The wabi-sabi way of life

A Ja­panese mind­set that can help to cre­ate a calm, nur­tur­ing home

Nadia - - CONTENTS -

In a world where so­cial me­dia can of­ten make us feel like noth­ing less than perfection is ac­cept­able, the Ja­panese phi­los­o­phy of wabi-sabi of­fers a re­fresh­ing al­ter­na­tive – in­stead of striv­ing for an unattain­able ideal, we can find peace in em­brac­ing im­per­fec­tion and ap­pre­ci­at­ing the un­tidy edges of life.

“Wabi-sabi is the beauty of things im­per­fect, im­per­ma­nent and in­com­plete, the an­tithe­sis of our clas­si­cal Western no­tion of beauty as some­thing per­fect, en­dur­ing and mon­u­men­tal,” writes Leonard Koren in his book Wabi-sabi for Artists, De­sign­ers, Po­ets and Philoso­phers. Wabi-sabi is a state of mind that can be use­ful in all as­pects of daily life, in­clud­ing the cre­ation of a com­fort­able home where you can re­lax, recharge and feel grounded.

Cel­e­brate im­per­fec­tions

Wabi-sabi in the home is about ac­cept­ing messi­ness – be­cause it’s in­evitable. Rather than stress­ing about keep­ing your home in a state of con­stant clean­li­ness, aim to cre­ate an at­mos­phere in which you can play and re­lax. Embrace the wa­ter­marks and red wine stains on your wooden ta­ble as they tell sto­ries of fun and cel­e­bra­tion shared with friends and fam­ily. Don’t worry about im­per­fect walls and un­painted ex­te­ri­ors be­cause they add an el­e­ment of in­ter­est and his­tory that a per­fectly painted wall can­not.

If it’s broke, fix it

Rather than throw­ing away bro­ken items, in­vest time in re­pair­ing them or dis­play­ing their bro­ken parts in new ways. For ex­am­ple, you can re­pair bro­ken ce­ram­ics with coloured lac­quer and glue, “mak­ing the im­per­fect break a fea­ture and en­hanc­ing the bro­ken area,” says Yuka O’shan­nessy, direc­tor of ar­ti­sanal on­line store An As­tute As­sem­bly.

Through up­cy­cling and re­pair­ing, you can cre­ate your own one-of-a-kind piece with a unique story. This sus­tain­able ap­proach also helps re­mind us of our con­nec­tion to the nat­u­ral world around us.

1 Michele linen beach bag by Citta, $49.90, from Pa­per Plane. 2 In­cense hold­ers by Walk in the Park, $55 each, and cake stand, $280, from An As­tute As­sem­bly. 3 Serv­ing plat­ters by Holly Hous­ton Ce­ram­ics, $85 each, from Pa­per Plane. 4 How to Care for...

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