Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wabi-Sabi What?

I have heard the term Wabi-Sabi used to describe a certain bohemian design style but never really understood what the philosophy embraced. I was doing a little research on the photo above from Axel Vervoordt's farmhouse in the Swiss Alps and learned a view things that I found interesting.

Axel Vervoordt, based in Antwerp, Belgium, is respected the world over as an antiquarian and interior designer. He began collecting antiques as a teenager with money loaned to him by his father, a sophisticated man with sophisticated friends, all of whom influenced Axel from an early age. His well-honed eye is drawn to objects from all cultures, continents, and time periods. It’s the mix he is after, as well as authenticity.

I really never knew that wabi-sabi was part of my own philosophy until I read this:

"Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered – and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind."

I have noticed over the years that antique-lovers also seem to embrace the organic. I love the simple beauty found in nature and never really understood how the two passions were related....
 maybe the wabi-sabi philosophy explains a few things.

I actually don't know if I could live this simply but it has a certain 'je ne said quoi?' that attracts me.

Fall is barely making a presence here in the South yet I can't wait to build a fire.

This might be my favorite shot of all - I love those rustic shutters and the idea of having an al fresco meal, with wine of course, slope-side under the eaves.

This post must seen strange coming from me right on the heels of yesterday's post of modern, edited black and white spaces. The two posts actually have a lot in common. Wabi-sabi embraces living a simpler, more edited lifestyle. I think the black and white interiors from yesterday were the perfect backdrop to display timeworn antiques, rich with patina, from a well-loved life. It was that black and white, edited environment that turned those imperfections into art.



  1. I love wabi-sabi most for what it isn't!

  2. Great Post! I agree with Tricia's comment above well put. So the question is...what is rough luxe...our version of wabi sabi?