Makhno Designs
Above: Makhno Designs

We recently had a chance to visit the beautiful country of Japan and its kind and calm-natured people. In Tokyo, the pulsating heart and capital city, we found a bustling city with highest of skyscrapers yet little to no traffic on the expansive roads. Considering the country is made up of a multitude of  small islands, the Japanese have found incredibly intelligent ways to be efficient about their space. Their homes being a space that they put a significant priority to as well.

The key element here is Zen living and all that it embodies. A minimalist approach to living the “less is more” kind of lifestyle. With the foray of Marie Kondo in our living rooms, we are seeing a multitude of families clearing their homes in almost cathartic manner.

Does it have to be that extreme? Perhaps not. The Japanese were very mindful of their wastefulness. In fact, they were onto upcycling centuries before it became a trend as it is today.  Wabi Sabi is the ancient philosophy of creating beauty out of used, broken or misshapen items. Whether it be your crockery or your furniture, they infused life back into these imperfect pieces. How exactly was this done? We discover a few ways that everyone can invoke a sense of Wabi Sabi in their homes.

  • Use Natural Materials
Movement High Table Lamp

Incorporate wooden materials or natural colored items into your home. Inspire a sense of ‘all seasons’ instead of trends. Mix and match natural material and colors to create an earthy, rustic ambiance. One such example could be the Movement Table Lamp seen here. If this is too far of stretch for your existing color palette, find ways to slowly incorporate colors or materials piece by piece. It helps to go back to the basics and bring out the Basic Color Wheel to see what complementary colors you can match to start of with.

  • Appreciate Imperfect Items

The Japanese found ways to mend their broken ceramics using a gold lacquer which in effect highlighted the cracks but also made the pieces more beautiful. Another concept to this is buying vintage items or pre-loved pieces for your home. This will help enhance the life it once had and allow it to tell a new story in your space. When in doubt, buy less and buy better quality goods.

Picture by @tomomikamoshita


  • Add Greens to Your Decor

Bringing beautiful plants or succulents inside your home is one of the best ways to create a warm environment in your home. It’s said that the color green is the most restful for the eye which in turn creates a calming effect in our brains.




  • Declutter the Wabi Sabi way

Although the Wabi Sabi philosophy does not mean keeping your old clutter by any means. Rather, the concept embraces minimalism for its efforts to bring in calm. Instead of books and magazines lying in every corner of the house, organize certain areas of the house for these items. This way, you are de-cluttering certain areas of the house but are able to hold on to the things that you still want to hold on to.









photo by Annie Spratt


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