Day 133: Wabi-Sabi!

by MJ Gourd


Day 133 of 365 Days of a Happy Home!

Wabi-sabi is the traditional Japanese aesthetic of imperfection.  Leonard Koren in his 1994 book Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers describes it as "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete." How liberating it would be if your Happy Home could be imperfect, impermanent or incomplete!  We have taken this idea of imperfection, labeled it and shown it here.  Would you agree these are beautiful?   

The checkerboard wood floors in this 1800's farmhouse show the patina of lives well lived. Imperfect, yes!  But beautiful!

The checkerboard wood floors in this 1800's farmhouse show the patina of lives well lived. Imperfect, yes!  But beautiful!

I picked up this table for my shop at a local antique fair.  The wear and tear on the claw foot legs is what caught my eye!

I picked up this table for my shop at a local antique fair.  The wear and tear on the claw foot legs is what caught my eye!

We used this Dash and Albert runner on top of 200 year old floor boards.  Without the brightly colored runner the boards screamed to be refinished.  But the beautiful runner muted the imperfections in the boards.  They work well together.

We used this Dash and Albert runner on top of 200 year old floor boards.  Without the brightly colored runner the boards screamed to be refinished.  But the beautiful runner muted the imperfections in the boards.  They work well together.

We like to add custom boot trays to our mudrooms.  This one is made from galvanized sheet metal and filled with rocks from locations important to the owners.  The rocks can handle all the mud and salt cast off from the boots while serving as tokens from past adventures.

We like to add custom boot trays to our mudrooms.  This one is made from galvanized sheet metal and filled with rocks from locations important to the owners.  The rocks can handle all the mud and salt cast off from the boots while serving as tokens from past adventures.

The paneling in this room dates back to the early 1800's.  The pearl finish of the paint mutes the imperfections but doesn't eliminate them. It allows your imagination to wonder how those imperfections came to be.  If allowed, the wood can reveal the secrets of the families that have lived here.

The paneling in this room dates back to the early 1800's.  The pearl finish of the paint mutes the imperfections but doesn't eliminate them. It allows your imagination to wonder how those imperfections came to be.  If allowed, the wood can reveal the secrets of the families that have lived here.

Here is another piece I picked up at an antique show.  It most likely dates back to the first half of the last century.  A house filled with pieces like this could be overpowering.   But one piece as a bedside table can be all you need. 

Here is another piece I picked up at an antique show.  It most likely dates back to the first half of the last century.  A house filled with pieces like this could be overpowering.   But one piece as a bedside table can be all you need. 

Would you allow your home to have the imperfections like we have shown here? We think the beauty is in the nooks and crannies of every Happy Home.