Marie Kondo’s “less is more” minimalist design philosophy has been riding the mainstream wave for years now, inspiring homeowners everywhere to reorganize their t-shirt and sweater drawers and ditch clutter that doesn’t “spark joy.”
Though it’s a practical way to re-prioritize what’s important in our homes, the joy-sparking method has one major flaw: It’s downright EXHAUSTING. Though it probably shouldn’t be, a minimalist lifestyle takes more than a minimal amount of effort. That’s where wabi sabi, the traditional Japanese aesthetic and world view focused on the acceptance of imperfection, comes in.
“What firmly disconnects wabi sabi from minimalism is appreciation and not perfecting, “Etsy’s Trend Expert Dayna Isom Johnson told HuffPost. “In minimalism, the goal is eliminating unnecessary objects and clutter with perfect execution. Wabi sabi is about the care and appreciation for items that may have blemishes or slight irregularity in the raw materials.”
Both trends embrace a lack of clutter while promoting the accumulation of mindful objects, though the end aesthetic of minimalism and wabi sabi is completely different.
“When trying to achieve wabi sabi zen, yes, eliminate clutter, but also celebrate those special pieces that have imperfections and embrace that beauty,” Johnson says.
For folks who want to embrace the imperfect side of life, here are 11 wabi sabi design and decor ideas to get started:
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