Wabi-Sabi – What is behind the living trend and how do you live according to it?

Most will now wonder if it’s a typo and it’s actually about wasabi and spicy Chinese cuisine, however, you read correctly, it’s about the living trend wabi-sabi, which is a Japanese concept of aesthetics, clarity and the imperfect.

Living trend Wabi-Sabi – implementation, principles & function

But what exactly is the living trend Wabi-Sabi, what are the principles and how do I implement this trend in my own four walls? Feng Shui and Hygge were yesterday, now the Wabi-Sabi trend conquers the furnishing world.

What is Wabi-Sabi and how do I implement it?

The term Wabi-Sabi comes from Japan. Translated, Wabi means as much as sad, abandoned or alone. Sabi translated means as much as to be old or to pass away. The original translation does not sound very positive at first, especially when both words are seen together, but the term has established itself over the years and now refers to the art of recognizing the beauty in simple and aged things, to appreciate them, to enjoy them and to be content with them. So far we know this way of thinking mainly from Zen Buddhism but also in the Japanese tea ceremony these values are conveyed. However, Wabi-Sabi does not refer to a style of furnishing, it is more the most important principles that should be followed in order to live according to Wabi-Sabi. The principles of Wabi-Sabi are:

  • Enjoying visual emptiness
  • The use of local, simple products and natural materials of great quality
  • The turn to nature, away from soulless consumption
  • The appreciation, care, and ultimately the inheritance of time-honored objects
  • Reflection on oneself and the essentials

So, be careful not to overcrowd the room with either furniture or accessories to make sure there are no gaps. Simple white flats are part of the concept and don’t have to look bare if you design the rest of the room well. Rely on natural materials and learn to value what you have. To fully get to grips with the subject, it helps to get a good read on wabi-sabi, purism and minimalism. You will quickly understand that all these concepts are first and foremost a matter of attitude. Therefore, you should not see the whole thing too narrowly and approach the topic slowly.

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Furnishing according to Wabi-Sabi – Cosy mix of materials, little things & fabrics

Here it is especially much about the right materials. It should be especially cozy and for this you use a mix of materials, such as wood or even coarse materials such as leather. In general, natural materials always go. Whether with it polished wood or robust wool in the form of a cuddly blanket. You really can never have too much of such accessories! Even small things can enhance their interior, such as a cutlery with great details that simply becomes a favorite piece. Mix and match with natural materials and let yourself be surprised how imperfect things quickly look perfect and create a cosy home. The reduction to the least of comfort, however, is not for everyone what they want for their home. So if you want to live purist yet cozy and not like a monk in a cell-like environment, it is recommended to experiment with fabrics. This includes cushions, curtains, rugs, blankets and plaids. Because such accessories are also available in great natural materials, such as wool, linen or construction wool and especially in subtle colors, they fit great to the room. Choose straight cut not too fancy patterns and rather do without pompous drapery or ornaments. Through such small accessories you still fit great into the concept of Wabi-Sabi, but give the room something of their taste and can thus feel quite simply at home.

Wabi-Sabi as perfect purism – Aesthetic storage space and reduced design language

Imperfect purism in the context of Wabi-Sabi only means that not everything has to be perfect. Not everything edge on edge exactly neatly put away, but also sometimes let things lie around or store in open boxes and baskets. Your furniture should be made up of favorite pieces with this in mind. Of course, you don’t have to throw the rest away, however, you should make it invisible and create great storage spaces that aren’t even noticeable. Instead, showcase your favorite pieces and focus on them. For all other furnishings, look for a pared-down design language and quality. These will blend in easily and will remain favorite pieces for a long time due to high quality. Buy well-considered and reduce to the most necessary.


Functional resting place with wabi-sabi – modesty and discreet light sources

Modesty plays a major role in the concept of wabi-sabi. Here it is especially about not being exposed to permanent consumption, but to enjoy life and the passing of things. So make sure you have pieces that are made of high-quality, durable natural materials that will last you a long time. To do this, combine soft tones that are already present in the materials such as wood. Plants also fit well into the concept and bring a little color with them. Light sources should be integrated into the concept very harmoniously. Here, pay particular attention to choosing organic and clear shapes for light sources and also like to place several small light sources in the room. This creates cosiness and can highlight and emphasise special favourite pieces.

Relaxed silence combines inner contemplation with Wabi-Sabi

You should feel comfortable and secure in your home. Wabi-Sabi combines the ability to come to rest and to recover from the overstimulation in the outside world. Your mind should come to rest and reduce itself to the essential through Wabi-Sabi. However, so that your home does not look bare, combine with your furniture and favorite pieces other accessories that bring structure to the room and take away its sobriety. You can use rugs, furs or even velvet cushions for this purpose. Always remember to match the color patterns to create a unified mood in your room. Too many colors, patterns and materials would eventually seem cluttered and miss the point of the Wabi-Sabi.