We Said Wabi-Sabi, Not Wasabi!

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Wabi Sabi Design Cactus

Wasabi is Japanese horseradish that is used in condiments, especially with sushi. Wasabi will have to wait for another day; however, because in this article, we’ll be taking a look at wabi-sabi, a Japanese philosophy that is widely incorporated in one of the latest interior design trends.

In essence, wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and enjoying the simple pleasures in life. Even if you have never seen a wabi-sabi design before, you may already know that this trend is characterized by a degree of minimalism and natural tones and textures.

Keep reading to learn more about this design trend, guiding principle, and lifestyle.

What is Wabi-Sabi Design?

Wabi-sabi is the art of finding pleasure and fulfillment in simplicity. Wabi-sabi as a design trend is the result of wabi-sabi as a way of approaching life.

Wabi Sabi Design Cup and Book

Before you can incorporate wabi-sabi as an interior design style in your home, you have to understand the concept of accepting things as they are and stop striving towards constant improvement and perpetual perfection.

To design your home in the style of wabi-sabi, you have to stay away from commercial products, designer décor, and matching tones and textures. On the other hand, you don’t have to find the ugliest and oldest furniture that you can to have a wabi-sabi interior.

The central concept of wabi-sabi is embracing the imperfections that already surround you. Another essential theme of wabi-sabi is authenticity. You should go out and find faults that are indicative of history and include it in your home.

Before you can derive optimal visual satisfaction from imperfect and authentic design elements in your home, however, you have to get rid of clutter. The objective is to find peace and tranquility from imperfections, natural textures, and authentic themes.

Clutter takes away any sense of order or peace and serves as a connection to everyday tasks and stress. Although you don’t have to practice extreme minimalism to make the design work for you, you do have to keep the space organized and neat.

A wabi-sabi design is also a way to bring natural tones, textures, and light into your space. The colors and textures of plants, wood, and stone are key design elements in wabi-sabi.

How Did Wabi-Sabi Design Start?

Wabi-sabi started as a Japanese philosophy in the 15th century. At the time, as it is today, people attached a high value to belongings, aesthetic appeal, and perceived wealth. As a result, they were continually striving for perfection and, in the process, forgot to derive satisfaction from aspects that are inherently valuable.

Wabi-sabi was a reaction to the widespread desire for precious metals, expensive fabrics, and lavish detail. One of the concepts that are fundamental in wabi-sabi as a philosophy is an appreciation for materials that are abundant in nature, for example, wood and stone.

The objective of this philosophy is to return to the basics and to free oneself from the constant need for perfection and perceived wealth. The wabi-sabi design was born out of this philosophy.

Many people around the world started incorporating this style in their homes – not only because it is one of the most affordable designs, but also because it has several benefits in terms of establishing a personal space that you love and using distressed materials and furniture.

If you are always adding or changing design elements, furniture, or décor in your home, but never feel satisfied with your space, the wabi-sabi design may be a viable solution for you. Below, we will be taking a look at how you can incorporate wabi-sabi into your home.

Incorporating Wabi-Sabi Into Your Modern or Farmhouse Interior Design

Embrace Home-made Elements

Homemade furniture, art, décor, and structural components are essential to a wabi-sabi design. By using handmade elements in your interior space, you add authenticity, which is one of the pillars of wabi-sabi.

Authentic features will also do a better job of establishing a friendly atmosphere in your home than a commercially manufactured item will.

Get Rid of Clutter

Wabi Sabi Design Naked Bulb

The goal with a wabi-sabi design is to create a feeling of peace and tranquility. Clutter is a sure-fire way to eliminate any sense of calm in your home. Keeping your interior space free of clutter is a continuous process, and you should get rid of clutter as part of your daily routine.

Clutter includes things like kids’ toys, keys, documentation, magazines, calendars, and electronics. Find a designated place for all of these items.

Use Natural Tones and Textures

Since wabi-sabi is about embracing imperfections, you need to bring imperfect elements into your home. The best source of flaws is natural and organic tones, textures, and lines. Plants, succulents, fresh flowers, and fruit can work well to give your home a natural feel.

Similar to the modern farmhouse living room, wooden furniture is central to the wabi sabi design aesthetic. Concrete flooring and stone textures are also natural components that you can incorporate in your home.

Don’t Worry About Matching Décor

When you incorporate a wabi-sabi design in your home, your priority should be using décor that you love instead of using décor that matches. If you go out of your way to find décor that matches, it can ruin the character of your design.


You want to place the focus on the character of a select few design elements. If there are an abundance of objects in a room, it can reduce the authenticity of your furniture, art, or fabrics.

While minimalism shouldn’t be your sole focus, you should make sure that you don’t clutter your home with authentic and imperfect items.

Appreciating Simplicity, Imperfection, and Nature

Wabi Sabi Design Shelves

Wabi-Sabi can be a beautiful design style for any home. It can also improve the quality of living for you and your family. One of the great things about wabi-sabi is that it forces you to appreciate something as simple as a little plant or the old wooden texture of a cutting board.

This design style is affordable, and it allows you to apply your creativity and personality.

Wabi-sabi designs also have a way to fill your home with character, even if your home isn’t filled with belongings.

Interested in learning more about interior design? Check out more of our home decor blog posts here.

Written by Colleen

Beard lover | Theatre Geek | Writer | Loves to Laugh | Persistent Dreamer
I love style, fashion, and interior design. My goal is to bring you all the best things since avocado toast. From seemingly useless gadgets to the newest style of hat for your upcoming vacation, come to AvoToasted first for the latest trends.

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