A new design movement: Wabi-Sabi

When recently hunting through a book store sale bin, (I buy books based on authors I love, cool jacket covers and if they are over an inch thick) I discovered and interesting looking mystery novel. I picked up the first book and then for some unknown reason also picked up the second, same book. When I opened the cover of the second book I saw that it had been personally signed by the author and suddenly this book became like a treasure find for me, instantly more valuable. It was unique and special within a pile of repetitive sameness and I immediately snapped it up before anyone else discovered my find.

There is a design movement afloat called Wabi-Sabi that I have recently discovered. It is an interesting departure from the desired perfection my clients are often seeking. Wabi-Sabi enthusiasts or Wabibitos search for humble imperfection in the products and design chackas they lovingly buy for their homes. Their goal is to find beauty in the imperfect, to seek out natural products that bear the age stripes and imperfections that tell the story of its life on earth.

It is when you find these items that something inside you says ‘go for it’, you quickly snap up your new treasure as you instinctively know that you will not find another like it. Perfect and smoothly manufactured is repeatable and predictable and probably in every fourth home in your neighbourhood. Imperfect is perfect in its own way, never to be repeated and truly yours.

Do you have a granite countertop with a fossil in the stone? Fantastic! A vase or set of coffee cups that bears the artists signature etched deep into the clay then you have a story. I have a decorative clay tile that an artisan in Medicine Hat made me as a gift after I had displayed her work in a show home. This little 4×6 tile is a beautiful coppery hue with leaves etched on it under a beautiful polished glaze. The back bears her signature but more importantly it bears her fingerprints, the place where she obviously held the underside of the tile while applying finishing touches to the top. She must have had stain on her fingers because there are perfectly formed stained fingerprints on the clay. This product is a valued addition to my home décor but it also bears a story, I have seen her studio and I can envision her working in beautiful morning sunlight while she creates her vision. Not just a tile bought in a store, but a part of a story that is treasured.

The easiest finds for these perfectly imperfect items are usually natural products such as wood, glass and clay. You can incorporate a treasured piece of reclaimed wood on a fireplace or a rock you found on a hike in the mountains as a corner stone on your exterior amongst the perfectly coordinated stack stone. Your home is your legacy and your story; does it tell it for you with its unique or its whimsy? Have you sought out the unusual and the imperfect and given it a place of honour in your home? Remember, perfection is repeatable but imperfect and unique cannot be found again.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at klewis@carpetcolourcentre.com.

Just Posted

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

Creep Catcher member sentenced in Red Deer court Monday

Carl Young to be fined and placed on probation for 12 months, among other conditions

WATCH: Innisfail’s Berkley the bear celebrates first birthday

Discovery Wildlife Park’s newest Kodiak is excited for life this winter

Rebels lose 13th straight against Kamloops

Red Deer hasn’t won on home ice since Oct. 28th, 2017

Kings and Queens sweep Briercrest

RDC basketball is begining to gear up for the ACAC playoffs

WATCH: Setters Place officially opens in advance of the 2019 Canada Games

Red Deer is one step closer to the 2019 Canada Winter Games the opening of Setters Place

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

UK’s Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, engaged

Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, will marry Jack Brooksbank in Autumn 2018

German nurse charged with 97 more murders

Niels Hoegel, serving a life sentence for two murders, has been indicted in nearly 100 more killings.

Two men guilty in murders of Alberta family could face 75 years

The pair were found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Klaus’s parents and sister in a rural home near Castor, Alberta

Most Read