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How to illuminate your home
with the Wabi Sabi trend

The interior lighting of houses is a key aspect in decoration projects.

When a careful study of light is carried out, magical and different spaces are created. It is just as important to choose the right lighting as any other decorative element. Each project is unique and the approach to interior lighting may vary according to the concept, decorative style and use.

In decoration projects based on the Wabi sabi style, light becomes even more important. Environments are enhanced to become something more. Each space has, and must transmit to us, serenity.

Natural light in the Wabi Sabi style

In all decoration styles, natural light is fundamental. You always have to make the most of it. For example, thanks to the use of light and natural fabrics in the curtains, we manage to create plays of light and shadows with the sun rays that penetrate through the windows. Shadows should not be mitigated or eliminated. Light and shadow are inseparable in their effects. If one is moderated, the other is softened and the relationship loses contrast. These games are a key point in Wabi sabi lighting and are part of his style and philosophy.

The Japanese have known how to solve the mysteries of shadow and, with great ingenuity, have used the games of light and shadow without seeking any particular effect.

The traditional Japanese houses had spaces where the luminous rays that they managed to penetrate generated vaguely dark nooks and crannies. In this way, an eternally unalterable serenity reigned.

Orientals create beauty by creating shadows in places that are insignificant in themselves. The beautiful is only a drawing of shadows, a play of chiaroscuro produced by the juxtaposition of different aspects. For example, the shadow produced by the roughness of the wall materials or the reflections produced by natural plants when light penetrates through the windows.

In short, the beauty of things loses its existence if the effects of shadows are suppressed.

espacio juego luces y sombras estilo wabi sabi Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
luces y sombras iluminación wabi sabi Photo by Perspective Studio

Artificial light in the Wabi Sabi style

If you have decided to incorporate the Wabi sabi style into your home, artificial light is particularly relevant.

When we think of interior lighting, many start with the bedroom lamp, the living room lamp, or the kitchen lamp. They usually visit shops to find out about lighting trends, but rarely do we look at the number of corners in a home that we can make the most of simply by using the light properly and without thinking about what is fashionable or not. We need to forget about the central lamp that will set the style, to focus on enhancing the spaces to make them something more.

In fact, discovering the Wabi sabi style in interior design helps us to understand that housing is part of our lifestyle. This means that every corner or every decorative piece has to be treated as if it were a work of art.

Therefore, it has to be illuminated as such. The use of spotlights, where light falls on a sculpture, a painting, a decorative vessel or even a plant, will make the difference.

iluminación con lámpara artesanal Photo by Andrey Avdeenko
iluminación con apliques en la pared y chimenea iluminacion-apliques-pared-chimenea

Another key element in Wabi sabi lighting is the fireplace. The warm light that the fire gives us and how it illuminates the rooms, is amazing. The light of the fire makes us have a vision of the world as it is, without the intention of shaping it to end up creating something that is artificial and unreal.

In addition, if a secondary light is added to the chimney to highlight the textures of the natural coatings, we manage to create an integrated and complete environment.

Wall lights, for example, create a softer ambient light, and their ability to decorate is infinite.

On the other hand, placing a pendant lamp with personality, ideally handmade, in the center of the dining table will help us compose a magical atmosphere on that table and space.

Finally, we must not forget that the interior lighting, in addition to being used as a decorative element, has to be functional. In work areas, such as offices and kitchens, the light must be more powerful, without leaving aside the warmth. We can make use of power regulators, so that, depending on the environment we want to create at that time, the light can be more or less intense.

In conclusion, as the architect Juan Luis Requena says, “the mastery of light and shadow is an excellent ally to enrich spaces with sensations and purposes, and create scenes that contribute to highlight the motive with which they were conceived.”