The Wabi Sabi Aesthetic

To many the term ‘Wabi Sabi’ is alien to them, but for hundreds of years, many have been living by this Japanese aesthetic.

Wabi-sabi embraces minimalism, modesty in material items – possessions are perfectly imperfect and exist because of their beauty, utility or nostalgia. They tell a unique story. The feel, patina and texture of an item plays an important part in the wabi-sabi philosophy, weathered surfaces, defaced by time, use and love.  The colour palette is muted, whites, greys and earth tones. Wood, ceramic, oxidised metals and natural fibres are all building blocks to the wabi-sabi aesthetic.

So how then can you create the wabi-sabi environment with modern furnishings? The answer? Patina. I understand wabi-sabi to be a very personal experience and if I love or value something I like to touch it. There is nothing quite like rubbing your hands along the smooth, warm surface of a walnut table  or the buttery softness of a favourite leather chair. Surfaces such as woods, marble, ceramics or silks and cashmere all possess an intimate tactile quality which resonates with the wabi-sabi principle. Here are some of our favourite wabi-sabi interiors and products at Catalog.

Via Wabi-Sabi

concrete living room

Via Snake Ranch

Via Remodelista

White, gray, and green outdoor eating patio with canopy of foliage


Boiaccia by Kristalia. Cement and steel table.

Degree by Kristalia. 

Fast Chair by Vibieffe

Aplomb by Foscarini


2 comments on “The Wabi Sabi Aesthetic

  1. Vidhu
    November 15, 2013

    Hi Nice article on wabi sabi. I also wrote an article on wabi sabi for youth . Hope you like it .

    • catalogltd
      February 28, 2014

      Nice Article Vidhu, loads of depth about Wabi Sabi that isn’t always spoken about.

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This entry was posted on June 1, 2013 by .
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