Many years ago a baby girl was born on a calm August morning in Nairobi Kenya. The little girl grew up with kinky, annoying, hair and a love for all things different. When she was grown enough for society to consider her an adult, she moved out of her parent’s home and went to experience the big bad world all on her own.
One of the things she had to fend for herself was Shelter, so armed with her new found maturity she went forth and rented a cozy space and made it her own. How she turned this space into a home is the moral for this tale.
Unlike most people she knew, this girl, lets call her Jordan although you might know her as ‘theinteriordecorator’, opted to be more adventurous with her furniture by selecting items that didn’t necessarily match and that had a history. She had her late grandfather’s armchair, paired with a leather wingback chair she got from a thrift store and worked both of them with a sofa bed that was one of her first adult purchases. So whereas she had only seen people buying furniture as sets she decided to offer herself a visual story rather than perfection.
I abhor the idea of a perfect world. It would bore me to tears. ― Shelby Foote
Jordan was sure that her choice of aesthetic was not her own invention. She was confident that there were those who understood her decision to surround herself with some form of imperfection in a world that worshiped perfections. She therefore decided to go to the all knowing, all powerful oracle…GOOGLE!
That’s when it was revealed to her…..WABI SABI!
Wabi–sabi (侘寂 ?) represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.
And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the reason for this post. Wabi sabi-the beauty of imperfections!
It values simplicity, uncluttered, underplayed, and modest surroundings. What I love most is that it is able to accomplish all that without the cold and impersonal feeling that the minimalist style tends to have.
The true essence of WABI SABI philosophy is the presence of cracks and scratches in things. These imperfections are considered to be symbolic of the passing of time, weather, and loving use. Please note that its not about having ‘flawed’items for imperfection sake its also mostly about nostalgia, having items that tell a story, items that turn your house into a home.
Since it isn’t exactly a decorating style it’s quite difficult to say for sure what colors you should use. But one thing’s for certain, nature plays an important role in Wabi Sabi so sticking with earthly tones like different shades of brown, green, black, white and grey is the best way to go.
As Jordan explored the wondrous Google, she discovered that she had a new identity as a WABIBITOS, a wabi-sabi enthusiast. And if you feel like joining the band wagon then you have to understand that other than embracing imperfections and nostalgia you have to be the type of person who could make something complete out of eight parts when most would use ten.Practically speaking, this could be the act of living in a smaller home, driving a smaller car, or even eating/drinking just enough to be pleasantly satisfied.
So enough about the tale of Jordan, our resident wabibitos, and onto actually seeing how wabi-sabi translates into interiors. As you view the images please keep in mind that a great facet to wabi-sabi is the idea of the “obvious pretty” vs. “unique beauty.”
These two interiors are very different, one more polished and the other ‘raw’, but they still fall into the WABI SABI look. In the first kitchen the imperfect floor stand out in such a perfect space whereas the second is more obvious with the white wash feel and the raw wood table top.
Similarly in these two bedroom the first one is a more polished version whereas in the second one its definitely more obvious with the rawness of the materials.
What I love about WABI SABI is that you don’t have to incorporate it fully. In these two lounges you can see that they both have primary themes but they have accessorized with small touches of Wabi Sabi. Case in point in the first lounge there is an ‘imperfect’ black bench at the window. Its like that piece of jewelry that’s the final touch to an outfit.
I love this theme when its used in restaurants. The rawness creates the perfect mood to have a good bonding session over a meal.
Perfectly imperfect, right? Drop a comment below and tell me whether you’re going to join Jordan on her wabi-sabi fairytale journey or you will simply wish her well and continue on your own aesthetic.
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