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How to Embrace Wabi-Sabi

Learn all about this Japanese trend of happily accepting life's imperfections, and get some ideas on how to incorporate the wabi-sabi trend in your own home.

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Photo: Tessa Neudstadt

What Is Wabi-Sabi?

By definition, wabi-sabi doesn't necessarily have a design connection. It's an ancient Japanese framework rooted in Zen Buddhism that celebrates the imperfect beauty of nature, with all of its natural flaws and blemishes. When embracing the wabi-sabi approach in your home, you can finally ditch your endless pursuit of the perfect vignette or sexiest shelfie. Wabi-sabi design means saying yes to imperfection, natural objects, texture and unique materials.

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Photo: gindesignsgroup. From: gindesignsgroup.

Use Natural Materials

Nature and natural materials are a big part of the wabi-sabi worldview, and this natural stone kitchen is the perfect representation. Open shelving allows the display of favorite pieces, but don't worry about styling everything. Keep shelves casual and unfussy, instead.

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Photo: Scott Hargis Photo. From: Regan Baker.

Keep the Entryway Simple

Your entryway is usually the first and last stop you make in your home, so get in good wabi-sabi vibes right from the get-go. Designate catch-all spots for mail or keys and a simple basket for hats, gloves and scarves. Don't worry about all other details.

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Photo: Bruce Damonte

Incorporate Unexpected Textures

Using unexpected textures in your home is a great way to add wabi-sabi vibes. This floor-to-ceiling fireplace surround serves as a focal point in the room, while also referencing the twists and turns of flowing water.

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