Dé­cor with Ja­panese art of wabi­sabi

Em­brace the beauty of im­per­fect dé­cor with the Ja­panese art of wabi­sabi

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - ht­spe­cial­pro­jects@htlive.com Shaili Shah

If you’re tired of mak­ing your home look like an im­age from a slick mag­a­zine or keep­ing it ‘Mon­ica’ clean (surely you’ve heard of the fas­tid­i­ous char­ac­ter from Friends), here’s a new idea in dé­cor. The Ja­panese idea of wabi-sabi is turn­ing out to be a pop­u­lar trend for in­te­ri­ors.

Sim­ply put, the term cel­e­brates im­per­fec­tion. So, it’s okay to be messy. “Wabi-sabi is all about em­brac­ing the beauty in the raw, un­pro­cessed tex­ture and earthen fin­ishes,” says Ku­naal Se­olekar, owner stu­dioHAUS. This means in­cor­po­rat­ing nat­u­ral and hand­made el­e­ments, a pal­ette that re­flects sim­plic­ity and mod­esty and work­ing with earthy shades.

“This trend will find a lot of tak­ers as it re­quires ac­cep­tance for the au­then­tic and does not push for a home which looks like a show­room,” says Priyanka Ta­paria, owner of KERF. “Chipped mir­rors, un­pol­ished rus­tic fur­ni­ture and earthy shades are some ways of work­ing with this trend.” Here are some tips on how to get it right:


In­fuse nat­u­ral el­e­ments like bam­boo, clay, raw wood or some­thing as tiny as pin econ es or colour­ful peb­bles from the beach to re­flect this trend.

In­te­rior de­signer Min­nie Bhatt throws light on how to bring in this Ja­panese trend into your homes. Nat­u­ral stucco walls and con­crete textured walls add a rus­tic charm. “Use nat­u­ral stones on the floor of the bal­cony or the bath­room walls,” she says .“Or work with a ce­ment based wall paint that looks nat­u­ral and not overly man­i­cured.” This means your walls will re­flect bumps and im­per­fec­tions, and the paint streaks will sub­tly show – it’s all part of the plan. Bhatt also rec­om­mends us­ing bam­boos as space di­viders and weath­ered wood for cab­i­nets.

The trick with this look is to con­trol the im­per­fec­tion – keep it shabby but chic. 2Divine owner, Dim­ple Na­har sug­gests you fill your vases with twigs and fallen branches in­stead of fresh flow­ers. You could also get pa­per mache fur­ni­ture, vin­tage wooden bar­rels and un­fin­ished stone seat­ing and shelves.

“Use hand­made clay pot­tery as show­pieces in your homes,” sug­gest Lavpreet Singh Tal­war, owner of Of­froad De­signs. “It would work best if these are in im­per­fect shapes.”


Wabi-sabi lets you em­brace beauty in the nat­u­rally weath­ered items that have a his­tory of their own. De­sign­ers sug­gest us­ing an­tiques like a vin­tage clock, a grand­mother’s rock­ing chair, un­pol­ished cop­per uten­sils, a feathered pen and clay fig­urines. In­te­rior de­signer, Vaishna vipra­tima says that im­per­fect brick walls would give the per­fect look. Just make sure you’ve sealed in all the gaps in the wall.

This raw and fresh look will work best in com­bi­na­tion with earthen and rusty shades.

“The colour pal­ette re­lated to wabi-sabi dé­cor is earthy grey, rusty or mud brown and olive green, which will add the re­quired vibe to the room,” says Anu­pama Bi­hani, owner of Mirabel In­te­ri­ors.

Think of plac­ing a raw wood ta­ble in the cen­ter of a room, sur­rounded with olive green so­fas and cush­ions in muddy brown. And for those who want to go all out, place a car­pet with thread work in brown and slash your walls with textured mild grey.

Too dull? Se­olekar, sug­gests you bal­ance this dull­ness with lively ob­jects. “Add plants with over­sized palms and ferns to add a per­fect lively green,” he ad­vises. Or tai­lor your cur­tains in del­i­cate sheers, pour­ing in nat­u­ral light to il­lu­mi­nate the dark tones around the space.


Use un­pol­ished wood or bam­boo for sec­tion di­viders. Opt for metal­lic cop­per ac­ces­sories for a rus­tic charm.


Cre­ate the per­fect wabi­sabi look with stucco walls and nat­u­ral light that livens up the earthen tones of the dé­cor.


Go shabby­chic with hand­made, asym­met­ri­cal clay pot­tery.


Avoid too many ta­ble lamps, de­clut­ter with a sin­gle piece.

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