Got a fancy home but don’t feel a sense of connection? Then turn to wabi-sabi style for inspiration. This Japanese interior design style appreciates natural and simple dwellings that embrace the concept of time — with its effects.

Many find it hard to emulate wabi-sabi aesthetics as it is more instinct-based rather than following a checklist. We can make it real simple for you. Remember three basic rules — find beauty in imperfection, embellish your home with what you have, and remember, wear and tear only adds character and a personal touch.

What is the philosophy of wabi-sabi?

Wabi-Sabi is not just an interior decor style. It is a way of living wherein your home reflects a sense of calm and simplicity. The individual decor items you use in a room, from paintings to other decorative pieces speak of nostalgia and history, and are things you connect with. The pieces of furniture your own serve a purpose apart from getting you on the cover of a decor magazine. Let’s show you some easy ways to introduce this style at home:

#1: Stay as natural as possible

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Use natural materials as far as possible

Durability is what this style teaches us. Opt for lasting materials like wood, leather, wool and clay to embrace nature in all its goodness. If you’ve inherited an old piece of furniture with slight wear and tear, give it a prominent space in any room. The weathered look is sufficient proof that it passed the test of time — a core principle of wabi-sabi.

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A distressed look is what you need to aim for

Wood, stone, leather, clay and more are available in plenty in nature. Although natural, they seem to attract a rather heavy price. An artificial, distressed-finish or ready-made furniture designed to look antique will just go against the principles of wabi-sabi.

Wabi Sabi Style Wooden Table
Wabi Sabi Style Wooden Table

Pared back flooring, raw concrete walls, unpolished wooden surfaces — although surprise the outsiders — all revere authenticity. Wabi-sabi enthusiasts believe that finishes cover up the originality of the material.

#2: Get rid of clutter to get wabi-sabi style right

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A clean look is essential for wabi-sabi style

It’s not about what we can afford but what we need. Minimalism and functionality is the key in wabi-sabi home decor. An open space doesn’t just let you move around, but also doesn’t obstruct light, air or your thought process.

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Embrace the beauty of decluttered spaces

Declutter your home and get rid of anything that you haven’t used in the past six months. Remember that maintenance is usually hard and frustrating so leave out anything that breaks you down physically and emotionally.

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Allow natural light to flow in

Famous collectors are known for their picky taste. Thus, even if your first instinct is to pep up your home with decor, choose wisely. Present to your guests only what swells you with pride rather than a boring collection of trinkets. Add something with nostalgic value to keep you connected and grounded.

#3: Wabi-sabi style teaches us to keep things functional

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Utilise corners and create niche storage spaces

Many find it difficult to balance minimalism and elegant decor. Why not merge the two by adding decor that is useful? Invest in beautiful utilitarian objects so that your home is not filled with things that just occupy space, but also serve a purpose. Wabi-sabi furniture design is all about prioritising functionality over everything else.

#4: Go green or go home

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Surround yourself with greenery

Inspire a sense of serenity with nature. Wabi-sabi manifests in heavier tones, like greys, blues and greens that reflects nature and pastel shades like cream, sand, for a muted look from the desert and the beach.

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Pretty planters can add that wabi-sabi style vibe

Let your home break you away from the tiresome social life and cocoon you in a relaxing ambience. Bring in planters and flowers that instill a sense of tranquillity within you.

#5: A flood of light and air

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Get rid of heavy curtains and let light flow in

We know how air and sunlight in a room can transform the way it looks and feels. A wabi-sabi style house stresses on filtered light — to avoid harsh rays and yet flood the room with a sense of warmth. Sheer curtains, mirrors and glossy surfaces work well for this purpose.

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Fill up your home with fragrance

Let in fresh air and add some fragrance to boost your spirits. There is nothing more comforting than walking into a home that triggers a nostalgic memory. Bring in flowers, incense or even simmering water with essential oils to bring spring home. Try to get natural scents than something worked up in labs.

Wabi-sabi style focuses on giving you a chance to loosen up at home rather than just please the onlookers’ eye. After all, it is all about who resides in it. Let us know what element in your home fits this style.

How can Livspace help you?

We hope you found our ideas useful! If you want your home to be just as beautiful, then look no further. Book an online consultation with Livspace today. Delivering safe home interiors has been our No. 1 priority. Click here to find out how interiors are being delivered following all safety protocols.

You should check out this hometour too: This Condo Has the Best of Japanese and Minimalist Style.

Send in your comments & suggestions to editor.sg@livspace.com.