I must admit that I occasionally walk around my house and picture all the beautiful things that will look great in my newly purchased home. Expensive gourmet kitchen, fancy dining room table, gas braai for the hubby…the list could go on and on as I ponder how these items will enhance our lives.

And aren’t most of us guilty of doing the exact same thing? Society tells us that in order to be completely happy we need to have all these things and more. But it doesn’t need to be this way. What if we took the time to appreciate all we have?

I recently came across the Japanese belief system of wabi sabi wabi loosely translated as rustic simplicity and sabi as beauty that comes with age. In this philosophy beauty exists in our imperfect world – a cracked and irregular shaped bowl is considered beautiful because of its imperfections; worn floorboards indicate a rich history that belongs to the house. Wabi sabi does not mean that you leave your home to fall into disrepair – in fact it’s the complete opposite. The philosophy teaches you to focus on quality instead of quantity, fix the old instead of buying the new and appreciate all you have instead of yearning for something bigger and better.

A wabi sabi home is inspired by nature. It is cosy, rustic and filled with homemade objects, which have sentimental value to its owner. The colour palette and materials used throughout the home are inspired by colours and materials that exist in nature. There is a deep connection felt with the natural world when entering the home, which helps to bring about inner calm and peace.

It seems as if wabi sabi is less about changing our homes and more about altering our mindsets. During 2012, I’ll be spending a whole lot of time renovating and supporting local artisans as well as integrating recycled materials into my home. Most importantly I’ll be enjoying everything I am blessed to already have.