This ancient Japanese ethos is making its way into our homes—and we love it! We spoke to Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy trend expert to learn more.
There’s a new ethos gaining ground in home décor and it has everything to do with ditching the perfect for the lived-in and weathered. It’s called Wabi Sabi, and it’s an ancient Japanese worldview that celebrated impermanence and imperfection. We spoke to Etsy Trend Expert, Dayna Isom Johnson to learn more about Wabi Sabi and how to incorporate it into our homes.
Why should you think about a Wabi Sabi inspired space?
“We live in the age of pervasive Instagram perfection, one in which staged photos, strong filters and universally flattering lighting reign supreme,” says Johnson. “Wabi Sabi is a rebellion against rigid and often unrealistic ideals, one that encourages you to see the beauty and reality of the space you live in.” Wabi Sabi isn’t about a perfectly placed pillow or exactly symmetrical spaces. Instead it’s all about the hand made, things that have individuality and personality, and most importantly, pieces that mean something and speak to you. “It’s a long awaited invitation to stray from convention and expectation and instead celebrate individuality and comfort.”
How does it look in practice?
In theory, it sounds great. But how does that ethos apply to your home? “Wabi Sabi is brought to life with hand-built ceramic, wrinkled linen sheets and gently knarled wood,” says Johnson. It places an emphasis on organic materials, softly textured fabrics and shapes that are curved, natural and imperfect. The goal with Wabi Sabi is always to maintain function and livability—these are pieces to be used. “Keep in mind items that may be scratched or weathered,” says Johnson. Think of items that can be celebrated for their uniqueness. “The key is so embrace the realities of your life and your style, and celebrate their inherent beauty,” says Johnson. So don’t ditch your perfectly worn in leather chair or misshapen ceramics—these are points of pride and tell a story about your journey.
What are some ways to shop the trend?
Your best bet for adding Wabi Sabi-inspired pieces to your home is through shopping second-hand shops or artisans who focus on hand made pieces. Here are a few places to start.
Golem Designs Whistler Nesting Set, $182, etsy.com.
Linen Cloth Napkins, $65, crateandbarrel.com.
Perlinplims Mug Shop floral mug, $55, etsy.com.
Mimira Plates, $12USD each, anthropologie.com.