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Source: Axel Vervoordt house in Belgium

Axel Vervoordt is one of the masters in Wabi-Sabi interiors.

One of my favorite interior design styles is called Wabi-Sabi. Have you ever heard about it? I discovered Wabi-Sabi a while ago, and since then I have been very much in love with both its aesthetic and its philosophy. In 2022 my husband and I moved to a very old house in Connecticut searching for a new lifestyle, with that I had the intention to somehow apply the Wabi-Sabi decor/interior design to this new/old house, but also practice the Wabi-Sabi philosophy of life while living there.

I would like to invite you to visit @828lakehouse on Instagram, where I share the process of renovating this old house and trying to learn and practice the new lifestyle. It hasn't been an easy process! Let me tell you...

So, what is Wabi-Sabi? B R I E F L Y....

Wabi Sabi is a concept that originated in Japan—it opposes many typical decoration rules. The idea disregards absolute symmetry, and the need for perfection in everything. More than a decorative style, Wabi Sabi is a philosophy of life; a way of living and perceiving the world, with the aim of peacefully accepting the natural cycle of growth and decay inherent in life.

While there is no literal translation of Wabi Sabi, if we analyze it well, Wabi derives its meaning from the root 'wa', which refers to peace, harmony and balance. In the zen spirit, the Wabi person is the one who is able to find happiness in the little things, who is free from anger and greed, and who understands the wisdom of nature. Sabi means "flower of time", which refers to the natural flow of time, decay, degradation and the understanding that beauty is ephemeral. The combination of the two is the essence of the philosophy: the beauty of the imperfect and respect for the passage of time makes us accept that nothing is complete, nothing is perfect.

Source: Olga Fradina Interior Design

A contemporary version of Wabi-Sabi.

Source: Serge Castella Interiors

A modern-country version of Wabi-Sabi.


  • Celebrate imperfections - The style is inspired by nature, and finds perfections even in its imperfections. So all objects that show their history through cracks, oxidation, marks of weather and the passage of time are accepted and venerated in Wabi-Wabi decoration. Antique vases, old sculptures, rusty objects, broken things, dry foliage, anything that doesn't look new and it shows time and age.

  • Natural materials - The materials used must be natural, such as wood and stone furniture; vegetable textiles as linen, jute, cotton; ceramic; clay and raw metal.

  • Minimalist aesthetics - Like all Japanese decoration, the philosophy where less is more is appreciated. The focus is on the essential and the functional. The value is found on what is made by hand.

  • Colors of nature - The style is defined by a nostalgic feeling and most of the time with a moody quality. The colors are achieved by the use of neutral tints, earthy tones, beige, gray, green, terra-cotta... general pastel colors.


A more moody version.


A light and bright version.


Every vintage & antique shop, thrift shop, and flea-market.

One of my favorite shops that has a beautiful collection of "wabi-sabi" items is THE CORNER located in Brussels, Belgium. But I also a have a local one to recommend, right here in Connecticut, with very selective items THE FINDERY


Contemporary Wabi-Sabi Style

by Artpower

Wabi Sabi (Hardcover)

by Mark Reibstein

Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers (Paperback)

by Leonard Koren

Wabi-Sabi: Further Thoughts (Paperback)

by Leonard Koren

Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence - Understanding the Zen Philosophy of Beauty in Simplicity (Paperback)

by Andrew Juniper

Wabi Sabi For Writers: Find Inspiration. Respect Imperfection. Create Peerless Beauty. (Paperback)

by Richard R. Powell

(shelved 2 times as wabi-sabi)

Wabi Sabi: The Art of Everyday Life (Paperback)

by Diane Durston

The Book Jumper (Hardcover)

by Mechthild Gläser

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know (Hardcover)

by Adam M. Grant (Goodreads Author)

Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection (Hardcover)

by Haemin Sunim

The Kinfolk Garden: How to Live with Nature (Hardcover)

by John Burns

The Eye: How the World's Most Influential Creative Directors Develop Their Vision (Kindle Edition)

by Nathan Williams

The Kinfolk Entrepreneur: Ideas for Meaningful Work (Hardcover)

by Nathan Williams

The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living (Hardcover)

by Kinfolk Magazine

Wabi-Sabi Wisdom: Inspiration for an Authentic Life. (Kindle Edition)

by Andrea Jacques

In Praise of Shadows (Paperback)

by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

Wabi-Sabi Welcome: Learning to Embrace the Imperfect and Entertain with Thoughtfulness and Ease (ebook)

by Julie Pointer Adams

Perfect Imperfect: The Beauty Of Accident, Age And Patina (Hardcover)

by Karen McCartney

Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes for Any Kitchen [A Cookbook] (Food52 Works)

by Gena Hamshaw

A Frame for Life: The Designs of StudioIlse (Hardcover)

by Ilse Crawford

The Kinfolk Table (Hardcover)

by Kinfolk Magazine

The Wabi-Sabi House: The Japanese Art of Imperfect Beauty (Hardcover)

by Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House (Paperback)

by Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life (Hardcover)

by Taro Gold (Goodreads Author)

Practical Wabi Sabi (Paperback)

by Simon G. Brown

Wabi Sabi Style (Hardcover)

by James Crowley


“Wishing you the best, and all love in the world!

Dream, work hard and keep going…"

XoXo & Beijos,

Renata Gross

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