In 2017, we were all about “hygge,” the Scandinavian design trend that focused on creating simple interiors that are infused with comfort. This year, it’s time to take things a step further. Say hello to wabi-sabi design, the Japanese-inspired trend that’s bound to become your new favorite look.
Keep reading to learn more about what wabi-sabi stands for, why it’s so compelling as a design trend, and how you can bring the look into the rooms of your own home. We’re sure that by the time you get to the end of this post, you’ll be ready to try this aesthetic out for yourself.
What is wabi-sabi?
Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy that has been around since the 15th century. It came about as a reaction to the dominant trends of the time, which relied heavily on over-ornamentation, lavishness, and the use of rare materials.
In direct contrast, wabi-sabi is all about finding beauty in imperfection. It involves grounding oneself by forming a deep connection to the earth and enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Above all, it centers around recognizing the importance of authenticity and striving to remain authentic in all aspects of one’s life.
For some, wabi-sabi is more of a guiding principle than a design trend. It’s about accepting things as they are, rather than spending your time wishing for something better, and retraining yourself to find the positives in less-than-ideal situations. However, even if you’re not ready to go all-in philosophically, including some of these principles into your interiors may be a great starting point.
Use natural materials
Since a large part of wabi-sabi is about connecting to the earth, it’s no surprise that this interior design trend relies on the use of natural materials. It’s possible to incorporate these materials no matter where your aesthetic preferences may lie. For example, someone who prefers Nordic design might build their design around light woods while someone who enjoys a Mediterranean look might include lots of terra cotta.
Whichever materials you use, remember that authenticity is key. In this case, it’s preferable to opt for the real deal over mass-produced versions. Consider taking a step outside the norm and shopping for your design elements away from big-box stores. Flea markets, craft shows, and independently-owned shops are all viable alternatives.