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Introducing Wabi Sabi - What is it & why has it increased in popularity?

What is 'Wabi Sabi'?

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic philosophy that values the beauty of imperfection, impermanence, and simplicity. It is rooted in Zen Buddhism and focuses on finding beauty in the natural world, particularly in things that are incomplete, rustic, and unpretentious.

Wabi-sabi celebrates the authenticity and uniqueness of objects, appreciating the marks of wear and tear that come with use and the beauty of materials that age gracefully over time. This philosophy encourages people to embrace the present moment, find contentment in simplicity, and appreciate the fleeting nature of life.

Wabi-sabi is not just limited to art and design but can also be applied to various aspects of life, including relationships, personal growth, and spirituality. It encourages us to accept and appreciate the flaws and imperfections in ourselves and others and to find beauty in the natural cycles of life, such as birth, growth, decay, and death.

So now we can certainly understand the enthusiasm surrounding this concept in recent years - especially after a challenging set of years.

Wabi Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic concept that celebrates the beauty in imperfection, impermanence, and incompleteness. It is a philosophy that emphasizes the appreciation of the simple and natural, and it finds beauty in the unexpected and the flawed.

The term "wabi sabi" is derived from two words: "wabi" and "sabi." "Wabi" refers to simplicity, humility, and the beauty found in the imperfection of things. "Sabi" refers to the beauty that comes with age and the passing of time, as well as the impermanence and transience of things.

The wabi sabi philosophy is rooted in Zen Buddhism, and it has been a part of Japanese culture for centuries. It values the natural world, and it encourages people to live in harmony with their surroundings. Wabi sabi is not about achieving perfection, but rather about finding beauty in the imperfect and the incomplete.

One of the key principles of wabi sabi is the acceptance of imperfection. In Japanese culture, objects that are worn, damaged, or weathered are often considered more valuable than those that are new and pristine. This is because these imperfections are seen as evidence of the object's history and the passage of time. In the same way, wabi sabi celebrates the imperfections and flaws in people and the world around us.

In design, wabi sabi is reflected in the use of natural materials, such as wood, stone, and clay. These materials are left in their natural state, and their imperfections are celebrated.

The design is simple and uncluttered, with a focus on function over form.

The beauty is found in the subtle details, such as the grain of the wood or the texture of the stone.

In conclusion, wabi sabi is a philosophy that celebrates the beauty in imperfection, impermanence, and incompleteness. It is a reminder to live in harmony with our surroundings and to find beauty in the simple and natural. Wabi sabi encourages us to embrace our imperfections and to appreciate the transience of life, reminding us to live in the present moment and to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

With that said, today's wabi sabi trends are rooted in a modern version of this aesthetic, usually a balance between genuine wabi sabi & contemporary modern (think japandi and scandanevian elements, immersed with 'wabi sabi' design.)

The outcome is often a soft, zen, peaceful & tranquil space.

Be careful not to confuse Wabi Sabi with Japandi, though!

Here are more examples & latest trends for inspiration:


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