Wabi sabi……

She says with a straight face.

No kidding.

I have just come back from a whirlwind tour from Geneva to Brighton, England.  It was a paint thing.  (honestly, Chalk Paint has changed my life.)  I flew to Geneva where my friend/fellow painty person picked me up.  I camped at her house for a night and the next day we set off for France to meet another friend/painty person.  We stayed over in Brittany and then the next day set off to Brighton, England where the conference was held.  Thelma and Louis 2013.  We took the Chunnel.  Freaky that.

Anyway……while in a W.H. Smith book store we loaded up on English books (New Direction for the kids, design for me.)  I picked up the most amazing book “Elle Decor Country Living.”  It is full of the most inspirational homes and photographs that are simply drool worthy.

So, I am reading a story about home owners in France and part of the style description was “wabi sabi”.  Of course I had no idea what it was, I thought perhaps Japanese but the photos matching the description were nothing like any Japanese style I have ever seen.

So of course needing to know instantly what this is I turned to my trusty computer and searched.  And I felt as though a massive lightbulb just went off above my head.

Now this may sound silly, but, it is not very often  that new design terms are created.  Particularly one with such a silly name.

What is “wabi sabi”?

well, let me tell you!

Wabi sabi is a term used to describe a type of design that actually celebrates flaws and imperfections as part of design and living space.  It is life with all its imperfections and flaws.  It is accepting things the way they are and enjoying them.

It is a wooden bowl with a crack, it is a cabinet with a broken door, it is a wooden table with a scratch and it is a gilded mirror missing a bit of gold.  It is life.  It is living and enjoying everything that there is to the best of our ability and not worrying about the imperfections.

And this concept carries through from design to beauty to relationships to foods as well as to our jobs.

It isn’t perfect and we should enjoy it all for what it is and for the pleasure it gives us.




A beautiful table with a natural stress fracture is no big deal…..








The above photos may be too extreme for some people.  But it is the concept behind it that is important.  Learning to abandon the notion that everything has to be perfect.  It is human nature to want to be surrounded by beautiful things….but teaching yourself that even the cracked and broken also have beauty is a life lesson and something that should be handed down from generation to generation.

Perfection can be boring.



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