Wabi Sabi: An Interior Design Guide for Zen Decor

Wabi Sabi style bathroom with the 56" Boyce Acrylic Freestanding Tub Wabi Sabi style bathroom with the 56" Boyce Acrylic Freestanding Tub

What is Wabi Sabi Style?

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 decor. 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.

How to Bring Wabi Sabi Interior Design into Your Home

Embrace Imperfection

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 a pristine interior, curate one-of-kind products that are only elevated by their irregularities.

Seek those with hand-applied surface details such as our Raksha Double-Wall Hammered Copper Soaking Tub or our Finbrook Chiseled Granite Farmhouse Sink, with each piece offering a stunning texture and tactility unique to its respective material.

For adorning cabinetry or furniture pieces, bespoke options like our Broward Crackled Ceramic Round Cabinet Knob and our Anaise Circle Cabinet Knob help bring any wabi sabi look to life—with no two exactly alike.

Though newly made, these pieces will fit in seamlessly among beloved heirlooms and antique finds that all pay tribute to the beauty of imperfection and the stories our belongings tell through them.

60" Raksha Double-Wall Hammered Copper Soaking Tub for wabi sabi style
72" Paige Copper Double-Slipper Tub
Copper Tubs
36" Finbrook Chiseled Farmhouse Sink
Stone Sinks
Strasbourg Solid Brass Cabinet Pull in Antique Copper
Cabinet Hardware

Keep Things Natural

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, and raw metals are all ideal options.

With your furniture items, opt for durable wood builds such as our Aliso Teak Vanity or bamboo options like our Burfield Bamboo Vanity. For additional organic texture, woven fibers like rattan are encouraged, which can be found in our Simien Teak Vanity.

For fixtures, copper makes an excellent choice in any home, but especially a wabi sabi one. Featuring a “living finish” that is equally beautiful and practical, copper can be crafted into a variety of vessels from sinks, as seen in our Raina Copper Farmhouse Sink, to deep, relaxing soaking tubs.

Wabi sabi style bathroom with the 72" Burfield Natural Bamboo Double Vanity, Lentz Widespread Faucet in Matte Black

When left unfinished, these natural materials are prone to aging, weathering, or discoloring. And while some may opt to seal or polish their pieces to preserve their newness, the wabi sabi philosophy embraces these natural processes, welcoming the patina created over time that simply can’t be replicated.

48" Aliso Teak Vanity in Natural Teak
Wood Vanities
30" Burfield Bamboo Vanity in Natural Bamboo
Bamboo Vanities
33" Vine Design Copper Farmhouse Sink
Copper Sinks

Seek Overall Simplicity

Above all, don't overdo it. A level of modesty is important to achieving the wabi sabi look. To keep lived-in textures the focal point, lean on minimalist silhouettes for a less-is-more, uncluttered look.

Choose from curated collections like our Berwyn 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.

To achieve this, prioritize products with multi-functionality such as our Larchview Lighted Medicine Cabinet to make each possession truly count. Known for healing benefits that go far beyond washing up, soaking tubs such as our Siglo Round Japanese Soaking Tub make for wabi-sabi-appropriate additions as well.

Lentz Pressure Balance Shower System With Hand Shower in Brushed Gold for wabi sabi style
Lentz Bathroom Collection in Matte Black
Bathroom Collections
51" Pelion Acrylic Freestanding Tub
Japanese Soaking Tubs
Seren Lighted Medicine Cabinet with Tunable LE
Medicine Cabinets

Finishes Well-Suited for Wabi Sabi Style

Though this style cues the use of raw, unfinished surfaces, certain fixtures and materials call for a durable coating that remains consistent over time.

When choosing the finishes for a wabi sabi space, note the significant impact they will have on the overall atmosphere. Taking to heart the guiding principles of wabi sabi, the best finishes for accompanying this style will be those that appear distressed or aged or those that absorb surrounding light and reflections for an introspective effect.

Satin copper finish for wabi sabi style
Satin Copper
Oil rubbed-bronze finish for wabi sabi style
Oil-Rubbed Bronze
Aged brass finish for wabi sabi style
Aged Brass
Matte black finish for wabi sabi style
Matte Black

Design Tips by Room

Wabi Sabi Kitchen Ideas

Landing somewhere between organic modern and industrial in appearance, a wabi sabi kitchen should feel understated and nature-infused with a slight rugged overtone.

With no wabi-sabi-inspired space complete without copper, start with a copper farmhouse sink to really showcase the material’s beauty. Pair your sink with a streamlined, single-hole faucet in a finish that complements copper’s unique tone unlike any other: matte black.

This is also an opportunity to be highly intentional with your cabinet hardware. Among plentiful wood tones and minimalist silhouettes, you can bring in those perfectly imperfect textures through these small, easily installed details—all while imparting a truly personalized touch.

For walk-in pantries, concealed prep areas, and the like, continue a clutter-free look with pocket doors. Seek simple, noninvasive pocket door hardware for the full effect.

Kitchen with wabi sabi interior design with the 35" Aberdeen Double-Bowl Copper Farmhouse Sink

Wabi Sabi Bathroom Ideas

How do you achieve a lived-in look in a space that should promote cleanliness? The key to a wabi sabi bathroom is choosing unique materials that seamlessly combine this juxtaposition.

Consider teak wood, for instance. Bringing the outdoors in while offering natural moisture resistance makes teak vanities or accessories like bath mats a smart, safe choice for this wet environment. An alternative yet equally as fitting option, bamboo is resistant to swelling or warping from moisture while offering its own distinctive grain pattern, commonly found as vanities and other bath accents.

Since copper is designed to withstand the elements and self heal, this material is ideal for bathrooms as well. Incorporate it through your tub or sink selections and watch it change beautifully over time without compromising on quality or cleanliness.

When it comes to silhouette, recall those associated with Zen decor. Seek clean, minimalist compositions, using these across your fixtures from faucet to bathtub to toilet. With that said, wabi sabi decor should be kept to a minimum, as a clutter-free mind starts with a clutter-free space.

Wabi sabi bathroom designed by the Property Brothers with a teak vanity and matte black wall-mount faucet

Make Wabi Sabi Your Own

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.

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