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An ancient Japanese philosophy, wabi sabi is a way of life focused on accepting things as they are and what they’ll become over time. This mindful lifestyle celebrates the beauty of imperfection and appreciates the transient stages of life.
Unlike other design trends, wabi sabi design principles aren’t defined by specific shapes, colors, or décor. The style follows the same guiding practices as the philosophy itself: natural, lived-in, effortless, and, above all, perfectly imperfect. Here are some general guidelines to help you get the wabi sabi look.
If you find perfection exhausting, this style may be the breath of fresh air you and your space need. Beyond merely ignoring imperfections, wabi sabi showcases them. Rather than striving for perfection in your home, curate products that are uniquely handmade. Find those with irregular surface details such as our Raksha Double-Wall Hammered Copper Soaking Tub, Finbrook Chiseled Granite Farmhouse Sink, or Broward Crackled Ceramic Round Cabinet Knob, where no two are exactly alike.
Combine new items with secondhand ones; happily accept items passed down from family, especially if sentimental value is there. If you are a fan of thrifting or antiquing, your skills will be well utilized here as well. Seek items that combine purpose with lived-in charm—it’s that simple.
Lastly, pay respect to what you already have. The beauty of imperfection lies in the story it tells; the scratched wood flooring and the chipped paint of a wood door frame are nothing but graceful maturations, alluding to a life well lived.
Wabi sabi centers on a connection to the Earth, so any piece of furniture or decor made from natural, sustainable materials should be sought. Wood, bamboo, stone, ceramic, leather, and raw metals are all ideal options.
Most of these materials are prone to aging, weathering, rusting, or discoloring, which not only embrace the wabi sabi philosophy but add inimitable depth and texture to a room. For furniture items, opt for durable wood or bamboo builds like our Burfield Bamboo Vanity. For fixtures, a copper construction as seen in our Raina Copper Farmhouse Sink creates a stunning patina over time.
Complement your furniture and fixtures with natural fibers in your textiles and upholstery; think organic cotton, linen, or hemp along with ethically sourced wool.
Above all, don't overdo it. Keeping it simple is important to achieving the wabi sabi look. In your selections, lean on minimalist silhouettes for a less-is-more, uncluttered look.
Look for curated collections like our Lentz Bathroom Collection, which exudes clean lines and simple shapes while promising a cohesive look all throughout the room.
In addition to the silhouettes of products, keeping it simple also includes the quantity of them. In line with the approach of Japanese minimalism, eliminate unnecessary belongings until you're down to what you need, from functionality to well-being. Consider products with multi-functionality to make each possession truly count.
When putting your bedroom together, heavily note the natural core of wabi sabi style. Choose unfinished woods and interesting textures from rattan to jute to ceramic. The materials themselves will serve as your color palette, leaving you with an utterly understated, earth-toned oasis.
Start by setting the right mood with your lighting selections. The light that emits from a natural fiber shade is unmatched, as observed in our Caviana Pendant, crafted from the Filipino fiber abaca. Complement unique textures with simple furniture such as a wooden platform bed.
Bring in plenty of warmth with cozy linens, a handmade rug, and a few plants. Remember that less is more, so a tidy, minimally embellished room is essential.
The key to a wabi sabi bathroom is simplicity. Recalling the minimalist silhouettes associated with the Zen decor, you’ll want to use these across your fixtures from faucet to bathtub to toilet.
Complement your metals with earthy tones and textures from a striking stone sink and a soaking tub made of copper that will change beautifully over time. To avoid a cold or sterile feel, bring in warmth through a teak vanity or bamboo vanity. Wabi sabi décor should be kept to a minimum, as a clutter-free mind starts with a clutter-free space.
If a perfectly imperfect space resonates with you, wabi sabi may just be your Signature style. Get started with durably constructed products that feature thoughtfully handmade details for a home that’s the true embodiment of one-of-a-kind.