“I gave up my struggle with perfection a long time ago,” Les Misérables actress Anne Hathaway is quoted as saying. “That is a concept I don’t find very interesting anymore.”
If your beliefs on perfection align with Hathaway’s, you’re in luck: Wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy focused on the acceptance of impermanence and imperfection, is permeating the home décor industry, says Etsy trend forecaster Dayna Isom Johnson.
“No matter your personal style, there is one key factor to nailing this trend for your home design: find the beauty in the not-so-perfect,” she tells Elle Décor. “Keep it real, be authentic, and be happy that for once you don’t have to make your bed to be cool.”
This mindset sounds good to us. On that note, keep reading for our tips on welcoming the wabi-sabi viewpoint into your home.
Look for handmade décor accents.
J D Wolfe Handmade Miniature Pots ($20 for 3)
When you buy handmade products, you can be sure of one thing: no two items are alike. So, if you want the edge when incorporating the wabi-sabi worldview into your décor and design, handmade décor accents – such as these miniature clay pots – are the way to go. Not only will you naturally celebrate the beauty of imperfection, but you’ll also be guaranteed one-of-a-kind designs.
Use natural materials such as wood.
Anthropologie Wood Condiment Tray ($38)
Do you remember the scene in Sex and the City where Aidan tells Carrie the “flaws” in wood are the best part? Well, we can’t help but wonder: Was Aidan into wabi-sabi way back when? Jokes aside, natural materials such as wood and stone have knots and marks that occur organically. Bring these elements into your home, and you’ve kicked a wabi-sabi hole-in-one.
Find pieces made out of recycled materials.
Basha Kantha Quilt ($140)
There’s possibly no better way to embrace imperfection than by using recycled materials to create something new. For example, Kantha quilts (which originate in Bangladesh and the eastern states of India) are typically made using fabric from old saris, which is then sewn together using Kantha stitching. These quilts are a beautiful mishmash of colours and patterns, given new life. Kantha stitching is also used on pillows and tablecloths, which means there is a multitude of ways for you to try this perfectly imperfect style in your home.
Bring the outside world in.
Urban Outfitters Matilde Bulb Vase ($24)
Instead of thinking too hard about the design of your home, just embrace the beauty around you. If you see a pretty flower or an unusual leaf, pick it and add it to a vase. Enjoy the simplicity and impermanence of a flower or a leaf, while it lasts, then embrace whatever moment comes next. This attitude helps make wabi-sabi less trend, more mindset, and that’s something we can get behind.
More home décor inspiration: