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  • Writer's pictureJulie Evans


Updated: Dec 27, 2023

A thousand years ago, when I was studying marketing, I created a fictional character who was going to take the world by storm called Fumblechook. Now Fumblechook, as the name suggests, was a clumsy chicken who got into all sorts of scrapes due to his lack of coordination and general lack of poise. Fumblechook was the antithesis of Barbie and Ken. He was proof that you don’t need to be perfect to be cool.

I have always resonated with pushing against perfectionism. I hold myself to extraordinarily high standards, but I do not and never have pursued perfection. This brings me to an ancient Japanese lifestyle philosophy called Wabi Sabi.

Celebrating imperfection wabi sabi style by Newcastle interior designer Julie Evans
Wabi Sabi celebrates imperfection

In a world where there is stress and pressure at every turn, I think many of us could benefit with a little Wabi Sabi in our lives.

Wabi Sabi is a concept that encourages us to search and find beauty and harmony in imperfection and to accept the natural cycle of life. It is a reminder that all things in life, including us, are impermanent, incomplete and imperfect. I don’t know about you, but I breathe an audible sigh of calm just thinking about that.

Humble simplicity wabi sabi style demonstrated by Newcastle interior designer Julie Evans Design
Appreciating the beauty of humble simplicity

To break it down, wabi is to see the beauty in humble simplicity; sabi is about how the passage of time relates to how things grow, break down, age and decay. Together, these two concepts encourage us to be in the present moment, appreciate simplicity and appreciate the beauty that the natural passage of time brings.

When this philosophy is applied to interior design, the results are breath taking.

The earthy tones, asymmetrically placed rug, natural textiles and imperfect pendants are all hallmarks of wabi sabi aesthetics. (Source: Pinterest)

“No palm tree is perfectly shaped, yet we marvel at the beauty with which it stands. No sea shell is perfectly drawn, yet we marvel at the beauty with which it curves”. Omar Itani

Have I piqued your interest? Here are my top tips to embrace the wabi sabi aesthetic ethos at home:

  1. Only bring objects into your home that bring emotional beauty.

  2. Embrace crumpled linens, loosely woven fabrics and muted tones.

  3. Shop local. Head to your weekend markets and buy hand made. Embrace imperfections in pottery, mismatching glassware and oddly shaped plates and bowls.

  4. Save money on expensive floral arrangements and replace with driftwood and twigs from the bush.

  5. Choose quality products that age gracefully. Consider a wooden slab chopping board or copper pots that patina over time.

  6. Let go of symmetry. Wabi Sabi rejects perfection and embraces what is natural and real.

  7. Remember to nurture all of your senses. I’ve always been a big believer in this. Burn scented candles, incorporate natural textiles like wool or sheepskin and perhaps add a water feature for sound.

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Julie Evans Design is a Newcastle based interior design studio and creator of beautiful spaces. We service the New South Wales areas of Newcastle, the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens. Our goal is to make the potential of your space come to life, so much that it makes your heart sing when you're in it. Check out my interior design services, learn more about me or contact me to have a discussion about your space and your needs.

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