How to bring this year’s wabi sabi trend into your home

15 June 2018

Over recent years, we’ve seen design trends take their cue from the Scandinavian concepts of ‘hygge’ and ‘lagom’ for a cosy and well-balanced home. Now, the dialogue has shifted, looking further east for a little inspiration.

Meet wabi sabi, a Japanese philosophy that embraces all things imperfect and impermanent. It’s already been named by Elle Décor as this year’s design and lifestyle trend to adopt, and, with wabi sabi’s core values sitting at the heart of everything we are at TREE (with the exception that our pieces are made to last!), we’re completely on board with its growing popularity.

Wabi what?

Wabi sabi is deeply rooted in Zen Buddhism, and now refers to the simple and unmaterialistic, becoming a lifestyle and design trend that is increasingly relevant and refreshing in our hectic, fast-paced world. It reminds us to live in tune with nature, switch off, slow down, and accept our imperfections.

Indeed, wabi sabi can be woven into all aspects of our lives, and no more so than in the home. Read on to discover our favourite ways to embrace the beauty of the natural and the authenticity of age in your own space.

The low-down on achieving a wabi sabi inspired home

- stay grounded with the raw and tactile
- embrace objects that take form naturally and organically
- appreciate the flaws and variations in artisanal craftsmanship
- welcome simplicity, and tranquility will follow

Get back to nature

Connecting with nature plays an integral role in wabi sabi, and understandably so: aside from adding a sense of tranquility, these raw and modest materials reflect the passage of time and acceptance of natural processes. Wood with hollows, cracks and markings aplenty shouldn’t be perceived as damaged, but rather as signs of maturity that give way to a unique patina of age and originality. A stool will allow you to show off the wood’s beautiful variations from all angles, and can double as a chic, naturally striking side table. Accessorise with a bunch of dried branches or flowers to give your home that rustic, lived-in and tactile finish.

Featured: Recycled wood stools | Terracotta ribbed vase

Keep to a muted palette

Carry on this natural story by sticking to a muted palette of browns, greys, subdued greens and whites, which will help create the feeling of bringing the outdoors in. This isn’t to say that colour has to be entirely ruled out – instead, opt for tones that still draw from Mother Nature, and work them into your home with a selection of finishing touches. We love playing with deep blues and rich terracotta reminiscent of our coasts and raw earth.

Featured: Handwoven wall décor | Terracotta ribbed vase

Get crafty with the artisanal

Nothing exemplifies imperfection as beautifully as handcrafted decor, making it an excellent addition for achieving that wabi sabi inspired space. It’s all about the embracing the uneven glaze on your vase, the natural dent in your antique cabinet, or even an accidental brush stroke on that oil painting you’ve just brought home. The more variation, the better, as it gives your piece all the more character and charm, as well as an authenticity that mass-produced home décor items could never duplicate.

Featured: Terracotta two-tone vase | Terracotta round vase (in stores only) | Celebes coffee table

Pare it back

Wabi sabi seeks beauty in simplicity, and a home that adopts a minimalist-like approach naturally gives way to a tranquil and harmonious ambience. Furniture pieces that sit close to the ground instantly make a room look warm and inviting, and, with their low profile, can open up a space while enhancing its pared-back aesthetic. Continue this less-is-more approach by eliminating any clutter and stripping your belongings down to the essentials. Not only does this foster a calming space devoid of chaos, but it also encourages us to let go of material wants and appreciate the things we already have.

Featured: Recycled wooden coffee table | Recycled wooden bench

We hope these tips help you bring a little of the wabi sabi philosophy into your home – be sure to check out our curated selection online and in-store.

We’ll be celebrating the wabi sabi design trend this month and through the rest of the year, so stay tuned for more perfectly imperfect inspiration!

Want to read more about the wabi sabi trend? Check out some articles we love:

Marie France Asia
Amara The Lux Pad