Have you heard of Wabi Sabi style?
This year I signed up as a trend forecaster or became a “Trend Analyst” as is the wanky title they lured me in with, so I have been writing trend forecasts for the past few weeks as 2018 approaches and trying to pinpoint what I think will be the ‘next big thing in design’ here in Australia. No easy feat.
While madly researching the global trends of the past few seasons and inadvertently delving into the whole history of design over the decades I have come to notice that lots of the airy fairy interior magazines have recently jumped on board the good old (with an emphasis on old there) Japanese ‘wabi sabi’ way of living and touting this as the next big thing in homes. Now Wabi sabi is so far from new that I find it laughable that these design big wigs spout on about it being “the very latest home style to watch’ but that is what they are calling it and you can read 20 short articles in the space of 1 minute if you google “wabi sabi home trend’ or just check out these ones I found for you below:
My Domain …wabi sabi loving.
Elle Decor …more wabi sabi blabbing.
Homes to love …even more wabi sabi adoration.
See even Oprah loves wabi sabi!
As you will see EVERYONE is jumping on the bandwagon and all of this hype around it kind of annoys me as it has been a way of living for me nad many others for so long now without any fuss or fanfare, I have collected ceramics and stones and seashells for as long as I can recall, My home is full of hoarded fabrics and antique trinkets and I love nothing more than mismatched dining settings and roughsawn timber… yet I would never have thought to describe it as a ‘home style’ or use it to define my private interior spaces as it has been easier to fit my home into last years most fashionable interiors theme of “Eclectic boho’ (still a personal faveourite) but now I am torn between thinking ‘this is a gimmock’ and … ‘HANG ON just a minute – this will take off!’ and more importantly … I can claim this!
I think I am so all over this ‘style’ that if this is going to be described as a style trend now then I don’t need to do a damn thing to be one step ahead of the pack so I may as well milk it and start tagging in all the images of my perfectly imperfect, disheveled and beautiful collection of oddities and treasures and look Oh-so on-trend on instagram.
I really think Wabi Sabi will be popular as I have been telling anyone who listens or reads my published articles for most of this year that minimalism is D.O.N.E. done and that the focus needs to move away from a consumer driven love of mass produced crap and more towards an appreciation or art and for the handmade, the old, weathered or unique things in life so hopefully this will make people appreciate personal style more and become mainstream so that everyday mum and dad renovators start talking about it at the coffee shop and therefore placing value in it … Eventually shifting the trend well away from consumerism and mass produced crap that I cannot stand so that can only be a good thing.
I have tried to follow a zen way of living for many years now and follow Buddhist beliefs as the religion I have most associated myself with over the years, or that I try to align with for my own happiness and Wabi Sabi has many of the same elements so has also been something I live by as a kind of lifestyle choice, long before I even knew what it was or how to define something.
Basically described as “The Japanese philosophy of wabi–sabi advises accepting imperfection and focuses on embracing life. … Pared down to its essence, the philosophy celebrates elements that are weathered, worn or rusted. Wabi comes from the root “wa” which means harmony, peace, tranquility and balance. Sabi means “the bloom of time.
Essentially it is the art of finding beauty in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete which I find so relevant as generally in the western world people are obsessed with perfection and are constantly driven by consumerism and wanting more, so what I love about wabi sabi is that you won’t find it in a project home or any shiny new build or in perfectly matching furniture, It can’t be bought – wabi sabi is innate … like I try to explain to people on my website about being a real designer or artist …it isn’t something you can be taught you have to feel it and have it inside your soul.
I think we could all do with a little more modesty, quiet taste and an acceptance of imperfection overall so for the new year let’s focus our attention on an appreciation of the Wabi Sabi humbleness and a love for nature and letting things just be.