Embrace the Beauty of Imperfection with Nordic Wabi Sabi


In recent years, the idea of wabi sabi has gained popularity in the Western world. Originating from Japan, wabi sabi is an aesthetic philosophy that embraces the beauty of imperfection, asymmetry, and simplicity. It celebrates the natural and imperfect world, encouraging us to find beauty in everyday life. With the influence of Nordic design, a fusion of two styles has emerged: Nordic wabi sabi – a unique blend of Scandinavian minimalism and Japanese wabi sabi. In this article, we will explore the principles of Nordic wabi sabi and how it can bring a sense of peace and calmness to our lives.

What is Wabi Sabi?

Wabi sabi is a Japanese concept that values the beauty of imperfection and impermanence. It is often regarded as a way of life, encouraging us to appreciate the simple, natural, and unpretentious things around us. Wabi sabi is not just an aesthetic; it is a way of seeing and being in the world. It teaches us to find beauty in the mundane and to embrace the transience of things.

What is Nordic Design?

Nordic design is a design movement originating from the Nordic countries – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. It is characterized by a minimalist and functional approach that prioritizes simplicity, clarity, and natural materials. Nordic design is known for its clean lines, muted colors, and use of wood, leather, and other natural fibers. It values craftsmanship and quality over quantity, emphasizing the importance of well-made objects that stand the test of time.

Principles of Nordic Wabi Sabi

Nordic wabi sabi is a unique fusion of two design styles – Nordic design and wabi sabi. This design approach combines the simplicity and functionality of Nordic design with the imperfection and naturalness of wabi sabi. Here are the key principles of Nordic wabi sabi:


One of the defining principles of Nordic wabi sabi is the appreciation of imperfection. This design approach values asymmetry, irregularity, and the natural process of aging. It celebrates the beauty of objects that are worn, chipped, or faded, seeing them as a testament to the passage of time.


Nordic wabi sabi prioritizes simplicity and minimalism, favoring clean lines and a neutral color palette. It values function over form, emphasizing the practical and functional aspects of an object over its aesthetic appeal.


Nature is central to Nordic wabi sabi design, as it provides a sense of calmness and serenity. It celebrates the beauty of natural materials, such as wood, stone, and leather, and incorporates them into the design. Nordic wabi sabi also values the natural processes of change and decay, seeing them as an integral part of life.


Another key principle of Nordic wabi sabi is the importance of craftsmanship. It values the skill and care that go into making an object, prioritizing the quality and longevity of the object over its price or status.

How to Incorporate Nordic Wabi Sabi into Your Home

Incorporating Nordic wabi sabi into your home is a simple and accessible process. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Embrace Imperfection

Look for objects that are worn or weathered, such as wooden chairs with visible knots or patches. These imperfections add character and style to a space.

Use Natural Materials

Incorporate natural materials into your home, such as woven baskets, wooden tables, and stone sculptures. These materials add a sense of warmth and texture to a space.

Create a Color Palette of Neutral Tones

Stick to a color palette of earthy and muted tones, such as beige, brown, and gray. These colors create a sense of calmness and simplicity in a space.


Declutter your space and keep only what is necessary. This allows the objects you do keep to shine and stand out, creating a sense of clarity and focus.

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