What is Wabi-Sabi Design

May 2018



In traditional Japanese aesthetics, Wabi-Sabi is a worldview centered on acceptance and imperfection. Characteristics of the Wabi-Sabi include asymmetry,  intimacy, and appreciation of the integrity of natural objects and composition. Since a large part of Wabi-Sabi is about connecting to the earth, this interior design trend relies on the use of natural-looking materials. Clutter detracts from the calm our homes provide.  Even objects that aren’t visible create a mental block to living simply. Decluttering your home will free your mind and spirit.

Beauty with purpose and functionality can simplify your space and the purpose of collecting objects accumulated through life bring happiness and thoughts of our past happy lives. Only keep what makes you feel good.


    Lacquered Wallpaper

A fixture of traditional Japanese architecture, handmade lacquer ‘Urushi’ made from the sap of the Urushi tree, is used as a natural living lacquer for screens, cabinets and as wallpaper. Lacquered wallpaper is moisture resistant and perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.

Dining and Textured Pendant Lighting

Pendant lamps in natural textiles add to the warm, earthy materiality of this style. Wabi-sabi dining rooms are inviting, and comfortable. Eliminate harsh overhead lighting and think candles to create shadows and ambiance. 


       Use Natural materials

Wabi-sabi is about connecting to the earth and relies on the use of natural materials.  Incorporate these materials no matter what your aesthetic preferences are. Authenticity is essential and natural products are preferred over mass-produced versions.  Flea markets, craft shows, and independently-owned shops are great sources.

                                             The Bedroom

Wabi-Sabi is finding beauty in imperfection and forming a deep connection to the earth.  Enjoy the simple pleasures of life, recognize the importance of authenticity, and strive to remain authentic. The main elements of this room are asymmetry and intimacy.  The placement of the bed in a corner makes the room uneven.  The soft bedcoverings are inviting and warm.  Add fresh air and fragrances to your home

Mindy McVay Abney, ASID, founded her full-service design firm in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with her philosophy “real life-real style.”
Specializing in transitional design, Mindy McVay Interiors is known for sophisticated, traditional decor with a fresh twist and most importantly, reflection of her clients’ personality.

Mindy’s keen eye for the unexpected adds individuality to her designs. With over three decades of interior design experience, she has developed a deep intuition about people and fully understands her clients’ spirit and needs before attempting to design a space that best fits them.

Please contact Mindy for a complimentary consultation by phone or in person.  You are invited to send photos along with decorating plans, concerns, and questions.

Mindy McVay Interiors  


mindymcvay@sc.rr.com   843.424.6701