Wabi-Sabi – Finding Beauty in the Imperfections

As I spanned the globe searching to see what the world had to offer in interior design, I came across a Japanese design aesthetic that I love:  Wabi Sabi! Deriving its aesthetic principles from Taoism and Zen Buddhism, it is an approach to life which encompasses finding beauty in imperfections, appreciating the simple, serene, modest and natural beauty of things. It focuses on the appreciation of all that is natural and therefore, often imperfect.

Interior Designer Axel Vervoordt

Interior Designer Axel Vervoordt via Pandashouse.com

The wabi-sabi perspective can also be interpreted as rustic and organic as Belgian interior designer Axel Vervoordt (above and below) reveals in his book, Wabi Inspirations.

Axel Vervoordt 5[1]

www.axel-vervoordt.com/en

Axel Vervoordt via livingxdesign.wordpress.com

Axel Vervoordt via livingxdesign.wordpress.com

 Axel Vervoordt via pandashouse.com

Axel Vervoordt via pandashouse.com

Axel Vervoordt via heirloomphilosophy.blogspot.com

Axel Vervoordt via heirloomphilosophy.blogspot.com

Dutch Interior designer Jeroen van der Spek from Amsterdam at stillstars.com features characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic in his unrefined textures and simple elegance (below).

Jeroen van der Spek at stillstars.com

Jeroen van der Spek at stillstars.com

 

www.stillstars.com/jeroen-van-der-spek/interior

www.stillstars.com/jeroen-van-der-spek/interior

www.stillstars.com

www.stillstars.com/jeroen-van-der-spek/interior

www.stillstars.com

www.stillstars.com/jeroen-van-der-spek/interior

Robyn Griggs Lawrence brings the Japanese concept of finding beauty in life’s imperfections to life in her books, The Wabi-Sabi House: The Japanese Art of Imperfect Beauty and Simply Imperfect (below).

Robyn Griggs Lawrence-The Wabi Sabi House

Robyn Griggs Lawrence-The Wabi Sabi House

Lawrence’s role as a green living advocate, environmentalist and overall healthy living guru is reflected in her serene, simple and peaceful designs.

robyngriggslawrence.com

robyngriggslawrence.com

The Wabi-Sabi approach is an inspiration for many design styles like Scandinavian, Nordic, French, etc. It is an understated beauty that exists in the modest, rustic, imperfect, or even decayed, an aesthetic sensibility that finds a melancholic beauty in     the impermanence of all things.*

www.living.cz

www.living.cz

 

wabisabi-style.blogspot.com

wabisabi-style.blogspot.com

wabisabi-style.blogspot.com 2

wabisabi-style.blogspot.com 2

wabisabi-style.blogspot.com (2)

wabisabi-style.blogspot.com (2)

www.dzinetrip.com

Pieter Vandenhout via livingxdesign.wordpress.com

The color palette encompasses soft neutrals, natural rough textiles like linen, cotton and burlap and organic elements (not synthetic) like clay, metal, stone and rustic woods.

www.dzinetrip.com

www.dzinetrip.com

www.dzinetrip.com

www.dzinetrip.com

thisivyhouse.tumblr

thisivyhouse.tumblr

stampinteriors.blogspot.com

stampinteriors.blogspot.com

Elements of wabi-sabi design are raw, unfinished and earthy as illustrated by Greige Design below.

Greige Design, featured in The Inspired Home:  Nests of Creatives

Greige Design, featured in The Inspired Home: Nests of Creatives

greigedesign.blogspot.com

greigedesign.blogspot.com

Seizoen & Stijl represents the wabi-sabi concept in their design approach which uses natural woods, earthy tones and rustic textiles.

Seizoen & Stijl at seizoenenstijl.blogspot.nl

Seizoen & Stijl at seizoenenstijl.blogspot.nl

http://seizoenenstijl.blogspot.nl

http://seizoenenstijl.blogspot.nl

http://seizoenenstijl.blogspot.nl

http://seizoenenstijl.blogspot.nl

Incorporating natural elements, muted tones, simple and imperfect forms and uncontrived objects reflect the unconventional beauty of wabi-sabi design.

madamemaven.blogspot.com

Maven Mama at madamemaven.blogspot.com

livingxdesign

livingxdesign

Keltainen Talo Rannalla at keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.ca

Keltainen Talo Rannalla at keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.ca

http://keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.ca

http://keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.ca

keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.ca

keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.ca

http://keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.ca

http://keltainentalorannalla.blogspot.ca

 

feedly.com

feedly.com

imgfave.com

imgfave.com

From beautifulism.blogspot.com via ecminteriorismo.blogspot.com

From beautifulism.blogspot.com via ecminteriorismo.blogspot.com

dzinetrip.com

dzinetrip.com

designfieldnotes.com

designfieldnotes.com

 

decordeprovence.blogspot.com

decordeprovence.blogspot.com

http://www.decoracionde-interiores.com

http://www.decoracionde-interiores.com

blogger.aftonbladet.se via bohemchic.com

blogger.aftonbladet.se via bohemchic.com

bloodandchampagne.com

bloodandchampagne.com

 

bloodandchampage.com

bloodandchampage.com

 

Interior Magasitet via decoraciondeinteriores.com

Interior Magasitet via decoracionde-interiores.com

 

living.cz

www.living.cz

I hope you have been inspired to recreate the wabi-sabi design principles into your own home by creating your own unconventional beauty, valuing your imperfections and living deeply.

* Wabi and Sabi: The Aesthetics of Solitude at http://www.hermitary.com/solitude/wabisabi.html

Constantine’s Art

For months now, I have had two blank canvases sitting on a shelf over my desk waiting to be used. Along came a day which my kids had off school. And, it was raining! I didn’t want my kids watching tv or playing video games all day, so we decided to get creative. I pulled down the blank white canvases and pulled out our paints. First we painted the blank canvases a solid blue and red, the primary colors of my son’s room.

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Then we began to get creative. Since these were going to hang in his room, I let my son, Constantine have free reign and decide what he wanted to feature in his paintings. He wanted to do handprints and footprints.

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For his second painting, he wanted to feature something he loved, “going to the park.” With the help of his sister, he painted a landscape of his park.

photo2

photo1

Now, his bedroom features his very own masterpieces. What could be a better and easier way to personalize your kid’s bedroom than their very own art.

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bedroom art

He loves them! And I love the fact that my seven year old son expressed himself creatively in an easy and unique low cost way. I hope I have inspired you to create your own home art with your kids!

 

 

Καλή Ανάσταση! – Greek Easter Eggs

Easter eggs are a big part of the Greek Orthodox Easter (Pascha) tradition. They are died red to symbolize the blood of Christ.

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Today, on Holy Thursday, after a morning Liturgy, the ladies of our church at St. Anna in Flemington, New Jersey got to work.

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First they boiled brown eggs. Brown eggs make the red dye more vibrant. Then, using a special Greek red dye (this one is from Astoria, NY), they dyed each egg, let them dry and then rubbed them with olive oil (so the color won’t run when the eggs are handled).

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We then wrapped them in white tulle and tied them with red ribbons. The eggs are handed out after the midnight Resurrection Service.

greekeggsRed eggs are also added and baked into the traditional Greek Easter bread (tsoureki). After observing and making the Greek Easter eggs for our church, I thought I’d make my own version of Orthodox Byzantine Easter eggs.

IMG_2802I  like to make eggs that will last for more than one year. So, I bought paper mache eggs and painted them red. I then sprayed them with a clear enamel glossy spray. The paper mache absorbs the spray, so I had to apply several coats. I also bought very small self-adhesive clear gems to make Orthodox cross designs.

byzeggs2

 I applied the gems using tweasers.

byzeggs1

 I love how they turned out!

byzeggs3

I hope you have been inspired to make your own Greek Easter eggs. Καλή Ανάσταση! Happy Resurrection!

Joyeuses Pâques! – French Easter Eggs

Every year for Easter I love decorating eggs. My daughter and I have made glitter eggs, decoupage eggs, Ukranian Pisanky eggs, etc. This year I wanted to express my love for everything French.

bonya

I love this black and white vintage French egg (above) from Bonya. And the romatique one from Nostalgi och Romantik (below) featuring French typography is exquisite.

nostalgi och romantik

I loved both so much that I decided to knock them off! I bought a few ceramic eggs from Hobby Lobby and painted them soft pastel colors. I love color rather than the simple black and white.

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I copied some French typography designs from The Graphics Fairy (see above). You could also just do a search for French typography images on Google. Using Microsoft Word, I pasted the images in reverse and resized them to fit eggs. Many of the images online are already in reverse so you don’t have to do it yourself.

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I used a transfer method from Graphix Rub-Onz. I carefully followed their directions for transferring the black and white designs onto the eggs, which included printing the images on their matte paper first. I ended up cutting the images into small pieces before transferring them onto the egg because some of the images were too big and wouldn’t lay flat. The clear sheet that sticks to the egg can get difficult to handle and often curls up and causes bumps. I pressed firmly and pulled off the bumpy residue with my finger nail. At first it can look a little messy, but the vintage French shabby chic look isn’t neat and perfect anyway.

frencheggs3

Because the images were on a shiny surface you noticed the cutout of each. I sprayed the entire surface of each egg with a glossy clear enamel. Now the entire egg is glossy and shiny.

frencheggs2

J’aime mes beaux oeufs de Pâques français. I love my beautiful French Easter eggs! The entire process took about 5 hours, so it is time-consuming. I also recommend using ceramic or wooden eggs. The eggs are handled and pressed on quite a bit. Fragile real eggs might break.

frencheggs1

Joyeuses Paques! Happy Easter. I hope you have been inspired to create your own beautiful French Easter eggs.

 

DIY Easter Basket Name Tags

I love making my kids’ Easter baskets unique and fun. While shopping at Target recently, I came across these adorable Easter basket name tags made from wood. I loved them so much that I decided to knock them off!

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I also found these cute paper tags (below) from Lia Griffith.

Lia Griffith

I bought flat wooden egg shaped cutouts at Hobby Lobby.

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Then I drilled a hole at the top of each one and painted them white.

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Using some stencils I already had, I stenciled a simple design on each one using spring colored paint.

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Then using alphabet stencils, I stenciled the first initial of each of my kids’ names.

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Using simple jute twine, I tied the personalized name tags onto their baskets. I love them!

baskets

Now my kids will be able to easily identify which basket is theirs on Easter morning.

name tag basket

 So cute. So easy. I hope I have inspired you to create your own unique Easter name tags!

Printemps Couronne de Provence – Spring Wreath from Provence

I love the delicate and graceful flowers of Provence, France in springtime.

Le jardin de Tim

Le jardin de Tim

The soft lavenders and whites exude the beauty of spring in such a subtle way (from France Romantique below) .

lesbauxdeprovencelavande1[1]

weloveprevence.fr

weloveprevence.fr

weheartit.com

weheartit.com

 

laccrochecoeur.canalblog.com

laccrochecoeur.canalblog.com

weheartit.com

weheartit.com

 

J’adore this delicate and elegant wreath below from C…comme Coeur mes coups de coeur.

ccommechristine.canalblog.com

It inspired me to create my own Printemps Couronne de Provence.

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I bought three artificial spring flower bunches ($3.99 each), a grapevine base ($4.99) and jute ribbon ($3.99) above. I originally wanted to use actual dried lavender, however, it was $8.99 a bunch – a little too expensive. I was also nervous that the dried lavender would break up when handling it. The artificial flowers had a green wire stem that eliminated the use of additional wire. I carefully inserted the wire stems into the grapevine and if necessary, twisted them to secure them into place.

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I love the carefree natural look of the small delicate flowers. I chose a simple jute ribbon that had a touch of white woven through it.

provencewreath

I hope you have been inspired to create your own Printemps Couronne de Provence. I love mine!