Individuals can embrace the wabi-sabi design principle to bring the elements of this ancient philosophy into their homes, workspaces, and even lifestyles. By doing so, one can discover the natural and ephemeral beauty that envelops them and encourage mindfulness, simplicity, and appreciation in their day-to-day activities.

This article explores the concept of wabi-sabi interior design in detail and helps home buyers understand the wisdom it imparts. Continue reading.

What is Wabi Sabi?

The concept of wabi-sabi was developed by Zen Buddhists sometime between the 13th and 15th centuries. It is based on three core principles of existence – imperfections, impermanence, and emptiness.

Hence, wabi-sabi encourages people to embrace these imperfections in life and find beauty in simplicity and authenticity.

The wabi-sabi meaning can be understood as “wisdom in natural simplicity”. It is a combination of two different Japanese words.

The first word is ‘Wabi’, the noun form of “wabu”, which means humble or simple. In Zen teachings, a Wabi person can find happiness in little and simple things and is free from greed and anger.

The second word is ‘Sabi’, the noun form of the word “Sabu”, which means tranquillity. It indicates the natural phenomena of time, decay, and degradation. The one who believes in Sabi understands that beauty is ephemeral.

Embracing Wabi Sabi Interior Designing

One can embrace the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi to bring natural beauty to their living spaces or workplaces. It can help create an interior design that is both aesthetically pleasing and life-enhancing.

Below are the basic principles of wabi-sabi style interiors:

  • Use of authentic colours

    Choosing suitable colours is one of the crucial aspects of interior design. While some people opt for vibrant hues, some go with warm and sober tones. However, the principle of wabi-sabi interior design involves the selection of authentic and earth-oriented colours.
    One can go with the natural shades of brown, green, grey, beige, and skyish blue to channel the concept of wabi-sabi in their homes. These colours provide a natural look to the house and imitate a resemblance between the outside and inside environment.

  • A minimalistic design

    Simplicity is at the heart of the wabi-sabi style of interior design. It advocates a minimalistic approach to interior design instead of a cluttered and clumsy one. There are a lot of open spaces and a sense of calm even in the corners of the house. A few examples of minimalist wabi-sabi interior design include choosing simplistic furniture only for the sake of its functionality. It promotes an understated elegance over the pretentious display of wealth and luxury.

  • Embracing asymmetry and imbalance

    Modern concepts of interior design are often associated with creating a balanced look through symmetry. It refers to similar designs on all sides with equal weight distribution to achieve a sense of balance.
    However, the wabi-sabi style of interior design advocates the exact opposite of this. It believes in embracing asymmetry and imbalance to appreciate beauty in its most natural form.

  • Using natural materials and organic shapes

    Wabi-sabi design favours unaltered, natural materials such as wood, stone, and clay. These materials are appreciated for their organic imperfections with no defined geometrical shapes.
    Imperfect grains in hardwood floors, irregularities in rocky furniture, and tonal variations in undyed sofa covers are a few examples of cherished natural elements that can add character to one’s living space as per the wabi-sabi interior design principles.
    Additionally, one can place wabi-sabi home décor items that can help them achieve harmony with nature. Examples of wabi-sabi décor items include hand-made crafts, stone artefacts, indoor plants, jute and linen-made cushion covers, etc.

  • Aged and weathered items

    Time, decay, and degradation are vital elements of the wabi-sabi principle. Hence, items that exhibit signs of wear, patina, or ageing are highly prized possessions for a wabi-sabi living room.
    These imperfections add a natural depth and character to the living spaces.

    A few examples of such aged and weathered items that adhere to the principles of wabi-sabi design include a cracked teacup, weathered wooden table, etc.

To Conclude

The wisdom of wabi-sabi teaches us to find happiness in the humble and tranquillity in the ephemeral. Through authentic colours, minimalism, asymmetry, natural materials and aged items, this timeless Japanese aesthetic philosophy imparts a sense of harmony, simplicity and appreciation in our daily existence.

Embrace wabi-sabi design to create an aesthetically pleasing, life-enhancing interior.

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