How to ground your space

19 April 2022

With so much happening in the world, it is natural to seek refuge in a space that is anything but chaotic, and so it’s no wonder that the Wabi Sabi and Japandi philosophies remain prevalent in 2022. With Spring (and cherry blossoms!) coming into full bloom, we thought there’s no better time to re-introduce these concepts, and have curated a selection of naturally stylish furniture and home accessories to help you achieve a calm abode that helps keep you grounded.

What is Wabi Sabi?

Wabi Sabi isn’t necessarily a trend, but rather a philosophy and a way of life. Deeply rooted in Zen Buddhism, it refers to the simple and unmaterialistic, embraces all things imperfect and impermanent, and accepts the natural cycle of life. Indeed, Wabi Sabi can be woven into all aspects of our lives, and while the pandemic has forced us to take a moment to slow down from our fast-paced world, be in tune with nature, and accept our imperfections, we can certainly benefit from embracing this mindset when Hong Kong opens up again.

What about Japandi?

In more recent years, we’ve seen the Japandi philosophy gain traction in the interior world. Quite simply, it is a hybrid of Japanese and Scandinavian design, which, despite coming from opposite sides of the globe, share a deep appreciation for authentic natural materials, simplicity, craftsmanship, as well as the ‘less is more’ ethos. While Japandi takes from Wabi Sabi’s philosophy of embracing imperfection and the passage of time, it also draws inspiration from ‘hygge’, a Scandinavian term that refers to the feeling of comfort, contentment, and well-being. Together, these two concepts create a beautifully balanced look that is warm, laid back and tranquil – all while remaining highly functional.

Indeed, Wabi Sabi and Japandi’s values of embracing the natural, perfectly imperfect and beautiful craftsmanship are everything we are at TREE. Take a look at some of our latest collections that will help you achieve a naturally stunning, simple and refined space.

One with nature

Connecting with nature plays an integral role in the Wabi Sabi and Japandi philosophies, and there’s no easier way to do so than incorporating pieces into your home with natural materials to achieve that earthy connection. Our recycled teak wood stools take old wood and upcycles them into characterful furniture, with hollows, cracks and markings, which reflect maturity as well as create a unique patina of age and originality. Perfect as stylish seats or even as side tables, these naturally stunning stools prove that there is so much beauty to be found in pieces that embrace the passage of time and natural processes. Our wooden vases and bowls are a smaller alternative to the stools, with similar variations that create a naturally striking effect.

Out with the new, in with the old

Wabi Sabi is all about appreciating things that are old, weathered and natural, which our boat wood stools perfectly embody. Their journey begins in Indonesia, where the wood is salvaged from old fishermen vessels that once sailed the Southeast Asian seas. Now, these boat wood pieces take on a new life as naturally stylish furniture, each bearing colourful chipped paint, dents and bolts that tell the story of their unique past.

Nature’s influence

Aside fom natural materials, consider collections that pay homage to Mother Nature. Our lava coffee tables and side tables draw inspiration from the Earth’s molten rock, and are created using original artisanal techniques. Handcrafted from natural mineral powder and colour pigments blended together along with metal detailing, each piece features hand-etched patterns reminiscent of cracks in dried lava, giving way to naturally unique designs that lend plenty of textural interest. Gently angled tapered legs lend a light and lifted appearance, giving way to a silhouette with a more sophisticated feel.

The joy in simplicity

Simplicity sits at the heart of Wabi Sabi and Japandi, as clean and minimal spaces can help create a serene space to slow down and calm the mind. Our Circa17 dining table in sustainably sourced solid European oak features angled legs for a modern yet playful design, with clean lines for a light and airy appearance. It comes with a convenient drawer underneath to keep your cutlery tucked away and within easy reach, enabling you to maintain the look of a clean, clutter-free space.

Accessories with a purpose

Accessorising your space with intention will help you maintain a pared-back look that reflects the Japandi and Wabi Sabi philosophies. Look for naturally stunning pieces that also help serve a purpose like Curio, our curation of sculptural, decorative and artistic interpretations that are expertly designed by our longstanding partner Ethnicraft. Beautifully hand carved by skilled Javanese artisans using natural materials like sustainably upcycled black-tinted mahogany and pine wood, each piece carries a unique story that is sure to spark interest and conversation. From pine wood bowls that feature naturally occuring cracks mended with butterfly joints, to bowls with beautifully carved honeycomb detailing, this exceptional range offers stylish, functional accessories that enable you to decorate with a ‘less is more’ approach.

The art of craftsmanship

Both Wabi Sabi and Japandi share an appreciation for exceptional craftsmanship, which reflects the labour of love that was put into each piece and adds an authenticity that can never be replicated. Indeed, fine craftsmanship runs through every range at TREE, and our Grooves sideboard is no exception. Crafted from black stained solid teak fingerjoints (leftover off-cuts that would otherwise go to waste) and mixed hard woods, this stylish storage solution features beautifully hand carved lines that add to its individual character. Its doors open up to spacious compartments, offering plenty of space to keep your serveware and tableware neatly tucked away.

We hope this bLOG inspires you to bring a little Japandi and Wabi Sabi into your space – while there are indeed many pieces you can find here at TREE, remember that these design philosophies can easily achieved by integrating what you already have. Think perfectly imperfect crafts made by your little ones, an indoor plant that welcomes nature in, or time-worn furniture passed down from your loved ones – the important thing is to remain grounded!