Have you ever heard of wabi sabi furniture?
Recently, interior design saw the explosion and spread of the hygge style, a Scandinavian trend based on simplicity and lightness, with the belief that a certain approach to furniture would have a positive impact on people’s health and mood.
The minimalism of the hygge style has caught on over the last year, merging with more traditional styles, reinventing them.
This is the case of the Japanese style of furniture, which has undergone a very interesting evolution, generating a trend much appreciated by designers today : we are talking about wabi sabi furniture.
What is wabi sabi?
Wabi sabi is a Japanese philosophy that has existed since the 15th century, born as a reaction to the dominant trends of the time, which relied heavily on the abuse of ornaments, abundance and the use of rare materials.
In direct contrast, wabi sabi is all about finding beauty in imperfection, the symbiotic relationship with nature, the earth, the simple pleasures of life, those that the modern age has mortified and humiliated, and not only in the West.
At the base of this style of furniture there is the importance of authenticity, of the search for truth, which is obtained by operating a conspicuous subtraction, eliminating the superfluous.
If desired, we could say that wabi sabi is more a lifestyle than a style of furniture, which then finds expression in design.
In some ways, it is linked to the best known “feng shui” , according to which the arrangement and composition of the furniture could influence and condition the psycho-physical well-being of people.
Also in this case, as in “feng shui”, applying the precepts of this new trend means embracing a philosophy of life, accepting things as they are without filling them with frills to make them appear better.
In short, it is not by putting the dust under the carpet that you clean your house.
Wabi sabi furniture: the importance of natural materials
Since a large part of wabi-sabi is about connecting with the earth, it is no surprise that this interior design trend is based on the use of natural materials.
Attention: you don’t have to limit yourself to evaluating which furniture and natural furnishing accessories to include in the house. You have to think broadly, organically.
It is possible to combine these materials with furniture of your favorite style, even if some are more suitable than others; shabby chic and industrial design offer more possibilities.
How to proceed?
Well, you have to try to identify which natural and imperfect element can go well with the look of your home.
If you prefer a more minimal, Nordic style, you could insert furniture or accessories in light wood, perhaps rough.
If, on the other hand, you love the warmer and richer Mediterranean style, you could add some terracotta elements.
Whatever material you use, remember that authenticity is the key.
What does it mean?
That you have to find furnishing elements not of industrial origin, perhaps fake vintage objects or objects created with modern materials.
You have to focus on specialized shops, flea markets, craft markets and the like.
Research is a fundamental element to create a real wabi sabi furniture.
Wabi sabi furniture: focus on simplicity
As mentioned before, with the wabi-sabi simplicity is the key, while allowing the “imperfect” elements inserted in the furniture to emerge, being central to the general economy of the house. In short, the wabi sabi soul must represent the focal point, this means that you will have to rethink – or think – of the furniture according to the principles that animate it.
Remove all the superfluous, focusing only on simple objects and accessories, but also inserting a little “life”, so some houseplants that make everything more natural and fresh.
Wabi sabi furniture: embrace imperfections
The last piece of advice we want to give you is also the most important. To create wabi sabi décor you will have to embrace – and deliberately create – imperfections.
So, don’t go looking for the chair that perfectly matches your dining room table, or the perfect dressing table for the hallway. Put aside your natural instinct, as well as the proposals of the market, and revolutionize your idea of home. Take different chairs, by color and structure, and match them seamlessly to the table. Blend the styles without worrying about what would be most appropriate. Did you find an old worn out decorated tray in your parents’ attic? Perfect, take it and take it home. Of course, you will not have to create a chaotic environment, where everything fits but nothing is in its place. You must always work to ensure general harmony, while respecting the basic principles of wabi sabi: simplicity, naturalness, imperfection.
Who would have thought that a Japanese philosophy of the 15th century could inspire the furniture of today trends, and yet it happened. Interior design has its roots in the history and culture of places, trying to reinvent them, giving them freshness and contemporaneity. The wabi sabi style is exactly this: the past that tells the present.