I am working with a very cool couple that is under contract to purchase a very cool house in Coconut Grove. When we initially saw it, I noticed a couple of cracks in the floors and I asked the other realtor about them because I wondered if they were an issue. She responded that not only are the cracks not a structural issue, but that they exemplify the “wabi-sabi” lifestyle, which embraces imperfections. I had not heard of this term so I looked it up and, sure enough, it is a Japanese “world view centered on the acceptance of…imperfection,” according to Wikipedia.
As a realtor, I am particularly discerning when it comes to homes: I strive for traditional perfection in the properties that I sell. So how does wabi-sabi work in this world, other than in a very cool Grove listing? If you ask MarthaStewart.com, "Wabi-sabi celebrates what's handmade. Instead of settling for mass-market junk, furnish your home with unique, quality pieces. Using materials that weather beautifully, like wood, stone, and metal, will let you just sit back and appreciate what you own as you grow old with it, rather than fretting over cracked plastic or warped vinyl… Wabi-sabi doesn't mean embracing clutter, a wabi-sabi expert explains. 'There is thought and work behind it, not neglect.' . . . every object in your home should be beautiful, useful, or both."
The more I learn about it, the more I like the idea of wabi-sabi because it is not simply embracing imperfection, although that is a part of it. To me, it is also about curating your life and surrounding yourself with things that you love, and what a way that is to live!