WABI-SABI: Mastering the Japanese Style Interior Design Trend

WABI-SABI: Mastering the Japanese Style Interior Design Trend
JAPANESE STYLE CURTAINS - image courtesy of Sangetsu

Cherry blossoms fall
They dare not to sweep,
flawed art is strange yet real.

Originating from the land of the rising sun where art is deeply interwoven into everyday life, Haiku (俳句) is a traditional Japanese poem that intends to stimulate emotions with the use of simplistic yet vivid images depicting the four seasons. As Springtime envelops Japan, the sea of pink Cherry blossoms (桜の花) combined with the scenic landscape of Japanese traditional houses creates a view that only seems plausible in a cinematic realm. Cherry blossom is a staple of Japanese culture and art; this flower exhibits a delicate shade of blush and creamy white yet, holds such a profound symbolism of Japanese principle.

For the Japanese people, Cherry blossom signifies the fragility and the beauty of life. This juxtaposition of a spring flower is a testimony that although being in existence is a wondrous experience, it is also devastatingly fleeting. Amidst this inevitable fate, the Japanese people found a silver lining and integrated this notion into the Japanese art. The ephemerality of a Cherry blossom as it withers when Spring comes to an end, along with its imperfections for its beauty is accentuated the more it is scattered around formulate one of the finest concepts of Japanese art.

"Cherry blossom signifies the fragility and the beauty of life. "

WABI-SABI: Mastering the Japanese Style Interior Design Trend
WABI-SABI: Mastering the Japanese Style Interior Design Trend
FLORAL ACCENT CHAIRS - image courtesy of Sangetsu

The Art of Wabi-Sabi

Whether dating back in the 15th century such as the Renaissance art or the Minimalist art trend of the 21st century, most art movements dictate a set of rules that confine someone’s creativity based on someone else’s perception of beauty. The Japanese art concept that is Wabi-Sabi (侘寂) encourages but primarily, challenges humans’ creativity to embrace the eccentric idea that beauty can be imperfect and impermanent – just like the enchanting Cherry blossom. Wabi-Sabi is an artistic protest against the flourishing standard of beauty that preaches lavishness, embellishments, and the perpetuity of something are the bases of its value and artistry. The Japanese art of Wabi-Sabi, Wabi, denoting simplicity, and Sabi, or the beauty of aging, celebrates the authenticity and blemishes of things in a sea of pretentious and quintessential materials.

Wabi-Sabi also connotes a way of living. For someone who practices this Japanese art concept, life is all about balancing on the tightrope of extremity and prudence. When problems or decisions arise, Wabi-Sabi enthusiasts venture on the path of spontaneity for they understand that an overly calculated approach often results to unauthentic memories and a monotonous life. The manner in which we live our lives is subjective and so is art; being authentic and genuine to your own design and art style triumphs over any preexisting art movements. Changing the way we perceive art is changing the way we live our lives.

WABI-SABI: Mastering the Japanese Style Interior Design Trend
JAPANESE STYLE CURTAINS - image courtesy of Sangetsu

Japanese style interior design

The Japanese art concept Wabi-Sabi has been infiltrating the walls of contemporary art and modern interior design particularly this year. It trounces down and rejects the well-favored home design that is mass-produced, technology-saturated or extravagant in nature. The Japanese art of Wabi-Sabi absorbed in interior style is a balance of modern interior design while still acknowledging one’s authentic touch – never losing connection to one’s genuine taste regardless of it being deemed atrocious by society’s pre-imposed interior styles.

Does a blank and unembellished wall scare you? Or a cracked pottery sends you to the pits of insanity? Are you irritated seeing how asymmetrical and crooked your home decors are in your Feng Shui approved condominium? Do not fret for Wabi-Sabi under the cloak of interior style and home decor got you covered.

In Japanese philosophy, Zen (禅) is all about meditation – stripping oneself off of negativity and staying true to one’s nature. In interior renovation, the same rules are applied. Decorating your homes should be a means to let go of all that is toxic; an activity to loosen up from the stress of your emotionally taxing daily routines. Mastering the art of Wabi-Sabi is more than just about achieving that Japanese aesthetic, in a way, one not only de-stresses from the demands of the city life but also declutters one’s home and brings himself closer to nature.

Tearing down the walls of contemporary interior design, the Japanese art of Wabi-Sabi defies the creativity-restrictive rules of interior design for the only rules that matter for Wabi-Sabi are within what is imperfect, impermanent and authentic – the very essence of something defeats its exterior value to the naked eye. Moreover, this Japanese art style reveres from putting a price on the finished artwork rather, on the emotion-eliciting factor that one accumulates during the process the art is being formed.

"the delicate balance between the pleasure we get from things and the pleasure we get from freedom of things.” - Leonard Koren

WABI-SABI: Mastering the Japanese Style Interior Design Trend
JAPANESE STYLE LOW DINING TABLE - image courtesy of Sangetsu
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Mastering the Art of Wabi-Sabi interior design

Fusing the elements of Wabi-Sabi art style in contemporary interior design does not have to be a vexing and constraining activity. Breathing in the principles of Wabi-Sabi is a form of meditation and having a clear mind in the course of decorating your homes is an art style in itself; accepting art as it is- in its raw and imperfect form.

Celebrating the flaws

Wabi-Sabi interior art style centers on the concept of imperfect home decorations. Kintsugi (金継ぎ), meaning “golden repair”, is one of the best manifestations of this art style. This centuries-old Japanese art of patching up broken pottery with the use of unique lacquer dusted powdered gold, silver, or platinum is a flawed home décor yet, it also serves as an artistic evidence that humans are capable of celebrating the cracks and flaws of something instead of only finding the ugly.

WABI-SABI: Mastering the Japanese Style Interior Design Trend
KINTSUGI POTTERY - image courtesy of theodysseyonline

Unfinished, tactile and aged wall finishes are also interior trends this year that scream the imperfect art style of Wabi-Sabi. Integrating raw concrete on your walls adds a touch of industrial flare to your home while toning it done with natural elements such as green plants and wood furniture for the familiar vibes. Another wall finish trend that stays true to the art style of Wabi-Sabi is exposed wallpaper brick design. This rustic yet classic interior style is not only suited for bedroom design but it can also transform your kitchen interior into a cozier restaurant-like atmosphere.

WABI-SABI: Mastering the Japanese Style Interior Design Trend
RAW CONCRETE KITCHEN WALL - image courtesy of byvaniehrou.sk

Embracing the natural

The interior art style of Wabi-Sabi values the natural and raw ambiance of home more than the overall regality or extravagance of the place. The use of natural materials and elements such as natural light from the windows, components of wood or sprinkling a bit of green accents, which was proven to have health benefits, amplify the nature-centric aura of the residence specially if it is within a bustling city. This Japanese interior art style also encourages decorators to support flea-markets or independent store owners by purchasing carefully crafted ornaments or pieces of furniture from them. Not only do you have an aesthetically-pleasing home but you also earn an authentic piece of art that has a story to tell.

WABI-SABI: Mastering the Japanese Style Interior Design Trend
COZY LIVING ROOM - image courtesy of Skitterphoto

Simplicity is key

A clutter-free environment also constitutes a Wabi-Sabi interior art style. It does not precisely equate to minimalism which focuses on the notion that less is better. For this Japanese art interior style, the idea is to let every pieces of decoration shine on their own with negative space but considering that the general placement evokes a certain feeling. Coined by Marie Kondo, the KonMari method is the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. This organizing technique mainly asks whether an item sparks joy to you; through this way, you will be left with a tidy home that is only filled with items that matter you.

WABI-SABI: Mastering the Japanese Style Interior Design Trend
ORGANIZED WALL SHELVES - image courtesy of Sangetsu

The Japanese art Wabi-Sabi as absorbed within the spheres of interior design is truly an ambiguous concept. Each and every home design patterned after this interior design trend exudes a unique feel for the way we interpret beauty based on Wabi-Sabi is subjective. A home infused in a Wabi-Sabi interior design reminds humans that by allowing themselves to be authentic and vulnerable, the eccentric idea that life can be beautiful despite of its crevices and fleeting conditions is an actual habitable concept.

Feel your inner Zen amidst the bustling city noise, immerse yourself in a Japanese style interior according to the ways of Wabi-Sabi. 

Tokyo Grand Renovation (TGR) transforms residential and commercial spaces alike to have functional and splendid interiors. A Japanese luxury design and build firm in the Makati, TGR reconstructs and remodels the plain and simple to a finer minimalist, wrapped in sophisticated touch. TGR’s headquarters is at 9110 La Campana St. cor. Trabajo St., Brgy. Olympia, Makati City, 1207.

For inquiries, get in touch via 832 1676 or send your messages info@tgr.com.ph.

TGRはマカティの高級リノベーション、インテリアデザイン会社です。コンドミニアムや住宅、店舗やオフィスなどの改装や新装のデザインと施工をワンストップで提供しています。電話 832 1676 または eメールでinfo@tgr.com.ph までお気軽にお問い合わせください。

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