The 7 principles of wabi-sabi

According to Zen monks, this philosophy comprises seven practices:

- Shibumi – finding beauty in unpretentiousness

- Yugen – appreciating the finer details

- Datsuzoku - freedom

- Kanso – living simply

- Shizen – acting naturally, without pretence

- Fukinsei – appreciating asymmetry and imperfection

Seijaku – Incorporating calmness into your way of life

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How is wabi-sabi applied to interior design?

This way of living initially appears to embrace minimalism but this is only to the extent that it centres on all that is truly essential, gently reminding us that more does not equal better. Ultimately, it means knowing how to differentiate between what you want and what you actually need.

It’s the opposite of consumerism that favours impulse buying over long-lasting quality. When it comes to wabi-sabi, this could translate into appreciating the simple charm of a broken old plate, and choosing to keep it, for example.

It’s about finding beauty in less-than-perfect objects based on their history and sentimental value. It means embracing the authenticity that resides in simplicity and imperfection. Nothing is forever, so old objects should be considered assets rather than rejects.

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Why we're big wabi-sabi fans

Because it’s a sustainable way of life that finds value in organic materials, furniture and decoration passed down from generation to generation, and celebrates the beauty of practical items that are made to last a life-time.

This would include artisanal crafts and traditional techniques, solid woods and natural fibres, all of which bring us unique items with a value that greatly exceeds that of the object itself.

Wabi-sabi means being down-to-earth, focusing on who we really are rather than what society expects us to be. Take a moment to breathe, think about the truly important things in life, and embrace imperfections, including your own.

Looking for more inspiration? Keep reading our blog for more tips and ideas.

May 14, 2021, 2:53 p.m.
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