Marie Kondo’s “less is more” minimalist design philosophy has been riding the mainstream wave for years now, inspiring homeowners everywhere to reorganize their t-shirt and sweater drawers and ditch clutter that doesn’t “spark joy.”
Though it’s a practical way to re-prioritize what’s important in our homes, the joy-sparking method has one major flaw: It’s downright EXHAUSTING. Though it probably shouldn’t be, a minimalist lifestyle takes more than a minimal amount of effort. That’s where wabi sabi, the traditional Japanese aesthetic and world view focused on the acceptance of imperfection, comes in.
The lifestyle experts at peer-to-peer marketplace Etsy predicted earlier this year the renewed rise of the wabi sabi home trend in 2018 (alongside with terrazzo and “liquid effect” designs).
“What firmly disconnects wabi sabi from minimalism is appreciation and not perfecting, “Etsy’s Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson told HuffPost. “In minimalism, the goal is eliminating unnecessary objects and clutter with perfect execution. Wabi sabi is about the care and appreciation for items that may have blemishes or slight irregularity in the raw materials.”
Both trends embrace a lack of clutter while promoting the accumulation of mindful objects, though the end aesthetic of minimalism and wabi sabi is completely different.
“When trying to achieve wabi sabi zen, yes, eliminate clutter, but also celebrate those special pieces that have imperfections and embrace that beauty,” Johnson says.
For folks who want to embrace the imperfect side of life, here are 11 wabi sabi design and decor ideas to get started:
Rustic wooden bench
Etsy // RustedPulchritude
Washed linen pillowcases
Etsy // notPERFECTLINEN
Hand-built ceramic spoons
Etsy // pazceramics
These ceramic spoons are handmade and glazed. With imperfect edges and raw, unglazed exteriors
and handles, they'll transport you to a cafe on the rocky cliffs of Santorini when you use them for your morning coffee, granola or looseleaf tea.
Knotted rope wall hanging
Etsy // shopsaraclark
This birka knot
is designed to resemble the flat knotted and metal decorations found on the clothing once worn by Norsemen. It's made of 100 percent cotton rope and has been knotted and stitched to maintain its shape. They're made to order
, which means they're all unique and a little different from the ones that came before it.
Brush stroke ring dish
Etsy // houseandhoneyco
Washable paper storage bag
Etsy // WarmGreyCompany
Handcarved wooden bowl
Etsy // RustedPulchritude
Secret pond felt coasters
Etsy // feltplanet
Square ceramic planters
Etsy // krikriceramics
Wooden kitchen utensil holder
Etsy // RoosterStudios
Even storage containers are missed opportunity for beauty. These kitchen utensil holders are made of discarded wood
, like copper beech, cherry or walnut. They're not attention grabbing. Instead, they're unassuming, but once you take them in, you can't stop sneaking peeks
Organic stoneware serving board
Etsy // TagliaferroCeramics
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