The Wabi Sabi Decor Trend and How to Integrate it Into Your Home
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It’s not surprising, following in the footsteps of the Danish hygge lifestyle and declutter-enthusiasts of the KonMari Method, that Wabi Sabi emerged as a 2018 home decor trend. But wabi sabi is not simply a decoration style. While minimal aesthetics is a start, it’s more of a mindset, with Japanese origins in Zen Buddhism. Dating back to tea ceremonies when wealthy shoguns drank from their showy porcelain, a philosopher named Ryku preferred to drink from handmade (and often irregular, chipped, and cracked) cups made by local villagers. The wabi-sabi mindset, in essense, asks us to be content, humble, and modest with ourselves and our belongings.
Integrating Wabi-Sabi Into Your Home
Using wabi-sabi as a means of authenticity allows us to loosen up and let go of the little things. It asks us to be satisfied with the here and now, and live in the moment. Bohemian and Wabi Sabi styles have much in common. Mismatched furniture and freedom from polished perfection. In the same vein, it’s style that features items you cherish and proudly present in the home. It asks us — and our home — to be more modest and authentic. Here are a few loose guidelines on how to integrate wabi-sabi into your home:
1. Let Loose Without the Clutter
Allow those styled bed pillows to lay casually and throws to puddle on the floor. And yes — allow wrinkles in that organic linen tablecloth. Display an inherited extra-loved quilt that has some frayed edges. Let your bed sit all day without making it. It is a home, after all, not a showroom. It’s meant to be lived in!
While a home can show imperfections, clutter will only counteract wabi-sabi's calming nature. Household items should still have organization and order to achieve the essence of wabi-sabi of course!
2. Natural Elements
Hand-hewn woods with uneven grains are easy ways to bring wabi-sabi decor into your home. Even beachy California styles with whitewashed woods lend to the decor trends charm. Handmade anything also fits into this category with handmade pottery being the best way to incorporate this style. Misshapen teacups with dripping glazes and Kintsugi-gold scarred dishware represent the original wabi-sabi elements which embrace imperfections.
3. Earthy Tones
On the topic of elements, also consider earth tones that reflect nature. Welcome neutral colors of smoky grays, mineral blues, and even bring inside potted greenery to enhance indoor air-quality.
4. Unique Authenticity
Before purchasing a replica or knock-off decor item, dare to seek out the uniquely original. Take something in your home and re-purpose it to create something new. Authenticity can be found in anything from a DIY fabric art project, or pillows repurposed from handspun rugs.
I can’t guarantee you’ll reach Nirvana through this Zen-inspired decor practice, but cultivating a wabi-sabi mindset into our homes can teach us to cherish the lives we live and be content with what we too often take for granted.