The Wabi Sabi trend in 2018

Minimalism is taking a new turn in 2018.

According to Elle Decor, Japanese inspired Wabi-Sabi will influence home decor with its refined rustic and highly aesthetic decor theme. While Elle focuses on how Wabi Sabi will influence the interiors´ field, I am sure the trend will spin off to other areas of the design world. The last few years have seen an increase in moody, slow living inspired trends which - to me - signal that there is a growing interest moving in that direction.

Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic concept calling for finding beauty in imperfections and impermanence. The idea is derived from Buddhist philosophy and notions such as modesty and austerity are there to infuse a sense of simplicity.

Being a half Japanese designer, I feel like this upcoming trend embodies pretty much my life, so I admit writing this blog post with a lot of enthusiasm. 

As you may have guessed, the new Wabi-Sabi trend makes use of natural materials, raw textures and an elegant rustic look. The colours are earthy, yet delicate. Blue hues are often used, especially on the Navy and Lapis Lazuli shades. We are talking about colours that remind of Japanese folk traditions and crafts.

To give you a visual feel of what I am trying to explain, I created an inspirational moodboard with a colour palette. Earthy and blue accents, raw vibes, nature´s impermanent beauty, appreciation of traditions. These key components are accompanied by an underlying sense of melancholy, of time passing that cannot be grasped.


So, what makes Wabi Sabi different from slow living?

Personally, I think the main difference is that it adds to the love for simplicity the search for a purely aesthetical beauty.

Also, there is a taste for asymmetrical shapes, an Ikebana flavour which favours an effortless unbalanced look.


Lastly, the blue shades are brighter than the moody, muted choices typical of slow living trends.

A word of caution though. To achieve a balanced and elegant Wabi-Sabi look, you need not over-due it.

Whichever your design field - graphics, art, home decor - keep your background decor neutral and choose few, matching Wabi-Sabi elements as accents. 

This is a beautiful trend, I believe. Hope you will embrace it - together with its deep philosophical background.