Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

2 Ideas for Creating Distinct Design at Home


1. Revel in the Unconventional with Wabi-sabi

What is it?

Wabi-sabi is a set of ancient Japanese principles that center on celebrating and finding beauty in the imperfect and unconventional. Wabi is new, fresh and unfinished, while sabi is beauty that comes with age, wisdom and use.

What does it look like?

Wabi-sabi is truly in the eye of the beholder. A few great examples include - a handmade piece of pottery with bubbles and bumps, handcrafted wood furniture, a blanket knitted by Grandma, and pieces of your own history, such as sepia-toned family photos and leather-bound books with crinkled pages.

Incorporating Wabi-sabi

  • Personal Décor Mindset: Wabi-sabi is not a particular decorating theme or style; it's more about your personal mindset when it comes to home décor. There's also no set of strict rules, but a wabi-sabi home is all about living modestly and in the moment. It's also about acknowledging that your life and home are constantly changing and a work in progress.
  • Clean & Comfortable: Cleanliness is also a valued principle of wabi-sabi, because it implies that you have respect for your home and the special things you carefully choose to keep inside it. Think about this principle in this way: when your home has clearly been cared for, it is more welcoming and comfortable to the people that live there and those who come to visit. Examples could be a lovingly made bed, dusted shelves and open, uncluttered spaces.
  • Décor Aesthetic: When it comes to décor, wabi-sabi favors the simple, orderly and genuine over all else. Rustic, natural materials such as wood and metal, along with earthy, muted colors are often seen as wabi-sabi. You'll also see a place of honor for items that have personal meaning and well-worn character. Placement of items should be organized, sparse and purposeful, so you're only displaying your most useful and most treasured items.

More to Explore