How to get the wabi-sabi look in your home

It’s easy to create calming, restful interiors full of charm with these expert styling tricks.

Bunnings magazine, July 2019

City escape

The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi celebrates the beauty in flawed objects: a cracked cup, an uneven weave or natural variations in raw materials. The result is welcoming, offering relaxation and an escape from the pursuit of perfection. The style is simple and calm, uncluttered but not stark, with textured finishes and objects that evoke a soulful response.

Informal dining

A light-filled area with warm, earthy tones and rich greenery makes the heart of the home sociable and inviting. We’ve created this look by placing a hand-woven rug to break up the space, added some bamboo stools for texture and some indoor plants to tie the look together. 

dining set

Natural colours and textured fabrics create a relaxed look.

Elements of style

Go back to basics with raw fabrics and understated details. You could use a potted Bonsai to add a bit of greenery and a touch of linen in either your table cloth or napkins. For crockery, go for a natural texture with a stone or cement look. Match your plates and mugs with an indoor pot to bring continuity within the room.

Love to lounge

A pared-back palette of natural hues creates a tranquil, relaxing space. An easy way to add another element to your space, without breaking the budget, can be done by adding a throw or some decorative cushions on your couch or favourite chair. It instantly injects a cosy feeling into your lounge space.

lounge room

The green room

Indoor plants are natural stress busters, helping us unwind and promoting relaxation – so bring a little nature inside for an instant lift. Check out our guide on the best indoor plants for your space when selecting your greenery.

indoor plant

Wood working

A simple feature wall creates a homely, cosy feel with timber tones warming up a cool background. Have a look at how we created the featured dowel timber wall, its so simple and will instantly bring warmth to your room visually.

Bedroom bliss

Rest easy with soft tones and tactile fabrics that soothe the senses. We’ve paired a neutral rug and linen bed sheets with a timber framed bed and side table to create a this comfort zone.

bed matress
The ‘less is more’ philosophy creates an opulent sense of space in the bathroom.

Clean living

Luxury touches and streamlined style make this bathroom, an often-overlooked area an oasis of calm. This bathroom is free of clutter which gives it an open feel. If you’re needing some help de-cluttering your bathroom, check out our tips.

Bring it outside

A warm and welcoming firepit sets the scene for entertaining. It also helps to carry out the wabi-sabi look throughout your home by bringing similar elements in the backyard.

Mini projects to complete this look

Whitewashed pots

What you need
White rags
Terracotta pots in various sizes and styles
Texture paint (we used Dulux Texture Fine Cover in Oyster Linen)
50mm paintbrush 
Chalk paint spray (we used Rust-Oleum ‘Chalked’ ultra-matte paint in Linen White)

1. Wipe down the terracotta pots with a rag to make sure you have a clean and even surface.
2. Prepare the texture paint by shaking it before opening and then stirring well. Use a paintbrush to cover the surfaces of the pots with the texture paint. Paint in different directions and aim to have a thicker coat in different areas, leaving some of the terracotta exposed.
3. Once the texture paint is dry, use chalk paint spray to cover the pots, coating some areas in more paint than others for a textured, vintage feel.
4. Using a damp rag, wipe the chalk paint while it’s still wet to spread and thin it across the pots, creating the weathered look.

indoor plant pots

Rustic fruit bowl

What you need
White rag
Terracotta bowl
Texture paint (we used Dulux Texture Fine Cover in Oyster Linen)*
50mm paintbrush 

1. Wipe the pot to make sure it’s clean. 
2. Prepare the texture paint as for Whitewashed pots. 
3. Paint an even coat all over the pot, including the base, and set it aside to dry completely before use.
*Once cured, this paint is suitable for fruit bowls but is not suitable for food serving platters or food cutting surfaces

pears in a bowl

Get the wabi-sabi look

Pop into your local Bunnings to pick up what you need to create this look in your home.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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