At the beginning of a new year there is always much talk about the key interior trends that we can expect to see flooding our High Street stores and independent shops. Not every trend appeals to each and every one of us and I for one, won’t be rushing out to buy anything purple any time soon, but one trend that has emerged and is tipped to be huge this year which I already love, is Wabi-Sabi style.
If you’re anything like me, which by the very fact that you’re reading this blog, suggests you are, you will be fully signed up to the addiction that is Instagram and might already be familiar with the term Wabi-sabi, which has been trending on social media for a couple of years now.One of the influencers I first started following that lives with this aesthetic was Owl_Emma, whose feed is absolutely beautiful and full of wabi-wabi images. As with all niche trends they eventually gain momentum until the leading retailers pick up on it and the trend becomes mainstream.
What exactly does Wabi-sabi mean, you might well be asking yourself. Well it’s a Japanese term, that translates as the acceptance of imperfection, an appreciation of the imperfect and the embracing of life. The aesthetic qualities it focuses on are weathered, worn or rusted elements, all the type of gently faded and time worn objects that are generally hand made and that you would find at an antique or salvage fair. If you have the time to look for these sort of items you will find some wonderful gems that might be overlooked by those in pursuit of perfection. Hand turned wonky wooden bowls and spoons, hand blown glass, complete with imperfect bubbles and rusted wire work. Hand washed vintage linens and mirrors with glass foxed after years hung against damp victorian walls, are all to be found at antique and salvage fairs. A calendar of events run by Arthur Swallow fairs can be found here and the first one of this year is being held at Lincoln show ground next week.
If however, it is a style that you love but you are short on time, there are some new and mass produced items with this same artisan, imperfect look available on the High Street and through small independent shops. It might seem like a contradiction in terms to the Wabi-sabi ethos to shop this way, but if readily available suits your lifestyle better, then that is why retailers offer up these collections, it generally suits most consumers to shop this way.
Two of my favourite independent retailers, have specialised in this artisan look for years and their shops are full of beautiful tactile products.
Moth in Didsbury Manchester, is an interiors obsessives institution now and the go to shop for anything with that lovely simple and pure aesthetic. They don’t unfortunately have an online shop, although it is in the making, but regular stock is posted on their instagram feed and you can always ring and order anything you might have seen on there, for home delivery.
Another beautiful shop, which is no secret to anybody familiar with this style, is iGigi in Hove, which I eventually got to visit during my trip to Brighton in October. There is an online shop and the owners also have a book available, A Life Less Ordinary, which focuses on their natural style and ability to create beautiful interiors and vignettes using wabi-sabi style items collected from around the world.
Here are some of the lovely items that have caught my eye recently, all readily available and mostly inexpensive.
- Calm House Collection – Next
- Linen Throw – Trouva
- Slouchy Hickory Striped Linen bag – Object Style
- Artisan bowls – Tiger
- Hand Made Wooden Spoons – Butlers Emporium
- Bundle of linen sheets – LinenstudioRG
- Lene Bjerre crockery – Rose & Grey
- Wabi-sabi Welcome book – Trouva
- Wooden bowl – Garden Trading