Perfectly Imperfect

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Incorporating a little wabi-sabi into your space

MWB Desk

If you’re struggling to keep up with the Instagram and Pinterest pressure of perfectly curated homes, then the wabi-sabi design style might be just the aesthetic for you. A refreshing departure from the rigors of perfection, this philosophy of design embraces imperfection, impermanence, and the authenticity of natural materials. Here are five ways to bring this style into your home.

Wabi-sabi as a concept and aesthetic philosophy has roots in ancient Japanese culture and likely emerged in the 15th century. The term “wabi” originally referred to the loneliness and simplicity of living in nature, while “sabi” was associated with the beauty that comes with the passage of time. 

Flawed and fabulous

Embrace the beauty of asymmetry, irregularities, and the unique character of handcrafted items. These “flaws” tell a story and add a layer of authenticity to your living space. 
A wabi-sabi color palette is inspired by earthy tones such as muted greens, browns, and soft grays. The colors found in nature create a serene and grounded atmosphere. 

Mother (Nature) knows best

To infuse your home with the warmth of natural materials, choose furniture and decor made from wood, stone, and other organic elements. The textures of these materials encourage a connection with the natural world. Opt for unfinished or weathered surfaces to enhance the sense of authenticity. 

Uncomplicate matters

An essential step towards simplifying your space (and your life!) is by decluttering and focusing on essential elements. Wabi-sabi design encourages a minimalist approach, allowing each piece to stand out and be appreciated. Integrate handcrafted elements such as pottery, ceramics, and woven textiles. These items carry the mark of the artisan’s touch, celebrating the beauty of craftsmanship and uniqueness. Consider functional pieces that serve a purpose while contributing to the overall aesthetic of simplicity. 

Painted by the hands of time

Appreciate the beauty that comes with age and use by choosing items that age gracefully or those that already have slight wear and tear, such as distressed wood, telling a unique story. Vintage or antique pieces often align well with the wabi-sabi philosophy, adding a sense of history and character to your home. 

In harmony with nature

Bring the outdoors in by incorporating elements inspired by nature. Introduce potted plants, botanical prints, or natural fibers to create a sense of harmony. Wabi-sabi encourages a close connection with the natural world, fostering a calming and balanced atmosphere within your living space. 

As tempting as it may be to “get it right,” focus on the beauty of imperfection, the authenticity of natural materials, and the simplicity that comes with embracing a wabi-sabi aesthetic. By incorporating this philosophy, you can create a home that looks beautiful and radiates a sense of tranquility and timeless elegance. 

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