Book Review : Wabi Sabi Home


The tag line says all you need to know to build your enthusiasm for this book: “Finding beauty in imperfection”. In the age of Instagram, of showing only your best life, of a jealousy culture driven by pride and comparison, it’s a breath of fresh air to be blessed with a book that celebrates the imperfect, the unique, the aged and the weathered.

Wabi Sabi Home

This is Wabi Sabi Home by husband and wife design duo Mark and Sally Bailey. Wabi Sabi derives from an ancient Japanese philosophy that treasures the beauty of imperfection. This collection of scuffed, chipped, worn and grazed interiors is the antithesis of the modern need for everything to be perfect. Perfection is not realism. Life is messy and Wabi sabi takes this knowledge and puts appreciation on the older and less than perfect, acknowledging the beauty in the memories of humble interiors.

This style puts importance on the personal, which is something I think we could all do with a crash course in. It denies the pristine, shuns the flawless and repels the immaculate, instead choosing to champion the hand-made and the obscure.

This book, according to its introduction, was inspired by a hand-beaten spoon brought from a Japanese museum. It was one of a set but each had their own history, their own imperfections and were their own individual pieces.

The book is divided into five sections, addressing textile, texture, colour, handmade and collections. Each section is adorned with glorious photographs taken by the talented Debi Treloar.

If you’re sick of the exhausting journey to acquire perfection, then the Wabi Sabi lifestyle could be for you. Bound in rigid hardback and available from London publisher Ryland Peters & Small, Wabi Sabi Home is just the inspiration you need to take a closer look at the belongings life has made us blind to. After reading this, I’m sure you’ll be able to see your surroundings with new eyes, trained to appreciate the beauty of the individual.


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