Wabi-Sabi- the paradoxical interior concept or another idea of beauty?

By Manasi Bhosale in Beauty, Fashion & Trends » Trends
Updated 13:48 IST Nov 20, 2019

Views » 989 | 4 min read

Wabi-Sabi- the paradoxical interior concept or another idea of beauty?


An article I was reading the other day had a picture of a blue bowl with a wide, visible crack in it. This crack was reconstructed with “golden joinery”- the repairs were conspicuous but somehow appealing.

The caption said- ‘Kintsugi: the Japanese art of mending broken pottery using (lacquer) resin laced with gold’.

This age-old art embraces an object with all its damage and imperfections. It reconstructs and repairs broken ceramics to give them new life so that they become even more charismatic thanks to the “disfigurement”. These objects are not to be discarded but to be displayed with a feeling of pride- they do have a unique story to tell.


The craft has become a kind of anthem in recent times:

with the hope that we all may be able to embrace our experiences positively and live with our “scars of gold”!


Kintsugi pottery is often seen as an artistic expression of the wabi-sabi interior philosophy. 


Wabi-Sabi is not a design trend, it is just a guideline to finding beauty in imperfection. A wabi-sabi home is based on simplicity and authenticity- a less than perfect place with a warm, lived-in look.


Rather than fretting and obsessing over every detail that never seems to be perfected, this home lives in harmony with all its shortcomings.

Seems like an approach we all are tempted to try!

Of course, unusual ideas such as wabi-sabi aren’t always the easiest to apply, especially when it comes to our own home. Even if you are not philosophically inclined towards it, some of these wabi-sabi interior principles can be a great starting point:



Age comes over time - allow things in your home to age gracefully. Do not always succumb to the need of displaying the shiniest and newest piece you own. Keep items that make you happy, not just those that fit your aesthetics. Keep a connect with your genuine taste regardless of trending styles.



When working towards making a Wabi-Sabi home, colours do not need to be dull and boring. Any soothing colour palette from nature can work beautifully along with lots of neutrals, earthy hues, and grey tones.



Go for organic, natural materials. Let the raw textures show in its simplicity. Place rough sticks and natural branches in containers or pots, place a collection of stones - let things be free and loose. Nothing finished! Nothing perfect!


There is nothing more genuine than homemade or locally made decor. These can be found items, gifted items, vintage items...

The warmth in the imperfections and character one finds in these artisanal products is incomparable. Go right ahead and gracefully position your find from the local market or show off the pottery u tried your hand at, with pride.


Freedom in design is the key concept of wabi-sabi design. You need not restrict your design to fit into a prevailing style. Go quirky, mix and match your pieces. Keep the ones that make you happy even if it is not a perfect fit aesthetically. The things that bring out fondest memories, appropriateness, aesthetic value or a combination of all three should be a part of the wabi-sabi home.


I love the simplicity that wabi-sabi honors..an honest way of living life. 

We have so much to learn from this design style that can give us a sense of freedom and brings sustainability too.

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Kalamwali 20-Nov-2019 10:38

Such a beautiful and thoughtful piece! Never thought wabi sabi could actually be applied at home.

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