Wabi Sabi Style for the American Home

When it comes to minimalism, no design philosophy is more personal than the Japanese style known as “Wabi-Sabi”. Rooted in the principles of Zen, Wabi-Sabi is the art of finding beauty and peace in the organic, the imperfect, and the unfinished.

“Wabi” means humility and a lack of materialistic desires (Zen, remember?) while “Sabi” literally translates as “bloom of time.” In design terms, think of the way the leather of a much-loved armchair becomes smooth and shiny in places after many years of use; the tiny chips on a china tea set inherited from your grandmother; the curling edges and sun-faded images of old family photos; the warm memories evoked by an arrangement of colorful sea glass you collected during your last beach vacation. These are all arguably, “Wabi-Sabi.”

The essence of Wabi-Sabi is very easy to bring into your own space. Remember that Wabi-Sabi is less about a specific “look” than a “feel,” so don’t think that simply because you have a more traditional home that Wabi-Sabi won’t work for you. Here are some examples of Wabi-Sabi design in American homes and ways you can incorporate them into your own space.

(Via Poetic Home)

Natural elements (wood, stone, metal) are a hallmark of Wabi-Sabi design. This mantle makes use of smooth rocks of varying sizes and colors and weathered yet colorful pieces of wood for a strikingly modern yet simple focal point.

(Via Home-Display)

Not ready to give up on your framed photos? Try mixing it up with an unexpectedly soothing asymmetrical arrangement. 

(Via Froy Blog)

A reclaimed piece of wood becomes a low coffee table in this residence. It’s complemented by the homespun feel of the underlying rug. 

(Via Remodelista)

How gorgeous is this? The contrast of grey stone, raw steel, and reclaimed wood all sourced from the surrounding region make this Wabi-Sabi ski chalet a true stunner. 

(Via Style Essentials)

It’s easy to incorporate Wabi-Sabi into your current design scheme with just a few choice elements. Here the sleek and modern design of a bathroom is softened up with a clay pot and a rustic, minimalist ladder. 

(Via DigsDigs)

A Wabi-Sabi take on the classic four-poster bed strips away the usual romantic feel of the design for an earthy and minimalist take that works just as well indoors as outdoors and is neutral enough to fit into any design scheme.

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