Wabi Sabi is more than just a style, it is an age-old tradition.
Emerging in the 15th century as a reaction to the prevailing aesthetic of lavishness, ornamentation, and rich materials, Wabi Sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness, of revering authenticity above all. A tradition that is deeply ingrained in the Japanese way of life. (Ref: R Griggs Lawrence, Natural Home)
The words Wabi and Sabi (much like the Danish hygge or even gezelligheid in Dutch) don’t directly translate into English.
"Wabi" evokes a fresh, rustic simplicity, and peace, either in the natural world around us or in objects we make or own.
"Sabi" celebrates the gracefulness of age, when an object we own, for example, gains a patina, visible wear, or even noticeable repairs.
Designing a space that imbues the Wabi Sabi style does not require any specialist training however, nor does it require a lot of money. It’s about accepting and appreciating the character of things you might normally dismiss. Things without ornamentation as opposed to perfection. You don’t have to understand why you’re drawn to something, but you do have to accept it as it is.
It’s a calm soft colour palette, more often than not earthy dusty tones which are the ideal backdrop for a minimalist, uncluttered space. Bright colours are kept at bay.
Colour trend-watchers everywhere agree that earthy colours are a big crowd-pleaser moving into 2021 (don’t fret there are colourful hues too), and it’s these simple yet intimate shades that epitomise Wabi Sabi interiors.
See the Dulux Colour Forecast 2021 for more on these shades.