Wabi Sabi is something I first learned about in Janice Lindsay's The Power Of Colour workshop and it's definitely an idea worth sharing. As per Wikipedia, "Wabi Sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transcience and imperfection." Translation: Beauty can be imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. The theory is that something aged will have Wabi Sabi, whereas as something shiny and new does not and that the latter is less beautiful because it lacks character and history.
This space has good Wabi Sabi
Whereas this space does notModern Living Room by Seattle Architects & Building Designers Chris Pardo Design - Elemental Architecture
This vase has Wabi Sabi
Whereas these do not
In Buddhism there's a belief that everything is impermanent. A feeling, a life, an object, a building... everything eventually will either pass, die, or fall apart with time. Seeing this impermanence, and accepting it for what it is, is beautiful. Wabi Sabi is an ancient philosophy that has recently been made into a trend. We've seen it in fashion with torn jeans and we've seen it in furniture when we spend thousands of dollars on pieces that are made to look old and used (i.e.; Restoration Hardware). Real Wabi Sabi is not the new piece that is made to look old, it's the old piece that has been passed down from generation to generation. It's your grandparent's antiques, it's a childhood teddy bear that's missing an eye but you refuse to get rid of. It's recycled, re-used, salvaged. A piece that has been refurbished yet shows elements that have been left in their original, worn state have Wabi Sabi. Good Wabi Sabi will tell a story and give you a glimpse of its history.
My alltime favourite Wabi Sabi haven in Montreal also happens to be my favourite sushi restaurant; Tri Express. This place has MAJOR Wabi Sabi and I won't even give you a peak because it's worth heading over there to check it out for both the food and decor.Would you like to create a timeless space? Contact us to schedule your first consultation.Like what you're reading? SUBSCRIBE to our monthly newsletter for design updates and blog posts.