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Style Spotlight: Wabi-Sabi Decor Style Embraces Imperfection

Simplicity of nature and its impermanence are key to this style, which is sometimes described as “perfectly imperfect.”

Amanda Scott
Amanda Scott
Wabi-Sabi inspired bathroom

Wabi-sabi is a way of life that is based on the Japanese philosophy of accepting and embracing imperfections, it accepts complexity while at the same time valuing simplicity. As wabi-sabi gains popularity as a decor style, it is not particularly easy to define due its very impermanent character. However, there are a few features most interior designers can agree on: Wabi-sabi is inspired by nature in its materials, structure, and colors; there is no “wrong” way to do it, as long as it is in harmony with the self; and this particular style is never quite finished, it’s ever changing, just as life is, and accepting this characteristic is part of the beauty of it.


Wabi-sabi is inspired by colors in nature, but that doesn’t mean it must be muted shades. Generally, the base tones are muted, but don’t forget that vivid colors are also found in nature. These make excellent accents.

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Organic materials such as wood, stone, and glass are commonly used in this decor style. It’s not unheard of for furniture to look rough or unfinished, as this “unfinished” quality contributes to the wabi-sabi principle of nothing ever being finished or perfect. Keep this in mind as you choose elements for your wabi-sabi space.

Textures of Wabi-Sabi Decor Style


In your kitchen, choose cabinets with simple fronts and hardware shapes that are aesthetically pleasing and nature-inspired. There are fireclay sinks which provide a natural appearance and, when paired with a classic-looking faucet, will complement a wabi-sabi kitchen space just right.

Wabi-Sabi Decor Style Kitchen examples


Floors and floor coverings should keep the homeowner grounded and close to nature. As such, flooring should be natural such as wood or cork.

Wabi-Sabi Decor Style Flooring Examples

Rugs are an opportunity to add color with little effort and come in many natural fibers. Choose one in a round shape or eco-inspired pattern to contribute to the flow of the room.

Textured Wabi-Sabi Decor Style Rugs


Nature never offends with harsh light, and neither should your home lighting. Choose pendant, chandelier, or dome lighting that will provide enough light to illuminate the space while not overtaking it with a glare.

Wabi-Sabi Decor Style Lighting examples


The accent decor in your space is a great opportunity to personalize the area, switch it up occasionally, and generally embrace the impermanence of wabi-sabi. Choose your items carefully, as the idea of wabi-sabi is to live simply and uncluttered with what you love and need, appreciating it fully.

Wabi-Sabi Decor Options

Every facet of your Wabi-sabi decor should be something that brings you joy, soothes you, and encourages you to enjoy your space just as it is. As you create your space, think carefully about what is necessary and what is not and what will inspire you each day.

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