Finding beauty in imperfection: Wabi Sabi

When we strive for perfectionism, we end up with feelings of anxiety, depression or that we are not enough. Our homes are a direct reflection of our lives, would we want our homes to never feel like it is enough for us? Never to feel nurturing or a place to grow and learn and embrace the imperfect beings that we are? Embracing some of the philosophies that Wabi Sabi holds is key to creating a home that is nurturing. It is a philosophy that can be used as a guide to decorating our homes and one that can carry on through our day to day lives.

Let's look at the modern-day meaning of Wabi Sabi. We often hear the term Wabi-Sabi in relation to describing how something looks or the feeling one gets when seeing a certain piece of art, or a space that reflects age. But if we dive deeper we see that Wabi Sabi is really a guiding philosophy for how we can live and enjoy our life now, at this moment.

Wabi Sabi can be reflected in many ways. As an aesthetic, a way of experiencing life, the philosophy of embracing simplicity and the imperfect beauty in the so-called flaws. The concept of Wabi Sabi implies that there is beauty within the imperfections of life.
Broken down further, the modern-day meaning of Wabi in itself means rustic simplicity, the quirky understated elegance in things and in life. Sabi means beauty or patina that comes with age.

I love this concept so much. Life is imperfect, full of tarnish and patina. We often strive too much for perfection, which is a direct enemy of Wabi Sabi. Wabi Sabi embraces the life lived but also celebrates the cracks and wrinkles and flaws. Because this shows we have LIVED. It shows signs of life. Seeing the beauty in pieces of furniture from long ago that hold stories of those who once lived, that is the beauty of Wabi Sabi.

wabi sabi

Wabi Sabi is more than a style and a word. It is also a feeling. A feeling that focuses on accepting something for its raw imperfection. A feeling you get when you see a beautiful old tree, that has been standing for decades, its bark that shows the wear of many storms and days of heat. Wabi Sabi is seeing and touching a handbuilt piece of pottery, with its curves and quirks made by the artist's hands. The beauty in the blemishes that occur during a fire, that is impossible to truly ever recreate. The feeling that seeing Imperfection and finding it flawless in its own right is Wabi Sabi.

Wabi Sabi

Add some Wabi Sabi to your home & life:

Embrace the imperfections.
If we embrace the imperfections within our home and have gratitude for the fact that we even have a home, it will reflect gratitude right back at us. Within those imperfections and feelings of gratitude lies humility. Humility is a key player in a calm and nurturing home.

Don't get caught up in trends.
Don't get caught up in the trends of today's design world. Yes, simplicity and having a perfectly tidy home that is rustic with earthy tones is one of today's trends, but it may not be tomorrows. The point is that if you feel good surrounded by a certain style, be it French country or modern pastoral, it won't matter if that trend disappears. Embrace the style that is authentic to you and the things you currently have.

Think only essentials.
When we get rid of the unnecessary items in our home we free ourselves of feelings on anxiety and start to appreciate the essentials.
Essentials may be different for each person. But the idea is to pair down. Think about what you really love to see in your home, or use. See the beauty in what you already have.

Be environmentally conscious
The idea of wabi-sabi supports our environmental awareness. If we are selective in what we buy and keep those purchases for years to come, possibly to pass down to our children, we embrace Wabi Sabi. We see the value in a well-worn chair or a dining table that has flaws in it from many years of gathering around it. When we limit our purchases to quality and natural materials we are showing appreciation for our beautiful earth.

wabi sabi

I have personally found that embracing the idea of Wabi Sabi actually feels very freeing. It allows for growth and for seeing beauty wherever you may live. It can inspire us to simplify by seeing that some of the pieces of furniture we have just might hold as much if not more beauty than that brand new modern coffee table. It really is all in how we view our authentic selves. The beauty in our imperfections, the beauty in our homes and in others.
So let's remember to never focus on perfection. Striving for perfection will ensure unhappiness. Embrace the idea of growth and that your home will always be a work in progress, embrace the flaws in your home and in life. That is to embrace wabi-sabi.

Wabi Sabi

Some further reading on the topic of Wabi -Sabi :

Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence 
Wabi Sabi Welcome
This is Home
Wabi Sabi for Designers 



photo credits in order of appearance: milk decoration| unknown |  about decorating |blog |  elle france design hunter | humble & grand 


A grand way to turn a space into a poetic PLACE!

Judy September 01, 2023

Thank you for sharing this post! I found it very helpful.

Grecia Mamone January 04, 2021

Just beautiful and just my style – thank you.

ann eldridge November 19, 2020

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