So maybe you are wondering, what is wabi sabi? It's a Japanese world view that drives also Japanese aesthetics, a concept that sees beauty in incompleteness and impermanence, and so designs will embody asymmetry, simplicity, irregularity, intimacy and often, austerity. Now, the modern wabi sabi bedroom is not always austere; in fact, many wabi sabi designs could be called minimalist. Usually a plan suffices as wabi sabi if it captures just one or two wabi sabi principles of beauty.
To achieve the wabi sabi concept in your home, designs have organic materials and objects used for decoration and accenting, such as unfinished woods, flowers, plants or bamboo. The most common feature of a wabi sabi bedroom is the platform bed, raised just slightly off the ground, but never as high as Western beds, because, well, too high would just not be wabi sabi. Let's check out some amazing examples for inspiration…
Simple and natural. This is a gorgeous wabi sabi design, with natural stone wall, orchids, green plants and a simple futon on unprocessed pinewood. Yet, it still has an unfinished feeling, set in a makeshift room where two of four walls are traditional Japanese partitions.
The main elements working for this bedroom's wabi sabi is intimacy and asymmetry: the bed curtains, slightly off kilter, and the soft bed are really inviting and warm. The placement of the bed, in the corner, makes the room uneven.
Beautiful cherry blossom pink has been used on the traditional wabi sabi walls, framed helter skelter with woods, making a variety of shapes. The table has been set in an odd place, at the centre of the bed, just a bit out on a rug. Lastly, the leafy, white sheer curtains let in a subdued light in daytime, creating a not totally sunny room, but nevertheless quite an intimate one.
In this modern version of wabi sabi style, a winding white wood shelf performs asymmetry perfectly on the headboard wall while a cherry blossom branch reaches out from the top corner of the adjacent wall.
Well this bedroom make take the cake for most austere. Dark rosewood beams and floors contrast simply with white white walls, and the bed has been simply outfitted with light green tatami mats. Only two lights are in here, both in the far corner of the bed, leaving a bit to desired – the wabi sabi way.
Here asymmetry and simplicity rule: only one wall has been splashed with colour – a mosaic that itself has irregular shapes and motifs, while the rest is without adornment, only bright white.
Sunlight and moonlight are the primary design features of this room, both of which come in through the large, A-frame windows and deck doors. In all other respects, this room is wabi sabi wonderful – just a mildly comfortable bed and two toned, beige tatami mats spread on a sheen wood floor.
Dark tones connote emptiness or the absence of self-nature in wabi sabi design, and this bedroom nails this with its dark greens, browns, paired with burnt reds and yellows – colours of burst and passion – that together, represent quite a crooked, philosophical feeling.
Here we have a room using wabi sabi and Western principles of aesthetics. An off-centre bed done in natural, plain greys and creams bespeaks the wabi sabi, while the intricate concrete pattern above the headboard and the mosaic of a red-clothed woman hark to a little of the West's decadence in design.
The irregular art, all mimicking familiar shapes found in nature, make this wabi sabi bedroom a very interesting one. We especially love the blood red comforter, inlaid with intricately stitched flower motifs, and the Western-style bedside lamps.
Wabi sabi design shows how woods can make a space look austere, and how austerity is actually a pretty great aesthetic. In this room, wood only half-envelopes the low bed, and black natural decor in the form of simple vases. Otherwise, the wabi sabi trademark is shown through the natural, hefty wood walls, simple decor and the mostly empty headboard built-in shelf.
This room captures one of the essential principles of the wabi sabi concept--absence or emptiness, perceived to be fundamental to the nature of things. The black walls have a gorgeous contrast with the light, simple bed and are lit with a plain, multi-coloured wall lamp.
Here we have forest green working for the organic touch, while circles, stripes and knotty wood patterns--mimicking shapes found in nature--adorn the room sparingly. Additionally, the bed has been kept off-centre, making this a thoroughly wabi sabi space.
A classic shell of a wabi sabi boudoir. Just plop a simple wood platform anywhere and enjoy the no-frills feel of this light and organic little room, which features traditional sliding Japanese doors, firm cream tatami mats and a wall-sized window.
This last bedroom is a dead giveaway for wabi sabi design because of the incomplete wall/headboard that has been placed unconventionally in the half-centre of the room--but the bright green is really great, and Western art adorns it, along with a higher nightstand and bedside lamp, all adding an interesting East-meets-West vibe for this room. And natural wood ceiling sits high, making room for the luxuriant mosquito netting over the bed. In this room, as in all these wabi sabi rooms, slumbering would surely be easy and simple!
To see more Japanese design, check out: Japanese minimalism does it again!