Wabi-Sabi Wednesday: Capturing Its Beauty on Camera


Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailIn the years that I spent photographing houses for Natural Home magazine, I visited many homes that embody the wabi-sabi philosophy of simple, unadorned beauty. From those shoots, I’ve chosen a handful of images that capture the unmatched beauty of imperfection, impermanence and age. Enjoy!

wabi sabi baker 


Photographer Michael Shopenn took this shot at Guy and Kay Baker’s home in Wedowee, Alabama, built completely from salvaged materials.


wabi sabi apples 


Photographer Povy Kendal Atchison took this shot of a clay wall spiked with straw in a Fairfield, Iowa, home.


wabi sabi fruit in keys 


Photographer Bill Sanders and I didn’t have to bring any additional props when we shot this passively cooled home in the Florida Keys. To me, this photo is all about nature’s abundant beauty—which needs no adulteration.


wabi sabi window and gourds 


This shot, taken by photographer Philip Beaurline at Joy and George Matthews’ straw bale home in Charlottesville, Virginia, is one of my all-time favorites. It captures wabi-sabi simplicity and the beauty of natural décor--well, perfectly.


wabi sabi simones bed 


Photographer Terrence Moore took this shot at Simone Swan’s off-the-grid adobe home in West Texas. I admire Simone’s discipline in not filling up her bedroom with extraneous stuff, and I imagine she sleeps very peacefully here. 

To learn more about wabi-sabi philosophy, please check out my book,  Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House