Konnichiwa to Wabi-Sabi - Design Trend that’s a Hot Favorite This Year

Say Konnichiwa to Wabi-Sabi – The Design Trend that’s a Hot Favorite This Year

Wabi-Sabi, Wabi-Sabi … 0“What is Wabi-Sabi?” A distant relative to wasabi? A kind of sushi? The name of the latest rock band?

Well, it’s none of that.

Wabi-Sabi is a Zen trend from Japan that’s taking the design and décor world by storm. Boasting of clean aesthetics and minimalist design, the concept was developed by combining two different words with two very different meanings – Wabi & Sabi.

Wabi conveys humility and simplicity, while Sabi is about transience and the cycle of progression. When they come together, they create a principle that finds harmony in the uncomplicated and accepts imperfections that accompany growth and death. Wabi-Sabi makes everyday life more carefree and puts importance on things that are the most essential.

If you’re keen to explore the Wabi-Sabi concept, here are the important principles that govern this ideology

The Imperfect is Just Perfect

Your leather sofa is slightly frayed? No problem. The cupboard looks a bit worn out? Great! The floorboards have a distressed look? Wonderful!

Wabi-Sabi doesn’t stress on creating a pristine and untouched feel for the center spread of a décor magazine. Instead, it embraces all those ‘fault-ridden’ elements that we would otherwise hide or cover. Because if it is well worn, it is also well loved!

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Be Gone, Clutter, Be Gone!

Getting rid of clutter is not a concept that’s unique to Wabi-Sabi. Any interior designer will tell you the importance of doing away with things you don’t really need, but Wabi-Sabi takes it a step further. Keeping your wellbeing in mind, it insists that you unplug and unwind once you get home. Technology serves an important purpose in our lives, but Wabi-Sabi doesn’t believe in putting it on display or focusing on modern day gadgets. It recommends that you keep technology hidden away in well-designed storage units and only retrieve it when you need it.

Let’s go Au Naturale

Wabi-Sabi believes in design that connects to the earth and soothes the soul, and for this, it uses a lot of natural elements in its design. The color tones are mostly neutral – whites and off-whites – or they incorporate earthy tones. In patterns, it sticks to simple stripes and steers clear of anything that could be overpowering. The flooring is generally made of sustainable materials like wood or bamboo and accessories tend to be handmade.

Simple is beautiful

Along with colors, textures, and furniture, Wabi-Sabi places a lot of importance on the layout of a space. When putting the room together, keep it very simple. Don’t try to do too much at one go. Pare everything down to the essentials and focus on functional items. Arrange the room around a handful of furniture items and leave a lot of negative space to open up the room.

As you can see, Wabi-Sabi doesn’t have shoddy or messy aesthetics.  At its heart lies values like simplicity, authenticity, and minimalism. Wabibitos (people who are Wabi-Sabi enthusiasts) shun the concept of ‘obviously pretty’ and look for beauty in the imperfect. A room that embraces Wabi-Sabi will be modest without being spartan, uncluttered without being bare, and utilitarian, without being boring. And it will strongly echo of calm and relaxing vibes since it uses a lot of natural textures and materials to decorate the room.


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