Give Your Home A Wabi-Sabi Interior Makeover With These Ideas

by Mehnaz Farooque | February 7, 2023 | 6 mins read

Wabi sabi interior design for your home

Embrace what is faded, worn-out and incomplete to create the most accurate wabi-sabi house design!

Interior design is an art that brings together different regions and their aesthetics. With interior design, you can be as global and universal as you want. Over the years, home interiors in India have deviated from the conventional to a more global experience. Interior designers are bringing unique and non-local experiences to create designs beyond us. And today, we will be talking about one such unique interior design theme that has its roots in the authentic Japanese way of living – wabi-sabi interior design.

Wabi, translated as rustic simplicity, brings a sense of simple living to interiors. And Sabi, translated as appreciating the old and the faded, reminds us to embrace the calmness of worn-out things around us. Together, wabi-sabi interiors are a unique design style that celebrates the old, rustic and the faded. This interior design theme challenges our love for flawlessness and perfection with a playful twist. It encourages us to reimagine how a shabby old table can look luxurious and how simplicity can be lavish. 

Inspired by 13th-century Zen Buddhist philosophy, wabi-sabi interiors are a refreshing design style that we can’t wait to share with you. So, if you are a fan of faded fabrics and rustic wood, here’s a list of wabi-sabi interior design ideas to help you build a gorgeous home. 

An Imperfectly Perfect Wabi Sabi Interior Bedroom For Eternal Calmness

Bedrooms are places that ought to be calm and tranquil. And that is very much the essence of wabi-sabi style interiors. Therefore, a wabi-sabi interior design for the bedroom is a great choice. The mild earthy features bring in a natural serenity to your room. For our wabi-sabi bedroom design, we have a simple and elegant bedroom theme. We have used a light brown and grey wall colour scheme with a lot of emphasis on the furniture pieces. Remember, the finish of the furniture must look old and worn out to bring out the authentic look of wabi-sabi style interiors. Keep the flooring wooden or use handwoven jute rugs. You can get an old-style bamboo armchair for your bedroom too. Keep the curtain colours mild and soothing with warm lighting.

Wabi-sabi bedroom design with light brown and grey wall colour scheme and bamboo armchair brings natural serenity
Light browns with grey make a serene palette
Do you want a dream home with interiors that last a lifetime

A Sublime Study/Work Area For Wabi-Sabi Interior

In case you want to follow a wabi-sabi interior set up for your study area, we have the right design idea for you! Study or workrooms need a lot of focus and concentration; hence embracing wabi-sabi style interiors is ideal for such areas. To go with the wabi-sabi interior design, choose an old-style wooden study table with drawers. Keep the room’s colour scheme neutral with earthy pastels or light brown shades. You can accessorise with tree trunk stools, wooden chairs and open wooden shelves. Make sure the furniture you use has an old and worn out finish and if you are using furniture fabrics, choose frayed fabrics to keep up the old look.

A wabi-sabi interior with a wooden study table and chair is ideal for a study or work area
Use furniture that has a worn-out finish

Frayed Fabrics And Rustic Wood For Your Wabi-Sabi Interior Living Room

While simplicity is the base of both minimalistic and wabi-sabi interiors, the former design exhibits clutter-free and more streamlined designs. The latter celebrates the faded and the imperfections. So, if you are going for wabi-sabi style interiors for your living room, embrace the old and rustic furniture and get rid of the modern, perfect finishes. However, wabi-sabi interiors don’t follow the heavy old furniture. So, look for simple wooden sofas with rustic bamboo jaali designs. Use a wooden low height centre table and a handwoven jute rug to complete the essence. For the ceilings, you can use exposed wooden beams and old-style ceiling bulbs.

Wabi-sabi interior living room with old and rustic furniture brings an earthy vibe
Pair mild earthy browns with off white shades

A Wabi-Sabi Interior Dining Area Design With Natural Aesthetics

You can bring in a calming vibe to your dining space with the right wabi-sabi interior design elements. First, pay attention to the colour scheme of the area. Keep it greyish or brownish to maintain the earthy natural look. For the dining set, go with a vintage-style simple rectangular dining table with wooden chairs. Keep the rest of the place minimal with only faded and old-style decor elements. Decorate with faded wooden-finish frame paintings and macrame wall hangings. You can also use a handwoven natural table runner with a faded aesthetic. Include some tall indoor plants in handmade pots to complete the look.

The dining room in wabi-sabi style interiors with a wooden dining table and earthy colour scheme brings in a calming vibe
Maintain the room’s earthy tone with planters

A Serene Kitchen Design With Wabi Sabi Interiors

For wabi-sabi style interiors in your kitchen, go with a natural brown colour scheme with wooden furniture elements. You can use natural marble material with faded wooden finish cabinets for the lower and upper cabinets and the kitchen countertop. Use a wooden rack design for a cutlery display, just like the old times. Keep the room’s decoration minimal. You can use a faded wooden-finish breakfast counter with bench seating in the kitchen. Use handcrafted bamboo shade lights to accentuate the natural look. Keep indoor plants as a primary element in the kitchen decoration but don’t overdo it. 

A kitchen in wabi-sabi interior style with a natural brown colour scheme with wooden furniture lends an authentic look
Use old-style crockery for an authentic look

A Wabi-Sabi Interior Inspired Bathroom Design

Remember, less is the wabi-sabi way! Hence, for the bathroom, you’d need minimal design elements. Give your bathroom walls an authentically faded look with a textured brown colour scheme which will give the space a mudroom kind of vibe. Use textured concrete flooring – imagine the look of an incomplete cemented floor. For the vanity unit, use an old-style steel tap design and a sink with a wooden frame. You can use a simple faded white bathtub with a wooden stool as a shelf for your bathing essentials. Don’t use any modern aesthetics that may interrupt the wabi-sabi theme.

Wabi-sabi interior bathroom in minimal design elements with textured brown colour gives authentically faded look
A wabi-sabi bathroom with faded natural finishes
Love this design? Make it your own

Tips For Wabi-Sabi House Design

  • Use worn-out old furniture that you have inherited from your grandparents
  • Embrace mended design elements such as broken pottery that are stuck back together. This will highlight the Japanese wabi-sabi principle of embracing the broken
  • Highlight handcrafted elements like handmade lamps, rugs, fabrics and paintings
  • Decorate with incomplete art pieces like paintings and wall art
  • Bring in textured finishes to create an imperfection appeal
  • Go with earthy colour tones to create a natural ambience
  • Use only the most essential furniture and keep your rooms spacious and airy

“Wabi-sabi designs bring together a rustic and worn out style that emphasises modern and minimalist living. It may not sound very contemporary, but when brought together in its authentic form, wabi-sabi can actually create a very classy modern design theme for homes,” says Dhanushri P N, Assistant Studio Manager, Design Cafe

Wabi-sabi interiors remind us of the luxury of naturalness and simplicity. The theme celebrates the rawness of old age and worn out designs. It is a unique and simple way of embracing real life that is full of imperfections, flaws and incompleteness. So, embrace the faded and old and create an innate home interior experience. If you need our design ninjas to bring your wabi-sabi house design alive, contact us today!

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Mehnaz Farooque is a content writer at designcafe

Mehnaz Farooque

Mehnaz is a creative content writer at Design Cafe who is often found obsessing over Ghalib's Urdu poetry or J.K.Rowling's books. She believes in this world of social assumptions and opinions, memes are the only way to make life better. Her love for detailing inspired her to write about interior design. If not working on a blog or binging on her favourite show F.R.I.E.N.D.S, she's dreaming about spending time in the mountains.

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