The Wabi-Sabi furnishing style: deliberately simple

May 30, 2021

The Wabi-Sabi furnishing style: deliberately simple

by Sara Costi

An integral part of Japanese culture, Wabi-Sabi is founded on the concept of transitoriness and deliberate simplicity. It derives from two words heavy with meaning and deeply rooted in culture and religion. Wabi 侘 means ‘dependence’, and implies seeking beauty in simplicity, while Sabi 寂 means ‘solitude’ or ‘detachment’, and indicates the way in which everything evolves with the passing of time, altering the purely external nature of things.

Wabi-Sabi teaches us to have a profound aesthetic awareness, which transcends the external appearance of matter, and to detach ourselves from the idea of perfection, in order to rediscover absolute beauty in the authenticity and uniqueness of imperfection.

This spontaneous understanding can only be glimpsed through profound contemplation of an imperfect world. A journey through beauty, right to the heart of life itself, to uncover hidden truths, freeing ourselves of the superfluous and shifting the focus from the exterior to the interior.

The true beauty of Wabi-Sabi does not lie in objects, but in acknowledging the value of a simple, natural style. This aesthetic sensitivity and artistic awareness can also be savoured in the creation of a furnishing style that is gaining growing popularity also in the western world.

How to choose the right materials and colours for a Wabi-Sabi style home

Accepting the passage of time, in which nothing is finite, perfect or lasting, defines the oriental philosophy underlying the Wabi-Sabi style, expressed, at the design stage, through a desire to overturn the essence of things and to embrace imperfection. Like Japandi style, this trend features a balanced look, with simple settings in which the preference is for natural materials or objects crafted by hand, with irregular, asymmetrical shapes.

The main materials featured include organic cotton, natural wood, with its characteristic grain and unique gnarls, bamboo, stone, raw linen and paper and clay. Clay in particular, used since ancient times for firing into bricks or porcelain stoneware tiles, is non-toxic and has excellent thermal qualities and a low energy balance, making it an excellent construction material.

In Wabi-Sabi, neutral tones can be joined by dashes of all sorts of colours that range from sage green and sky blue to pink, allowing you to team tone-on-tone plain colours or distinctly contrasting shades.

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Choosing flooring for Wabi-Sabi style

Relaxing colours, delicate, engaging nuances and imperfect veining effects softened by the signs left by the passage of time give living spaces that sense of serenity and natural simplicity characteristic of Wabi-Sabi style. Neutral and grey shades with a cement effect, or stone-effect and wood-effect tiles in warm, earthy and sandy tones with a vibe in perfect synergy with the earth combine with the outstanding qualities of porcelain stoneware to cover all kinds of floors and walls, both indoors and outdoors.

Flooring: Resina Grey
Flooring: Tavolato Marrone Scuro
Flooring: Nature Lava – Covering: Nature Calce brick-effect decoration
Flooring: Petra Perla – Covering: Petra Perla Brick decoration
Flooring: Petra Antracite

Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware tiles – made of exclusively natural elements, free from plastics and harmful substances, non-allergenic, antibacterial, fire-resistant, eco-compatible and fully recyclable – are able to shape alluring settings and appealing, balanced living spaces with a calm, meditative vibe.

Flooring: Petra Sabbia - Covering: Petra Sabbia brick-effect decoration
Flooring: Manhattan Soho

Each home, regardless of its size or value, can become a pleasant place to spend time, a cosy, inviting setting that reflects who we are and what’s really important to us. Wabi-Sabi style expresses the desire to set out on a creative journey to shape imperfect, evolving, inviting and contemplative living spaces, in which small imperfections and irregularities become elements of exquisite beauty. A natural, deliberately simple look able to bring a richly original, authentic allure to any setting.

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