Are you someone who loves pretty, sparkly, elegant, or glamorous in home decor?
Do you love to continually redecorate, change with the seasons etc. Are you someone who loves accessories? Many people have this “refined” up to date, concept of beauty and want their living spaces to reflect that.
Believe it or not, there are also people who are equally determined not to have spaces that are perfect and new. They like more pared down, earthy, calm environments that have “real” objects in them. Some refer to this look as zen.
As in all things there is usually a middle road that people like to take. I am certainly not, nor never have been, attracted to glamorous spaces, with silk, sparkle and too much excess. Comfortable, calm and clean lined is more my vibe.
I have always found the Japanese world view/aesthetic of wabi sabi that acknowledges three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect, very freeing. Such beliefs allow you to accept the dents, scratches, wrinkles, splits, cracks and scuffs as part of the history of a piece that makes it unique and authentic. If you want to know more about wabi sabi check out this post.
Natural materials predominate in wabi sabi homes: paper, aged wood, linens, cottons, etc. Look for anything that celebrates the marks of time, weather, and the effects of loving use. In other words look for objects with history on their surfaces.
I am definitely attracted to the tenets of wabi sabi, and if you went around my home you would see subtle evidence of my interest in the marks of time, wood, and natural materials like cotton and linen.
But you would also see pristine, light, glass and leather. For me combining new and old is also a statement that probably brings more attention to the less than perfect objects and what they mean.
I find spaces that have obviously combined the up to date with the old and authentic very interesting, and I think about them as approaching wabi sabi rather than fully embracing it.
An old door made new with yellow
A less than perfect stool in a white bathroom
Pristine white sofas paired with antique, simple tables and a wooden bowl.
An updated but old space with remnants of the world outside displayed.
Modern art paired with a rustic bench and less than perfect but evocative pottery.
Isn’t great interest created when you set up comparisons in your space?