and even a trinket that has been passed down from your family home can give more depth to your home’s interior.  

4. Embrace the imperfect

Photo: Gold and Behold Co.

A wise saying goes: “broken crayons can still colour”. Instead of throwing away items that have cracked, faded or shattered, mend them back with care and give them a spot in your home. The art of kintsugi, in which broken ceramics are mended with gold-dusted lacquer, elevates imperfections in design and reminds us to see beauty in unexpected places.

5. Incorporating wellness

Home Tours: A Self-Designed, Studio-Inspired Home

The wabi-sabi way of life encourages us to find beauty in the mundane, and to complete daily tasks in a state of mindfulness. Make this a habit by incorporating it into a design feature, like placing a high table by the window so you can enjoy the view while sipping your morning cuppa or getting some work done.

For more interior inspiration, check out Design Ideas or our renovation-related reads for tips on renovating your home.

  • Vanessa Hang

    A millennial-turned-mother who develops strategies, creates content and manages social media for a living. She enjoys humour as dry as her Hokkien Mee, and often daydreams about spending time at home with family and Fitzgerald.

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