perfectly, imperfect

get the word on why we love wabi-sabi design

New year, new you. It’s not like you’ve heard it here first. As we close one year and enter a new decade, resolutions run rampant. Many of those resolutions revolve around striving for perfection: getting to the perfect weight, finding that perfect job, finding your perfect match or even your perfect home. We’d like to throw perfection out of the window and embrace 2020s design trend, and philosophy, known as wabi-sabi. A Japanese term that essentially means finding beauty in imperfection.  

What is wabi-sabi design?

The ancient Japanese philosophy has been around since the 15th century (talk about recycled design trends), and it rose to fame as defiance against the dominant trend of that time, which was overtly ornamental, lavish and relished in rare materials. Rooted in Buddhism, wabi-sabi encourages a more liberating perspective. It fosters an appreciation of the imperfect and impermanent, one-of-a-kind irregularities and well-worn pieces full of history and stories. For some, the idea of enjoying the simple pleasures in life is more of a guiding principle than a design trend.

For us, it’s both.

// as a design trend //

keep it simple

Keep possessions to a minimum by bringing in only things that provide beauty, functionality or nostalgia. Wabi-sabi is the sensibility that surrounding yourself with materials and objects that offer calmness and happiness will curate a positive atmosphere.   

embrace aging

Age comes with time. The newest and brightest eventually turns into the weathered and antique. Don’t always throw out the old—enjoy what you already have or what’s been passed down through generations. Scuffed antiques deserve a spot front and center.

bring on the flora fauna

Organic goods inherently bring on the good vibes and have naturally healing, grounding qualities. Bring in house plants and maybe an occasional bouquet of fresh flora.

natural materials

The natural impurities found in nature—plants, wood, stone—are a daily reminder of the beauty in imperfection. Incorporate less plastic, more wood, glass, ceramic, marble, concrete and stone throughout your home.

make it well-edited

De-cluttering is a great start to a new year. When clearing out, keep things with sentimental value or objects that bring joy. Make sure your aesthetic choices remain purposeful.

incorporate homemade

Hello, artisanal goods. Not only are you supporting local crafters and makers, but you’ll find true one-of-a-kind value in beautifully handmade pieces. Items made by hand wear slight irregularities that add to the uniqueness.

embrace imperfection

We saved the most important point for last. No matter the look you’re going for, remember that not only will it never be perfect, but the imperfections are what make your home special. 

// as a guiding principle //

keep it simple

The nature of no-fuss is straightforward, strive to do things that simply make you happy every day. Keep this in mind by recording your happy moments.  

embrace aging

Need we say more? Allow yourself to age gracefully, appreciate wrinkles that mark a life of laughter and smiles. With age comes wisdom.

bring on the flora fauna

As coined by REI—get outside! Making time to get in the great outdoors heals the spirit and is a much-needed reminder that the daily buzz comprised of work and errands is not what life is all about.

natural materials

Consume raw, organic, honest materials as much as possible through your food choices, skincare, makeup and cleaning products for a healthy, long-lasting, sustainable lifestyle.

make it well-edited

Time is valuable and fleeting. Make time to eliminate stressful, unnecessary meet-ups with people that don’t bring you joy. Be conscious of how you spend your time, like keeping tech time to a minimum. Make daily goals of how much you want to be in an alternate reality of social media versus living your best life.

incorporate homemade

We’re all born with a creative spirit, it’s time to find your creative outlet, or devote more time to your current practice.

embrace imperfection

Love yourself. You’re perfectly, imperfect.