Work in Progress: Wabi-Sabi Inspires our Oakland Tudor Project

Wabi-sabi is the Japanese philosophy that embraces the passing of time and all of nature’s imperfections. Although this philosophy started as an ancient Buddhist approach to life, centuries later it’s gracing the world of interior design!

Our current Oakland Tudor Project takes inspiration directly from wabi-sabi. Here are the key features behind the style and how we’ll be using them to create a unique and beautiful space for our client.

  George Nakashima's Home in New Hope ( source )

George Nakashima's Home in New Hope (source)

Key Elements of Wabi-Sabi Design

  • Embraces imperfections and impermanence, such as knots in woodgrain or asymmetry
  • Opts for natural materials such as wood, stone, wool, linen, etc.
  • Prioritizes materials that patina or gain beauty with age
  • Takes a minimal and highly intentional approach to planning a space
     

Why We’re Fans of Wabi-Sabi for the Home

  • Uses materials with natural longevity, warmth, and character
  • Creates a space that feels restful and peaceful
  • “Imperfections” make your home feel one-of-a-kind (and not like a hotel)
     

Wabi-Sabi Influences in our Oakland Tudor Project

  Clé Tile in Flannel ( source )

Clé Tile in Flannel (source)

  Clé Tile in Rice Paper ( source )

Clé Tile in Rice Paper (source)

Both tile options look stunning, embrace imperfections, and will age with grace. The tiny pinholes of the Flannel tile will help hide any chips or scratches years down the road, while the variegated Rice Paper tiles make any potential discoloring a non-issue. Beauty and longevity.

  Vintage Coffee Table ( source )

Vintage Coffee Table (source)

This vintage coffee table embodies wabi-sabi. The natural grain of the wood has an asymmetrical balance to it, and the table’s shape is irregular for a coffee table but reflects nature. The three legs look intentional, appropriate, and add no more than what is minimally needed.

  Armadillo Rug ( source )

Armadillo Rug (source)

The natural variegated tones and texture of this rug not only create warmth and beauty, but will absorb any wear and tear that occurs over time.

  Noguchi’s Akari Floor Lamp ( source )

Noguchi’s Akari Floor Lamp (source)

This floor lamp by famous Japanese-American designer Isamu Noguchi embraces imperfect forms and transforms the harsh light of a bulb into a warm glow. His choice of paper and thin metal frames create an ephemeral yet joyful feel.

  Cast Iron Pendants ( source )

Cast Iron Pendants (source)

The shapes of these pendants may vary, but they create an asymmetrical balance that is intriguing and pleasing to the eye. In addition, the cast iron material will age beautifully.

  Jordan Brown Fire Table ( source )

Jordan Brown Fire Table (source)

Concrete is another material characteristic of wabi-sabi design. Natural variation will give this fire table its own unique character and beauty in our client's space, now and as it ages in the years to come.

What’s your favorite wabi-sabi-inspired piece? Share with us in the comments below!