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What Is Wabi-Sabi and How Is It Used in New Home Design?

March 20, 2020

If perfectly put together rooms and excessive coordination just aren’t your thing, you’re in luck. Wabi-sabi, the interior design trend that’s taking over home blogs and magazines everywhere, is all about finding beauty in imperfection. With roots in Japanese culture, wabi-sabi is a relaxed style that draws upon nature and values the lived-in and lovingly weathered, for a sense of tranquility at home. Keep reading to find out how to incorporate this authentically beautiful sense of style into any room of your home. 

Look to Nature

Nature is a prime example of perfect imperfection. And because raw textures and forms in nature create some of the most beautiful visual aesthetics,  it makes sense to look to nature for your design inspiration.

No matter your design style preference, it’s easy to incorporate a connection to the earth in your home. Some ideas to consider include:

  • Select earthy colors. The stark-white wall trend has finally seen its last days. Instead, draw upon the colors of the natural world to foster a relaxed sense of calm in your home. Browns, taupes, and grays mimic the beach and desert, and soft blues and greens will invoke the sea and sky. 
  • Use natural materials. Forget plastic. Instead, replace it wherever possible with wood, stone, metal, glass, concrete, ceramics, and the like. Handmade pieces especially work well here, because even though they might have tiny flaws, it adds to their charm and character.
  • Bring nature indoors. Vibrant bouquets are beautiful, but a vase of red roses isn’t exactly an everyday decoration. Take a nature walk and bring back sticks, twigs, acorns, or even a single wildflower to display in a favorite bowl or pot for a simple but striking elegance.

Embrace Aging

Both humans and wine get better with age, and the same can be said for many objects in your home. The patina on old silver, the rust and oxidized copper on a hand-me-down tea kettle, and the worn wood of antique furniture — all of these show the graceful passage of time that brand-new appliances or furniture just can’t match. Instead of polishing the silver to a shine or repairing pottery crack lines, try to embrace these beautiful imperfections and see how they add a sense of texture and soul to any room. 

Don’t Fuss

So the tablecloth or drapes don’t have perfect iron lines. So your bedspread has some wrinkles from sleep. As long as you keep your home clean, these marks of everyday living are what give your home a sense of soul, unlike the sterile, perfectly staged rooms that you see in magazines. If your sheets aren’t perfectly tucked in, or the pillows aren’t immaculately arranged, it actually gives your home a beautifully lived-in, relaxed look — and eliminates the need for endless upkeep on your part. 

Mix and Match

It’s time to draw upon another wise Japanese philosophy — that is, Marie Kondo’s advice to keep only things that “spark joy.” The same idea applies in wabi-sabi. Everything you bring into your home should be something you love. Don’t get swept up in passing trends or choose a piece just because it matches your current style. Choose pieces thoughtfully, even if it means taking more time to accumulate decor that feels authentic. 

Go Clutter-Free

Minimalism is another hallmark of wabi-sabi — but it doesn’t mean living without. It’s more about owning less and making the most of what you already own. Go through your home and evaluate your belongings: are you actually wearing all twenty pairs of shoes, or listening to those old CDs, or still enjoying collectibles you amassed in childhood? Declutter in all areas of your home by giving thought to what you need and love — and what you don’t. In turn, you’ll find that your home feels more warm and authentic, while being more sustainable, too. 

Meet Paradisa Homes, the Leader in Austin Luxury Homes

No matter what styles or trends you gravitate toward, it’s important to build a home that feels authentically suited to your tastes and lifestyle needs. At Paradisa Homes, we build new homes that perfectly capture your unique vision. Contact us today to learn how our architects and designers can help you build a space you’ll love for a lifetime.