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{living well home & garden}

"A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy." – Luis Barragan

WABI-SABI Embracing Imperfection

by Becky Calvert

One of this year’s design trends, wabi-sabi, is an untranslatable Japanese word that is both a worldview as well as a design approach. Similar to last year’s Scandinavian “hygge,” wabi-sabi embraces the natural world and can be an all-encompassing attitude applied to every aspect of one’s life: housekeeping, gardening, fashion and an approach to everyday living. Rooted in Zen Buddhism, wabi-sabi celebrates the beauty of imperfection. It’s about embracing the beauty that exists in the modest, the rustic, the imperfect and even decayed, for it is in the use of these objects that the beauty and worth are developed. Kintsugi, the centuries old Japanese art of repairing pottery, uses gold, so that the repair stands out as part of the history of the object. Natural materials that age well are key components in the tradition of wabi-sabi. A wabi-sabi space is simplistic, unpretentious and comfortable. The colors of wabi-sabi are soft and muted—grays, taupes, pale greens, blues and lavenders. Wood, stone and metal quality pieces are


June 2018

preferred over mass-produced items as well as plastic or vinyl pieces. Think outside the big box store when looking for home furnishings, such as independently owned shops, and craftsmen and flea markets can offer some unique items with character in which to decorate your wabi-sabi inspired home. In the garden, wabi-sabi leans towards native plants, better adapted to thriving with little effort. It means soft borders on gardens, meandering paths, leaving seed heads and other imperfections in the garden. Wabi-sabi can be applied towards relationships, too, such as by accepting other’s faults as well as your own. This trend can be described as paying attention to life’s simple pleasures, while accepting the fingerprints on the wall along the stairs, the weathered wood chairs in the slightly untamed backyard and wearing the beloved frayed sweater. It’s about embracing and relishing the messy imperfection of life.

Profile for Ivy Life & Style Media

CharlottesvilleFamily BLOOM June 2018  

Volume 19 Issue 6

CharlottesvilleFamily BLOOM June 2018  

Volume 19 Issue 6