Wabi Sabi...

Posted October 06, 2010 by Christina

When I saw these images on Skona Hem with the title Wabi Sabi I knew that it was a great way to describe the style I wish I had.  I am not sure that it makes total sense.  I love love the look in photos, but I am not so sure that I could live with the unfinished pieces...  I do have an unfinished concrete floor in my house but chairs might be different.  Could you live in the real thing- with the tattered pieces and the peeling paint or wall paper?

images via Skona Hem



I can live with a few peeling beauties and cracked corners, but most of the anchor pieces have to be in good condition. On some level, I feel that too much furniture or ‘things’ in poor condition take down your spirit, make you a little depressed, if that makes sense. It makes you feel like you are living in disrepair all of the time. That said, I love a few interesting time worn pieces. The attraction of new with old. I always think of the ultimate house in disrepair…the house in the movie Fight Club…now that was depressing.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:41 2014

A Perfect Gray

that first chair is wonderful. I think one piece like that would really make a statement. I have two friends who are antique dealers/designers and they taught my eye to appreciate the more distressed things and I’m so glad they did…

Fri Oct 17 14:09:41 2014

a Broad

I love the chairs but they might end up being re-upholstered because the anal person in the house would start twitching over all the little torn bits.
I might do better with peeling wallpaper as I have lived with moldy wet walls so long, these things are ceasing to bother me.. sigh…

Fri Oct 17 14:09:40 2014

Robynne's Nest

I love those chairs and could absolutely live with them all in my house, however, my husband would kill me if I spent a bomb on what he would call ‘something from the rubbish tip’….he struggles with some of the old bits I buy…but could not cope with an old crusty chair worth 1000’s!

Fri Oct 17 14:09:40 2014

white collar | green soul

yeah I’m not sure if I could…. Definitely not peeling wallpaper or paint. That would probably make me too anxious and just bug me.

I dont’ mind objects to be distressed, or pieces of furniture like tables…An antique chair here or there (like the first) would add good depth and personality though.

But there is something about tattered fabric that, though it looks poignant in photographs, it’s not something I would want to surround myself with.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:40 2014

Eileen @ Passions to Pastry

Yes… I absolutely could live with this. Gorgeous.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:40 2014

Design Elements

love the photographs & the unfinished style.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:39 2014

Splendid Sass

I am not big on worn out furniture either. I am seriously thinking about pulling up the carpet and finishing the concrete floor.
Love these photographs. I really love the silver and gold tones together, and these photographs remind me of that look.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:39 2014

En passant...

I could live there. Pictures in the frames will be different, painted walls of course and unfinished I like it.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:39 2014


I could definitely live with the chairs..might have to warm the room up with some fabrics/cushions….but the chairs just look loved.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:39 2014


not peeling paper – i’d have to keep peeling it!
not peeling paint either – see above.
but one well worn piece would be fab – or a set like the brown chairs. i like having something not precious so that i don’t have to worry about the kiddo or the dog!

Fri Oct 17 14:09:39 2014


Tough question! But, since all of us who read decor blogs tend to change things around (almost on a weekly basis), I seriously doubt the ‘well-loved/lived-in’ look would last too long, anyway. Life’s short; live a little, and yeah, don’t worry about what others think, or if the kid/cats/dogs are going to mess up a room built on perfection! There’s time for that when our eyesight is going dim and then everything looks ‘perfect.’

Fri Oct 17 14:09:38 2014

Acquired Objects

I love the look and wish I could bring myself to do that look in my home but I don’t think I could live like that. I think I would always be picking at it.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:38 2014


Oh, why do I love grey so! Began going through your 900+ inspiration pics. So excited, had to stop and save the fun for when I get home. Just not as enjoyable at work, LOL. Keep having to stop and switch screens.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:38 2014

design traveller

the worn-out leather armchairs look perfect!

Fri Oct 17 14:09:38 2014

Sue Murphy@ life as a house

I love the look, but it would be hard to live with. Some of these pieces are not sturdy enough for everyday use and are more of an art piece. Unfortunately most of us do not have homes big enough not to be able to use each piece of furniture we have.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:37 2014

annie @ PlumSiena

The screen in the first photo is gorgeous- I would snap that up in a minute!


Fri Oct 17 14:09:37 2014

Summerland Style

I love the look for photo shoots, but as an upholsterer I can’t stand this trend! ; ) You should post this question again in a year and see where we all stand on the subject then. We DO tend to move on quickly.

Fri Oct 17 14:09:37 2014

vosges paris

same here I think many ideas of Wabi sabi are just the way I feel it but in reality… I am not to sure …

Fri Oct 17 14:09:37 2014

Acanthus and Acorn

The second image is fantastic, but I would definately have to reupholster the chairs in both!

Fri Oct 17 14:09:37 2014


You should check out John Derian’s house-

Fri Oct 17 14:09:36 2014

Transformations Home Stylists

the english understand the power of “letting it be” – i love it and i live it- in my living room the piping on the seat cushions of my 20 year old bennison bennison ‘faded roses’ sofa is frayed and worn through…the cushion on a small french settee in the same room is casually wrapped in burlap…and the silk curtains at the windows are split from the sun- and there they remain. long live miss havisham!

Fri Oct 17 14:09:36 2014


Could live with the chairs..in fact i do but not peeling paint or wallpaper. I think shabby has to fit inside tidy and neat and clean. xx

Fri Oct 17 14:09:36 2014

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greige: (gra, grège, gray)
adj: not bleached or dyed;
unfinished; raw