My definition is very simple embrace the imperfections of things but it doesnt have a direct translation. Cause in traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi could be described as finding beauty in things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
This concept is derived from Buddhist teachings. It describes a life of simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of nature’s ingenuity. Wabi-sabi aesthetic is best represented in the Japanese tea ceremonies.
Wabi means 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 while always moving towards having less. Sabi, on the other hand, refers to what happens with the passage of time. It is about transience beauty and authenticity of age.
Practicing wabi is learning to accept the natural cycle of growth and decay, life and death, as well as embracing the imperfections that comes with it
"Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect."
In a way, wabi-sabi is a material representation of Buddhism. As such, it can be applied in all life spheres, to help you become more mindful and aware of the present moment. Being surrounded by objects that are changing with time helps us stay grounded. And if we notice some cracks, we’re just reminded of impermanence. And if we noticed imperfections we're just reminded that we are human and not perfect.
Objects and environments that embody wabi-sabi
- Authentic Colours. Selecting a colour palette is a key element of interior design, regardless of what type of space you're renovating or improving.
- Asymmetry and Imbalance.
- Natural Materials.
- Organic Shapes.
- Handmade Furniture and Accessories.
- Reclaimed, Repaired and Recycled Décor
Wabi-sabi as a way of life
We need wabi-sabi in our homes and lives now more than ever because we are oversaturated with glossy images of ‘perfection’ and the drive to achieve more to get more. There is far too much in the media to compare ourselves to get us to do more and more of the same thing. A wabi-sabi viewpoint, on the other hand, pushes these ideals aside and urges us to appreciate a different kind of ideal, such as people, places, and things with humility and simplicity and therefore things unique and handmade things that takes times to do and with a story to tell.
The wabi sabi lifestyle
You can cultivate a wabi sabi lifestyle by trying the following.
Declutter your living space and keep the things you need stored away when you’re not using them. This will help convey a sense of tranquility in your surroundings, which will support a serene state of mind.
Choose used items made from natural materials over newly manufactured synthetic products when possible. This will foster a sense of connection to nature and the earth.
Learn to appreciate the elegant simplicity of a “less is more” lifestyle, such as a single branch and stem in a worn ceramic pot rather than a large bouquet of flowers in a perfectly symmetrical vase.
Slow down the pace of your life when possible and leave plenty of time for rest between tasks. Prevent overwhelm by refusing to glorify the busyness that can lead to chronic stress and poor mental health.
Practice mindful savoring when eating and drinking. The mindful movements of the Japanese tea ceremony should nourish the spirit as well as the body. Take time to contemplate the web of interconnectedness that has furnished your plate, from the interdependence of the natural elements required to grow food, to the relationships between the farmers and retailers who have provided the ingredients for your meal.
Learn to appreciate the signs of the passage of time and the beauty of aging in yourself and others. A wabi sabi lifestyle prizes maturity, depth, and wisdom over the vitality of youth.
10 steps for achieving a wabi-sabi style in your decor
Examples of Wabi Sabi
Cracked or chipped pottery
Aged or faded wood
One of a kind art pieces
Belongings that reflect the personality of the individual
Drappled light falling on a bed
Cozy and intimate spaces
Worn leather bag or much loved scuffed shoes
Flea market collections
Rough or uneven stone walls
Examples of things that are not wabi sabi
Solid steel fences
Perfectly ironed clothes
Strong and harsh light
Bold, bright and glossy textures
Giant warehouse discount stores
Sleek and industrial design
Shiny new thing
Even if you’re not Japanese or Buddhist, you can still enjoy the beauty and serenity of a wabi-sabi lifestyle. After all, imperfection and impermanence describe the very nature of our existence. Embracing them as friends will lead to a happier life.
Keep in mind that wabi-sabi goes beyond a certain kind of aesthetic. It is a way of life and thought process. One that teaches us to find joy in the simple things and being thoughtful and intentional in all that we do, say and think.
The art of imperfection and freedom of form : Life happens. We encounter realities despite the fact that we pursue the mystical perfect life. Perfection is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement and shame. Brené Brown.