04 February, 2011


"Wabi is the beauty that springs from the creative energy that flows in all things, animate or not. It's a beauty that, like nature itself, can appear with dark and light, sad and joyful, rough and gentle"
Makoto Ueda

Beauty of imperfection... the quintessence of Japanese aesthetic. Ephemeral and incomplete, undeclared, almost unnoticeable. The kind of humble beauty that can be seen only in a balanced, quiet state of mind.

Wabi-sabi is a concept drawn directly from Buddhist philosophy, based on contemplation of nature with its continuous cycle of birth, growth, decay and death... An idea entirely opposite to our European aesthetic shaped by ancient Greek ideals of symmetry and perfect, mathematically calculated proportions. Wabi-sabi aesthetic are intuitive rather than intelectuall, described by presence of natural processes and intimate atmosphere, simplicity, modesty, asymmetry and asperity.

Wabi-sabi can not be perceived as a decorating style but rather as a state of mind that creates certain atmosphere. It is a way of living, harmonious minimalism, the art of eliminating the unnecessary and touching the essential. Japanese architect Tadao Ando, in his study of wabi-sabi wrote: "...interiors tend to be muted, dimly lit, and shadowy-giving the rooms an enveloping, womblike feeling. Natural materials that are vulnerable to weathering, warping, shrinking, cracking, and peeling lend an air of perishability. The palette is drawn from browns, blacks, grays, earthy greens, and rusts."

Axel Vervoordt, an interior decorator and art collector, applied wabi-sabi aesthetics while renovating his magnificent medieval castle of van 's-Gravenwezel. The twelfth-century building, with its bare rooms, worn-out walls and peeling paint, became a perfect canvas for creating new, harmonious and relaxing atmosphere: "Wabi interacts with interiors in a perfect manner, giving them depth and intelligence."

images via: Marie Claire


  1. I love all of this beauty that lays in all of the simplicity really. This home express such balance and stillness! Totally get it has something to do with Buddhist philosophy.
    Ps. We must have a very special connetion you and I, both singing Ain´t no sunshine at the same day. So glad you stopped by to discover that:)!
    Happy weekend!

  2. Lovely post, the interior so serene, simple and calm....Have a great weekend,


  3. Beautiful post, love the interiors natural look, so serene.
    Answering to your question, the plates with shell texture are from the 2009 Pottery Barn Summer Collection, I hope you can find them.
    Thanks for your lovely comments on our blog.
    Have a nice weekend.

  4. Oh, so pretty! Simple and beautiful!

    Camila F.

  5. Interesting read, and serene beautiful images.
    Happy weekend! L.

  6. I´m doing some large black and white paintings at the moment and the first two pictures really inspired me. Thanks!!

  7. i am in complete appropriateness with this philosophy... i am touch in my soul by that...perhaps because i used to in Asia...and i miss it so much!!!! wonderful post...Bravo!!!!!! wow;;;tks for this so nice gift!!!!!

  8. Beautiful philosophy. This is the first time I heard of Wabi-Sabi and now I shall delve deeper into understanding this philosophy.

    Beautifully expressed and even better presented post.

  9. my fav post on your blog!!!
    p.s.: the answer of your question is on my blog :-)

  10. I am on board with this design style for sure!

  11. Looove this post, beautiful pictures and I also love the wabi sabi philosophy!

  12. What a wonderful space, so organic and cozy. It's always great to see a house so strongly connected to it's surrounding environment

  13. these spaces feel so warm and a place where you can enjoy
    calm and peaceful thoughts

  14. this is fantastic. thanks for sharing!

  15. wonderful lesson, beautiful images...thank you!

  16. Beautiful! The wabi-sabi aesthetic is very inspirational. Thanks for sharing. www.turningstonedesign.com


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