By Claire Bond, Plascon Stylist and Brand Ambassador
Our colour of the month for May is a smoky, silvery, old world blue-green called Julianne Jade G5-E2-1.
In 2017 the Scandinavian design trend “HYGGE” introduced the idea of creating simple uncluttered interiors. This year the Japanese-inspired trend wabi-sabi takes things a step further.
Established in Zen Buddhism, this age-old Japanese concept lends its focus to accepting and embracing the imperfection in the world around us. There is a related maxim that I love: “There is perfection in the imperfection”.
In an era that is obsessed with perfection and getting things done instantly, we invite you to take some time to yourself and learn about the Japanese version of shabby chic which celebrates the opposite.
Break your own rules of haste and try to slow down. Make yourself a pot of tea using loose tea leaves, or grind your coffee beans. Focus on the present, listen to the sound of your coffee being ground and embrace the scent of the present.
Wabi-Sabi Do’s & Don’ts
Wabi-sabi design uses muted and shaded colours which can be found on our Plascon Inspired stand. Look out for codes that include a D or an E, for example our colour this month is G5-E2-1. The G in the code describes the hue, which is green, and the E shows that the colour is shaded.
The amount of sunlight in a room can change the way a colour looks. Where there are shadows in the room a colour will look less vibrant, so colour is dependent on where the sun is at any moment in time.
Due to the natural materials that make up this style of décor a typical colour scheme will include earthy browns, greys, warm rusty autumn colours, muted sage greens and creams.
Essential Elements and Design Suggestions
An essential element in a wabi-sabi interior is the incorporation of handcrafted items. Although imperfections are allowed, this is not an excuse for poor craftsmanship. The style is all about rediscovering what was great about the past, giving thanks so those who came before us and embracing the creation as well as the history of the item and those who created it.
Use recycled pieces with a salvaged look to create an inviting space for guests to feel at home in your living space. If you are a lover of antiques, perhaps you have inherited some good furniture that will add to your home style. Look for handmade décor objects in the muted colours of nature.
To create this space, think along the lines of shabby-chic and industrial style aesthetic. Go in search of materials worn from wear; do not send old handcrafted crockery to the charity shop but instead use it to accessorize the room you are re-creating.
Tip: Resurrect items long forgotten from the back of your mother’s kitchen cupboard!
This a more modern twist of wabi; the plants take influence from nature which is a key aspect of wabi-sabi. Collect handmade baskets and search for well-crafted furniture and original art. These items will give your space a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Try keep accent pieces to a minimum.
Environmental impact is a key consideration. Mango wood, blond in colour (see kitchen pic above), is becoming the sustainable wood of choice. It is strong, has a beautiful natural grain and can be used as an alternative to more conventional wood choices such as oak, maple and teak.
Texture is a key element (see the rusted and worn metal lintel above). Try your hand at painting a rusted faux effect.
Natural unbleached bed linen is core to the relaxed theme.
As noted and featured on Lisbeth Williams’ WABI SABI blog, Thai designer Saran Yen “has been experimenting with natural dyed cotton for his Wabi Sabi garment project. He has taken his inspiration from Leonard Koren’s book Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers.”
Yen himself describes the aesthetic as follows:
“The wabi-sabi aesthetic includes asymmetry, asperity, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and the suggestion of natural processes. As a result, the fabric is dyed with natural components such as yeast, coffee, etc.” (wabisabi-style.blogspot.co.za)
Wabi-sabi can be embraced as an aesthetic sense, but it also brings a gentle spiritual component into the home. Our home should be a sanctuary; not an ostentatious show-off space but rather a place that people can live in, laugh in and love life to the full. It asks that we set aside our judgments our need for perfection, and to focus instead on the beauty of things as they are.
Headline sponsors of Decorex SA, Plascon will have colour specialists on hand at its ‘colour café’ where they will disseminate insights into the importance of colour complements and contrasts on spatial perception and cognitive influence. Visit their stand at Decorex Joburg 8 – 12 August at Gallagher Convention Centre.
Buy your tickets now