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Wabi Sabi in Interior Design

WABI SABI Philosophy in Interior Design

We are living in times that the future of our planet and the human life is in our own hands. Climate change, global warming and waste management are the biggest topics and challenges of our times. Living a more conscious life and waste free is becoming more and more important and adapting to this lifestyle help us live a better life both mentally and physically.

It also makes us question the way we live and see things. Our quest for perfection is costly and is affecting many things in our world. That is why I decided to speak about a very unique style in interior design, called “Wabi Sabi”

The term “Wabi Sabi” comes from the ancient Japanese philosophy and Japanese art of aesthetics. It can be described as finding beauty in natural aging and imperfections. In a way, it is about appreciating and accepting that nothing lasts, and nothing can be perfect. This amazing philosophy is simple, modest, and in tune with our nature. That is why many artists and designers adapted this idea and incorporated it into their style. Here are some of the key elements of Wabi Sabi and how you can use it in your own home.

House of Ananda Mayi Ma in Cordes-Sur-Ciel France
House of Ananda Mayi Ma

Simplicity and Minimalism

Wabi Sabi is simple and minimalist. Remember “Less is more”. At a Wabi Sabi home, you don’t need too many pieces of furniture and belongings. You let go of anything that has no use and reduce the pile of unnecessary things that we all have in our homes. You need space. You need room to see every piece and appreciate their existence.

Nature and Being Natural

Wabi Sabi interior design style is all about accepting the nature of change and mortality of objects. Therefore, any natural materials are welcome and appreciated in this style of design. For example, natural live edge wood, logs, any rustic looking surfaces that have rough edges and purposely imperfect.

Wicker furniture, lighting fixtures and any handmade products are a great addition to the design. Play with textured rugs, natural fabric and pillow covers. Avoid anything synthetic or industrial.

Earthy and Muddy

Colors in Wabi Sabi design are generally neutral, earthy and muddy tones. If you want to add some color to accent some walls or areas in the room, make sure you work with the desaturated and muted tones. Avoid bright saturated colors and pastel tones. Remember that Wabi Sabi is modest and down to earth. Another great way to accent a wall is to use plaster instead walls instead of paint. Plaster adds a beautiful rustic texture and brings a homely feeling to the space.


Keep the furniture layout asymmetrical. Symmetry and perfection go together therefore not a good choice for Wabi Sabi space planning. Wabi Sabi is meant to create balance in asymmetry and imperfection. After finding the focal point in the room, play with the scale of objects, proportion, and their alignment in relation to each other to create balance. Balance instead of perfection.

Minimal Greenery:

Adding a touch of greenery brings life to a room. In Wabi Sabi design, plants that show endurance of time are the best visual match to this philosophy. Use an old worn-out vase and combine it with plants such as Cactus, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lavender, Wheat plant, Pampas grass or anything that you find beautiful and meaningful. Faux plants and dried plants are welcome for those who are rarely home to take care of real plants

Re-create and Re-use:

Lastly, the most important thing is to re-create and re-use. You don’t need a big budget to create Wabi Sabi. No matter where you are, in your surrounding, there are many objects with potential that you might not be seeing. Try to look at the world with the eyes of Wabi Sabi and you will find many things that have the possibility to be re-used in a beautiful way. Not only you will enjoy the game of acceptance, but you will also help the planet.


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