Beauty in Simplicity: Bring Wabi-Sabi Into Your Home

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden

If you’ve ever strolled through a Japanese Garden, like our Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Lethbridge, Alberta, you’ve likely left with a calmer mindset than when you came in. While many guests attribute their sense of peace to the beautiful scenery, it goes much deeper than that.

When you take a guided tour of the garden you start to notice subtle techniques used in the design that actively promote mindfulness. These techniques can be brought into your home, especially at a time when you’re remodeling, downsizing, or preparing to age in place

One of the design philosophies used in Nikka Yuko is the concept of wabi-sabi, not to be confused with the spicy green paste you eat with your sushi! Wabi is interpreted as rustic simplicity or an understated elegance, while sabi is beauty in age and the belief that age and use of an object makes it more beautiful and valuable. When put together, wabi-sabi focuses on finding beauty in imperfection while valuing simplicity and accepting the natural cycle of life. 

A great example of wabi-sabi in Nikka Yuko is the wood used throughout our garden. None of it is treated, painted, or stained but instead left to age over time. Moss is also left to grow on rocks that were chosen for their weathered look.

It’s no wonder this philosophy is desired when decorating your home — who doesn’t want to have a space that quiets the mind and helps you unwind from a busy day? Here’s how to bring our loved philosophy into your home: 

5 Ways To Create Wabi-Sabi In Your Home

#1 De-clutter

While you may be tempted to say your messy home is “beauty in imperfection” and call it a day, wabi-sabi focuses on an organized simplicity and finding calm. You don’t need to create a minimalist space unless that’s authentically you, but arranging your house and belongings in a way that allows for a natural flow will do wonders to calm your mind.

#2 Embrace Imperfections

Wabi-sabi home design has been described as “minimalism with a conscience,” meaning it strays away from materialistic items and instead embraces handmade objects. Consider buying your next statement piece from a farmer’s market or a local artist rather than buying something factory-made. Items that are used or well-loved fit perfectly into a wabi-sabi home.

#3 Consider Colour

Wabi-sabi doesn’t mean you should paint your house a stark white — but adding greys and earth-tones to the colour you already have can help set balance. Don’t overwhelm yourself or your guests; use accent pillows or throws in muted colours to maintain a rustic simplicity.

#4 Love Mismatch

A pristine, sterile environment does not create a welcoming atmosphere. Instead, embrace items that don’t match perfectly! Add items to your home that bring you joy and pleasure and worry less about if the colour or style matches exactly. 

#5 Bring Your Garden Inside

Naturally, here at Nikka Yuko, we recommend bringing a little garden to your home! Fresh cut flowers and potted plants embrace beauty in imperfection as well as the natural life cycle philosophies of wabi-sabi. The natural blemishes found in plants serve as a daily reminder of the beauty in imperfection.

Next time you visit Nikka Yuko look beyond the scenery and recognize the layout, colours, and contrast used throughout. Consider how you can use similar ideas in your home as a reminder to see beauty everywhere and to relax and let things be. 

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