Wabi-sabi, the art of appreciating the imperfect, can add a new dimension to what you perceive as “beautiful.”  This treasured tablecloth is an excellent example-I didn’t know it was wabi-sabi that made it so dear to me, but now that I now the principle, I adore it even more:


The Mr.’s grandparents were married in Hong Kong in 1905.  Many of their wedding gifts reflected the region, including this exquisite silk tablecloth with hand sewn symbols woven in.  It was in storage when his parents passed, and we were blessed to become its new owners.  For the Mr.’s birthday one year, I had it framed-I wanted to see it everyday and admire its artistic qualities.

I discovered, when I took it to the antique dealer who specialized in Asian textiles, several stains on the tablecloth-he asked me if that was okay with me that it was “dirty.”   The tablecloth had obviously been used-maybe for parties, maybe special occasions in the family-that made it even more dear to me.  The tea stains were part of the history of the tablecloth-of the family that used it.  Wabi-sabi.


Was the tea stain from an elegant lady sipping her tea-or a clumsy child, new to the idea of fine china?  I wish the tablecloth could talk!

Do you have treasures that can go from “dirty” to wabi-sabi upon reflection?  I love the idea of embracing the character of aging items in our homes.