The wabi-sabi way of life
A Japanese mindset that can help to create a calm, nurturing home
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.
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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