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Wabi Sabi - beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.”
Wabi means something like simplicity, humility, and living in tune with nature; it describes someone who is content with little and makes the most of whatever he or she has, always moving toward having less.
Sabi, on the other hand, refers to what happens with the passage of time; it's about transience and the beauty and authenticity of age.
Wabi Sabi occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection do in the far West.
A kind of designed minimalism combined with clean lines and organic shapes, the embrace of imperfection, and openness to the unexpected. More warm - less methodical, definitely imperfect.
Wabi Sabi rose up in the 15th Century as a response to lavishness and ornamentation.
The Japanese Tea Ceremony was once a celebration of opulence but changed to embrace rustic forms, minimalism and simplicity.
Legend of the student cleaning the Tea House and the master shaking the leaves of the maple tree onto the perfectly raked sand.
The broken bowl, repaired with gold, is a symbol of the wabi sabi aesthetic. The overall form is intended to reflect Beauty, but the crack is a kind of Truth, and gives it greater meditative value.
Here's Dean's list on how to have Wabi Sabi in your home.
1. EMBRACE AGING
I wish we could do this better with ourselves! Allowing things to age gracefully and enjoy what you have instead of always bringing in the newest and greatest. Not intentionally making something look worn or aged. Not buying something that looks aged. The age comes over time, which means owning things that will last.
2. NATURAL MATERIALS
Living and working with raw, honest, organic materials as much as possible. Less plastic, more wood. Glass, marble, ceramics, concrete, stone, metal, etc.
3. NATURAL COLOR
Wabi-sabi draws from the colors of nature. What you see when you go to the beach, the mountains, the dessert - these hues, this is wabi-sabi color. Obviously, lots of nautrals and gray tones.
4. NO FUSS
You don't need to press the linen drapes or the tablecloth, no need to hem the curtains, no worries if the floor has some scuff marks or the linen sofa is wrinkled and worn in a bit. As long as things are clean and fresh looking, no fuss, casual, simple.
Bringing nature in. Sticks in vases, branches in pots, leaves scattered on the dining table for an Autumn feast, acorns in a bowl collected by your son, craft projects with natural materials, pampus plumes in pottery, the key is not to overdo it and let things fall as naturally and loosely as possible.
Embracing and enhancing as much natural light as possible. Connection to the outside world it is great for depression because you don't feel isolated and alone.
Open the windows. This may not be part of wabi-sabi style as much as it's something I've added here because I open the windows in all seasons, once a day at least, to keep the fresh air circulating and new smells to come in and old ones, to exit. Healthy, organic candles and essential oils, and natural cleaning products.
8. STRONG EDIT
It's fine to curate and collect, but you need to have a real editor's eye and give a good edit to each vignette, room or even the home. A strong edit is essential in the style of wabi-sabi because humility is a fundamental characteristic of this aesthetic. Less is more.
9. CLUTTER FREE
Along with a strong edit when decorating and choosing objects for the home comes a clutter-free environment. Consider strongly what you need and what you don't need and be ruthless!
10. USEFUL AND PRETTY, IN BALANCE
I believe in having useful and pretty things that we're using daily. Decorating pet peeve of mine.v I don’t like “props.” Candles are meant to be lit. Soaps are meant to be washed with.
Listen below to hear Dean explain how Wabi Sabi can work in your home!