My old wabi-sabi home stood witness to celebration, sorrow, our children’s first words and fumbling first steps, dinners shared at the end of each day. It provided all that a home could and should, and now it's my lesson in non-attachment.
A wabi-sabi home just feels right, without pretense or compromise—like our grandmothers’ Depression era homes, where things were patched and mended but scrubbed and clean, handmade or chosen and paid for with care.
Alabama Chanin makes sumptuous fabrics from scraps, Mona Hoffman imagines the people she's crafting each lamp for as she makes it, and potter Shiho Kanzaki believes that attitude is everything. These are a few of my favorite wabi-sabi artists.
In a wabi-sabi garden, plants are chosen because they belong in that climate, and they’re allowed to strut their stuff if they’re considerate of the plants around them. Both plants and guests are encouraged to meander and explore.
Find out how wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy that promotes attention, reverence, generosity and respect, can build the foundation of a happy home.
Learn to let go of associations with price, value, age and prestige and just appreciate beauty without judgment. Nature is the best muse for cultivating wabi-sabi.
A flea market basket that called to me, my grandmother's hand-embroidered linens and a quilt made by a circle of women in Minnesota are among the wabi-sabi items that I wouldn't want to be without.
If we use high-quality items in our everyday lives, our lives become a sort of training. By using each item with care and careful consideration, the way we live becomes a tradition.
Together, wabi (humility) and sabi (beauty in rust) become more than the sum of their parts--a philosophy that promotes peace, serenity and respite in our homes.
Wabi-sabi is wildflowers, not roses; weathered wood, not plastic laminate; native landscaping, not Kentucky bluegrass. Pictures tell a thousand words.
Flea market shopping takes dedication and agility--and it's a ton of fun if you're well prepared.
Wabi-sabi is underplayed and understated, quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered. It’s a fragmentary glimpse: the branch representing the tree, shoji screens filtering the sun, the moon obscured behind a ribbon of cloud.
The four principles of Tea ceremony—harmony, respect, purity and tranquility—are the means to a good life.
Mother readers weigh in on the wabi-sabi objects that give them joy and solace--from old books to heirloom quilts (and a few surprises). This community of kindred spirits embodies the art of appreciation. Enjoy!
As Offlining urges cyborgs to turn off their Blackberries, Neo-Luddites question technology's exponential encroachment on our lives.
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
In Japan, wabi-sabi can be found in the small moments of beauty and acts of hospitality that pervade the culture.
Sen no Rikyu's simple, unpretentious ceremony using rustic, local tools usurped the elaborate, ostentatious Tea ceremonies that were the norm in 16th-century Japan. His 'aesthetic of the people' made Tea accessible to all--and endures to this day.
Strongly influenced by wabi-sabi's principles, the leaders of the Arts and Crafts movement railed against 'the swinish luxury of the rich,' ornamental excess and the poverty of people who lacked creativity.
In the kitchen, we can cultivate our sense of aesthetics and function. Tools can be beautiful. Food can be art. Cooking can be meditation.
Every once in a while we need to rebel against the machines. Hand a towel to your significant other and ask him to dry while you rinse. Sweep the floor with a real broomcorn broom. Have a real conversation. Enjoy things happening slowly.
Wabi-sabi teaches us appreciation for the good energy and soul that handmade items bring to our homes. Etsy, the premiere source for handcrafted home goods, offers an extensive list of items whose sale will benefit Japanese relief efforts.
In ancient Japan, preparing and serving bitter green tea became a means for ordinary people to escape for a moment and share a ritual. Tea ceremony became a venue for Japan’s finest poets and artists that endures to this day.
A quiet life filled with appreciation for simple things is the richest life possible.
Zen Buddhism's Seven Ruling Principles are wabi-sabi's foundation. They're also excellent guiding lights for a good home and life.
Let the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi help you purge unwanted items and get organized for the new year.
Natural beauty is priceless. We can take in and appreciate a great view because we don’t have any hope of owning it, and we can’t manipulate it. With our egos out of the way, we can simply observe.
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
As we watch the devastation's aftermath in Japan, the world will learn valuable lessons from a culture that reveres service to others, deep acceptance and community.
Salt glaze pottery, primitive colonial furnishings and pewter bring wabi-sabi into your home—while honoring our American traditions.
A San Francisco architect brings wabi-sabi to his work through craftsmanship, employing natural materials to create a holistic environment that’s not cookie-cutter or slick, and eschewing ornamentation for what is needed and meaningful.
Inspired by back-to-the-landers Scott and Helen Nearing, Kate NaDeau grows her own food and enjoys the simple pleasures of seasonal living in her handbuilt stone cottage in Maine. She is the epitome of good wabi-sabi living.
Charles and Ray Eames are modern wabi-sabi heroes who brought fresh, spare furniture, without pretense or stodginess, to the masses. Their home was a wabi-sabi masterpiece.
Wabi-sabi is sinewy, flecked browns and yellowed greens, the myriad stone and moss shades, a slate-gray cloud’s washed violet underside. Like nature, wabi-sabi paints in multidimensional swatches that are never what they appear to be.
Today is not a day for selling books. It's a day for prayer and solidarity with the Japanese people.
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
Space and light are your home's most desirable ornaments. Here's how to clear the clutter so they can shine through.
Meditating has never come naturally to me, probably because of my goal-oriented approach. Wabi-sabi helped me see find peace in simple solitude (and long dog walks) instead.
The only one rule for wabi-style flowers? Strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Let go of perfection. Your "arrangement" is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
Your simply imperfect arsenal for getting the whole house clean--naturally.
Get inspired by early winter to decorate your home.
Go green this winter to prepare for your spring garden. You can easily create a beautiful garden by reusing normal household items.
Elaborate, ostentatious Tea ceremony had become the norm in 16th century Japan when Sen no Rikyu proved that simplicity is ultimately more luxurious with his rustic, minimalist Tea ceremony--which endures to this day.
It’s easy to cut back on consumption, reuse great fabrics and add style to your rooms when you tackle basic sewing projects.
No cash and no space? No problem. With attractive treasures that serve as extra storage, you can decorate a funky and functional space. Natural Home guest blogger Julie Collins shows you how.
Adding houseplants to your home’s décor is an easy, affordable way to enliven your home.
Design your dining room with patterned placemats from Amenity. Made of organic cotton and hemp, these placemats come in a variety of colors and designs, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your room.
With more than 32 designs to choose from, you’re sure to find an organic cotton throw pillow for your home’s décor from Wabisabi Green’s EcoArt pillow collections.
Here Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses her southern facing 17 inch deep window sills to grow seedlings. She also notes that their electrical bill for February in the furnace free home was only $11 -- $8 of which was service fees.
This easy-to-make edible centerpiece, courtesy of Driscoll's, will keep your footprint light and your home less cluttered with holiday decorations this holiday season.
Hang used fabric on your walls instead of paint or wallpaper.
Get creative with your Christmas tree! Save the forests, skip the plastic greenery and really go green this holiday with a different kind of tree.
Vintage tins add decorative accents to your home while also providing storage.
Decorating with mirrors is an easy way to increase your home’s natural light, make small rooms feel bigger, and improve your home’s interior without spending a fortune.
Express yourself by decorating a blank wall with eco-friendly wall treatments and low-VOC paints.
Old mirrors are a dime a dozen at flea markets--but what can you do with them? Group several of different shapes together for a pretty, unique display.
The Windfall reclaimed wood engineered panels are Douglas Fir and Hemlock Fir raw material harvested from demolition sites in the Pacific Northwest, and given new life as decorative panels for interior design.
Hanging baskets on your walls helps to create storage and still offer decorative design in your home.
Let this close up look at a festive table setting inspire your Thanksgiving harvest feast!
Bring a little autumn cheer into your home with these fun fall decoration tips.
With these black flowers in your garden, it's easier to make a spooky bouquet.
Dedicated to the Midwest’s winters, guest blogger Stephanie Nickolson offers practical tips and ideas for decorating interiors in white.
Decorating for the holidays does not have to be complicated. Use our recipes for cinnamon spice and gingerbread cookie ornaments to add simple beauty and fragrance to your home.
Although each home is different, these five keys to good entryway design will help you create a personalized, functional space.
Give your living space the smell of Christmas with these fragrant, inexpensive holiday decor ideas and disguise your artificial Christmas tree with homemade pine cone decorations.
Take a peek inside our office and watch our efforts in decorating. This year's theme?—Feliz Navidad!
Bored with your headboard? Freshen up your bedroom’s look with one of these DIY headboard ideas.
Keep your storage off the floor and decorate your home using birdcages.
Two years ago, the Natural Home & Garden staff had the honor of decorating President Obama's guest house with sustainable and handmade holiday decor. Try some of these "president-approved" projects yourself!
Promote health and overall well-being when you consider these four tips while decorating your home.
Make the holidays a little easier (and more natural) with these 10 gift and decorating ideas.
Recycled glass can make a stunning addition to your home. Discover recycled glass countertops, tiles and mosaics for your home.
The Herb Society of America (HSA) was invited by Lake Metroparks Farmpark to decorate a Christmas tree in their main lobby. Learn how they decorated the tree.
Add a pop of color to a dull decorating scheme with these brightly colored recycled glass vases from Z Gallerie.
Individual reactions to color vary, but choosing color for your home’s rooms can have a strong effect on how you feel when you’re in them.
Christmas may have passed, but the remnants of the holiday festivities remain—piles of wrapping paper, boxes, and ribbons tangled strands of lights trees losing needles all over the living room floor. Fortunately, cleaning up after another holiday season is easier—and more
With a little do-it-yourself effort, wooden shutters found at flea markets and antique stores can turn into shelves, room dividers and other home décor.
Thrift store finds have limitless uses if you look beyond their original purpose.
Two students have created an inspirational blog that features one upcycling project—something made from discarded materials—each day. They've committed to keeping it going for 30 days, but with your help it could go forever.
Try these tips to green a birthday celebration.
After weeks of planning (and a little bit of panicking), the Natural Home team finishes decorating the Blair House and State Department for the holidays with a selection of fair trade, artisan-made items that benefit our planet and its citizens.
Natural Home has been invited to decorate rooms in Blair House, the President’s guest house that hardly anyone ever gets to see, and the U.S. State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, DC in the first-ever Magazine Holiday Design Showcase, a partnership between the U.S. State Department and the Magazine Publishers of America.
Got Hosta, Day Lilies or maybe some old records you’re not using? Recycle them in these fun, easy-to-make decorations, perfect for a Horrific Halloween!
Guest blogger Kim Wallace finds four shades of turquoise for her living room accent wall from Olympic Paint and Stain’s “Colors of Inspiration” paint color swatch booklet, which is filled with 1,200 zero-VOC interior paint colors.
Natural Home guest blogger Victoria Klein reviews green home decor from MIO.
Natural Home guest blogger Victoria Klein reviews certified-organic fabrics from Harmony Art.
Cut old milk jugs into the shape of your choice, rough them up with sandpaper and string them together to make surprisingly pretty window shades that offer privacy while letting the sun shine in.
We found this cute garden decor and insist you take a look!
Connect together inexpensive mending plates to make these top-shelf candleholders—perfect for patio and porch dining. This simple project takes minutes and costs next to nothing.
Bring some spring into your life. Sprinkle some wheat grass seeds in an old apothecary jar and watch them grow.
Artist Boris Bally’s edgy, street-smart furniture is made from recycled street signs.
From perpetually sunny Orange Country, California, Humble sells extremely eco-conscious home décor accessories featuring designs that will remind you of summer’s past.
Create the feeling that you are waking up underneath the trees with a headboard made of aspen branches.
Myriah Scruggs and Nadia Yaron, the design duo behind Nightwood, deconstruct abandoned furniture pieces and then reconstruct them into folksy-modern works of art.
Handmade from start to finish, Michelle Prosek’s jazzy art glass adds an eco-modern element to any room. Find her unique glass art in her Etsy shop.
The shopping website Hipcycle offers beautiful upcycled products for your home and garden.
Throw a green New Year's eve party with these tips for decor, food and more.
DIY inspiration comes from the most unlikely places, even discarded materials we consider trash. These projects show you how versatile plastic bottles can be.
These three great design blogs share inspiration to redecorate our homes on a budget—using rescued and reclaimed items.
Natural Home editorial intern Susan Melgren weighs the pros and cons of live and artificial trees in her quest for an eco-friendly Christmas tree.
This herb cupcake is calorie-free and so darn cute!
bambu creates modern goods for the kitchen and home, created from renewable materials, including bamboo and cork.
Use an old aluminum can and branch trimmings to make a rustic and beautiful vase. This simple project using humble materials costs nearly nothing and looks like a million bucks.
Tearing out wall-to-wall carpet is one of the healthiest things you can do. Dress up the scuffed wood floor underneath using plant-based paint and stencils. You'll never miss the rug.
We found this cute garden decor idea and insist you take a look!
Gone are the days when I longed to present my home to guests filled with everything bright, shiny and new. My taste is now an eclectic blend of vintage and new.
Using recycled giftwrap as a table runner makes for an easy, inexpensive and eco-friendly DIY wedding decor project.
Build a sustainable dog bed out of recycled T-shirts or newspapers. When placed in a revamped end table, it makes a nice piece of doggie furniture, too.
Inspired by an upcoming article on winter garden design, Jessica shares a project that turns autumn and winter plants into an elegant holiday centerpiece.
Give your bathroom a little flair—and have fun doing it—by creating a backsplash from pebbles, pennies or whatever's rattling around in the bottom of the toolbox. This fun, simple project is perfect for everyone—whether you're a DIYer or not.
Hammocks and High Tea designer and founder Karen Young describes the creative process and the steps it takes to create a sustainable home decor line.
Mystic Masala offers Ayurveda-based candles, soaps, and body products made from sustainable herbs and fair trade methods in Nepal.
Reed diffusers are a great way to fill your home with the fresh, healing scents of essential oils—but they're pricey. You can save a bundle by making your own using repurposed bottles and plant stalks.
Patters and personality galore, Plover Organic’s organic cotton bedding and kitchen textiles add just the right amount of spice to your green home decor.
Gina Luker of The Shabby Chic Cottage turns a flea market suitcase and baskets into a wonderful bedside table that doubles as valuable storage.
J Clay Pottery features all your favorite foodie items—mugs and plates to bowls and sake sets—in all-natural clay and nature-inspired colors.
For a quick (and inexpensive) burst of color, nothing beats painting the walls. Here’s why it’s worthwhile to make the paint you use low-VOC.
Turn empty oatmeal and salt containers into pretty storage canisters--in a snap.
Use old jars to make these cute, inexpensive candle lanterns—for a fraction of what you'd pay if you bought them at the store.
Reuse those baby food jars and create a beautiful chandelier! Make this rustic, elegant candleholder or stop before power tools are required to make pretty votives, perfect for patio dining.
Rain chains are a smart, good-looking way to collect rainwater from your roof—but they can be pricey. You can make your own for next to nothing. Give your house a little bling.
Try these pumpkin candleholders and tell us about your favorite pumpkin decorations.
What can you do with all those useless newspapers, paper bags and Yellow Pages books? Tear them into scraps and use them to decoupage walls and other surfaces. It's easy, cheap—and surprisingly elegant.
Guest blogger Stephanie Nickolson explores furniture, fabric and flooring options for those with children and pets.
A man’s room, or “man cave” is a private dwelling that a man can use to hang out with his buddies, watch tv, play games, etc. It can be decorated in a masculine fashion. There are some great natural products for this room.
Silk flowers are one way to get the pop of color with flowers and not have the plants die on you. Here's how to incorporate silk flower arrangements into your house.
Pick some pretty leaves, paint them and press their likenesses onto an inexpensive shower curtain liner to make a shower curtain much prettier than anything found in stores.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
Reclaimed furniture can add a rustic yet elegant touch to your home. Find out why you should choose reclaimed over new and how to incorporate it in your home.
Guest blogger Eileen Troemel shares her tips for arranging silk flowers.
Springtime is here! Floral motifs in interiors are popular—and also a great reminder that the new season has arrived.
Stylish furniture typically doesn’t involve discarded trash—but the designs of Studio Jo Meesters do. Studio Jo Meesters introduces “Odds and Ends, Bits and Pieces,” a fun collection of furniture pieces made from recycled materials that contain just as much panache
Add eco-friendly home décor to your space by displaying upcycled art such as vintage fabrics, old t-shirts, magazines and ephemera. Personalize your art with family memorabilia and a unique frame to make a one of a kind eco-friendly creation.
Baskets make great storage, helping you to reduce clutter around the house. Add a touch of character and culture to your home’s décor with a fair trade storage basket.
Terrariums are beautiful in any room setting and they are a great activity to share with children. In honor of Earth Day, build your own!
Looking for a last minute Christmas gift? Look no further! This adorable gift from the garden is inexpensive, easy to make and enriched with sentiment, courtesy of our good friends at Botanical Interests.
Re-Nest's list of its favorite Etsy stores makes navigating the handmade goods shopping site easier to navigate.
Turn a window screen and picture frame into a perfect storage solution for delicate jewelry pieces.
Adding art to your walls doesn’t have to cost a fortune, particularly with these environmentally friendly options that involve reusing old frames and supporting local artists. See for yourself with a peek at the Green Rookie’s recent art finds.
This small project could gain you big time savings. Simply screw a few hooks inside a pretty cigar box, give it a knob and hang it near the door. Never search for lost keys again!
Short on storage? Repurpose a door into a swinging shelf or basket storage system!
Guest blogger Stephanie Nickolson shares five of her favorite interior design products companies.
Use glass bottles or jars over light bulbs to create a beautiful chandelier.
Welcome guests to your home with a homemade wreath. For inspiration, check out these DIY Christmas wreath crafts, found on Pinterest.
Fill your tree with homemade Christmas ornaments this year. Check out these Christmas ornament crafts, found on Pinterest!
Made from recycled glass and handcrafted in Pennsylvania, Plates with Purpose helps raise money and awareness for a wide variety of nonprofit partners.
Finding used art can brighten your garden without emptying your pocketbook.
Reuse burnt-out lightbulbs to make this adorable, unique DIY holiday wreath.
Jessica hunts for eco-friendly and secondhand items to make her new townhome greener. Greening an apartment or home you don't own can be a challenge, but searching for eco-friendly products is fun.
Jessica discusses the eco-profile of the soy candles, recycled glassware, recycled-content paper and vintage and handmade wedding decor.
Find home office furniture for your office space without spending a fortune with these tips.
Make your home feel like new again with these five home improvement ideas that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
We found another cute garden decor idea. Check it out!
The recipe for a well-lit room involves combining energy-efficient bulbs with stylish, sustainable light fixtures.
Personalize your gift giving with a unique herb garden gift. While this time of year conjures images of poinsettias that fade and collect dust long before the holiday festivities are done, a customized herb kit is a meaningful gift that will provide fresh herbs and provide naturally lush décor for many months afterward.
The Yube modular furniture system makes organizing simple and stylish for every room in the home.
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
Turn a tree branch into an ideal storage solution for your jewelry.
Jessica offers a sneak peek of her biodegradable wedding, which featured recycled glassware, handmade decor, recycled paper table runners, biodegradable plates and cups and soy candles.
Finding adorable and eco-friendly nursery decor is easy! It's narrowing down the options that is the hard part. Check out this sustainable, handmade nursery decor for a healthy, great-looking nursery.
Get a creative nightstand without spending a lot of money by repurposing thrift store finds and old items around the house into functional but cheap bedside tables.
It's time to think about decorating your outdoors with eco-friendly funriture, rugs and of course, organic flowers, vegetables and plants.
Decorate your home with zero-waste decor that can be reused, recycled or consumed—instead of toxic landfill trash. The Christmas decorations of Colonial Williamsburg offer inspiration for using natural decor.