Do You Have A Wabi-Sabi Kitchen?

The Perfectly Imperfect Kitchen

Ikea Small Kitchen with Lots of Open Shelving

Kitchen projects are some of the most popular for everyone.  We all want our kitchens to be the best they can be.  It does not matter if you are a weekend DIYer, or have a full contracting crew to help you create the kitchen of your dreams….you will most likely have to deal with an element that is not quite “perfect”.

What If We Embrace The Imperfections And Make Them Part Of The Design?

In traditional Japanese aesthetics, Wabisabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.  The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

Motivational Monday

littleblackdomicile laurel dress

Let’s take a look at how beautifully this concept can work in our home’s decor.

c magazine burl wood counter top in column

Now this is what I call innovative design!  How many TV shows do we see today when the designer (and a bad one if you ask me) only discovers the support column midway thru the show and after all the cabinets have been ordered?!  Yes, we have these challenges to face in nearly every project and plan accordingly.  The designer in this photo from C Magazine really upped the game and made this a true wabi-sabi success.

via pinterest breakfast bar in front of window

And what about this cutie?  The owners of this kitchen did not let a window stop them from having a sunny breakfast spot.  Wabi-sabi spawns creativity!

The Small Wabi-Sabi Kitchen

Ah, every client we have call us for a kitchen remodel wants the kitchen to be, or feel, larger.  We are pros at making this happen for 99% of our clients.  But what about those who are simply “land locked” so to say?  Using the right designer (us!) who practices a little wabi-sabi magic means good design is for everyone.

apartment therapy small kitchen

It’s evident, with all the cookbooks as part of the working decor,  that the owner of this wonderful apartment kitchen loves to cook.  How charming are all the woven baskets that no doubt hold what the limited cabinets can not?  Using the space we have works!

Ladny Dom photo of a small kitchen remodel

Next let’s take a look at a kitchen remodel that utilized a little wabi-sabi by accepting the existing space.  All the function and beauty of other kitchens with added charm!

Vintage Features In Kitchens

Architectural Digest Black and White Checkerboard Floor Kitchen

One of the most difficult things to do as a designer is to undo someone else’s design. Especially designs with classic elements that have withstood the test of time.  Such is the case in the kitchen above featured in Architectural Digest where the cement tiles remain in a modified renovation.  They are imperfectly perfect!

Other Areas To Practice Wabi-Sabi In Our Homes

Our fellow blogger and friend, at, often writes about how her journey towards a more minimal lifestyle sometimes leaves her searching for perfection.  This week her post is also giving us all a little more freedom to embrace wabi-sabi in our lives.   Here’s a list of areas where we both know we can start celebrating the perfectly imperfect nature of life.

  • our closets-favorite shoes might just need a good polish-Oh my, once again Minimal-lol*, has posted about the same subject!  Hop over to her site and enjoy her thoughts how Wabi-Sabi works with our clothing.
  • our kitchen cabinets-a complete matching set of pots/pans is seldom used
  • the pantry-having a basket for chips alone is OK!
  • our home accessories-quirky translates into unique in the design world
  • our significant other (oops…how did that get in there?)
  • the garage-the kids won’t be small forever
  • the linen bin-worn sheets are the softest and have the lowest thread count
  • our medicine cabinets-sorry, this is one spot we need to be perfectionists and toss those expirations
  • the dogs toys -keeping the smelly ones that are his favorite

Giving Ourselves A Break

So grab yourself a cup of tea, in your favorite mis-matched cup, and pat yourself on the back as you try to figure out what to do with your day!



*One of the very best perks of writing a blog, is getting to know other bloggers in so many parts of the world.  From a small village in England, we’ve met Lorraine who writes at, who is an aspiring minimalist, lover of simplicity, reader, yogini and Project 333 capsule wardrobe enthusiast.   “This blog contains some musings on minimalism, simplicity and the lightness and ease they can bring. ”   Don’t you love the way the English speak…musings!  Thank you for another inspirational post.

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3 thoughts on “Do You Have A Wabi-Sabi Kitchen?”

  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Laurel :-), very kind comments indeed. And thank you for introducing me to the concept of Wabi-sabi, as I’d never heard of it before. I think the kitchen is an ideal place to introduce this concept – the very nature of the work that goes on here is transient and will never be perfect – we pop in and out to make meals that are gone in a few minutes, wipe surfaces that are dirty later and clean cupboards that fill up again! If we start to embrace the transience and leave the notion of perfection behind, we could all be a lot happier. Thank you, my friend, Lxxx

    1. Thank you! We always enjoy sharing with other bloggers when the subject allows. Accepting the imperfections we can transfers to all areas of our lives. Fair warning…on Wednesday post I am talking but a situation I could not practice Wabi-Sabi with!

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