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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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.

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.

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.

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.

Organize Closets With No-Fuss

While we all strive for an organized closet, we don't necessarily need to turn it into a display. Give yourself freedom in your closet to store all your clothes and shoes in a more casual, free-spirited way. It's okay to leave your belts coiled on a shelf or your tote bags casually hanging on a hook.

Collect What You Love

The concept of wabi-sabi fits in perfectly with the pursuit of displaying unique collections around your home. No need to follow the crowd by collecting the expected books or brass statues. Collect what you love, even if it is out-of-the-box.

Ditch Your Throw Pillow Obsession

Embracing simplicity is another worthwhile wabi-sabi pursuit. Don't stress anymore about your ever-growing, ever-changing throw pillow collection. Keep to one or two, or simply display a bolster pillow.

Embrace Branches

While we all love a perfectly-coiffed flower arrangement, they often require too much time and care. Go for some simple branches instead. They last for weeks and look perfectly imperfect as a jumbled bunch in a vase.

Wrinkled Bedding Is Okay

Wabi-sabi means we no longer need to be afraid of unkempt beds. Put away your steamer or iron, and learn to be okay with a wrinkled duvet or comforter.

Add Wood Accents

Wood is a warm way to adopt wabi-sabi style. This all-white kitchen is instantly inviting with the addition of wooden stools.