Wabi-Sabi Welcome: Learning to Embrace the Imperfect by Julie Pointer Adams, EPUB, 1579656994

September 27, 2017

Wabi-Sabi Welcome: Learning to Embrace the Imperfect and Entertain with Thoughtfulness and Ease by Julie Pointer Adams

  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Publisher: Artisan
  • Publication Date: June 13, 2017
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01L83TSOG
  • ISBN-10: 1579656994
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579656997
  • File Format: EPUB



A Closer Look at Wabi-Sabi
Where to Begin

Chapter One | Japan
Chapter Two | Denmark
Chapter Three | California
Chapter Four | France
Chapter Five | Italy



Entertaining, in the traditional sense, can feel overwhelming—even intimidating
—with so many things to consider: whom to invite, what to cook, what dishware
to use, how to style the table, and more. But what if being a good host meant
little more than sharing a cup of tea on the porch, or merely creating a warm,
welcoming environment for your guests? Entertaining is first and foremost about
being together, no matter how, when, or where, rather than trying to impress our
guests or achieve perfection. Creating this more generous and more forgiving
definition of entertaining is what Wabi-Sabi Welcome is all about.
I wrote this book for anyone hungry to share his or her home and life in a
simpler, less perfection-seeking way. Regrettably, I’ve found that the easier it is
to connect through devices, the less and less aware we are of the importance of
being connected to the people right around us, and the more intimidated we are
by how polished everyone else’s lives look. We’ve forgotten how good it is to
have unhurried, uncurated experiences in the company of others, in real time,
with real conversation. These pages are a reminder that all entertaining requires
is a bit of thoughtfulness in order to make our homes the kind of intimate and
comfy spaces that people love to gather in, and how rich our lives become when
we take the time to regularly open our doors.
The Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi leads us to such a version of entertaining.
This book explores what wabi-sabi looks and feels like, showing how and where
I’ve experienced it across the globe. So what is it, and why does it matter? It’s a
way of life that celebrates the perfectly imperfect—beauty found in unusual,
unfashionable places or objects, and in moments usually overlooked or
unappreciated. It can be found in lovely places, too, perhaps just not where we
most expect it. Most important, this mind-set is about paying attention. It is the
habit of noticing and relishing small and hidden wonders, like a peony dropping
its petals or a church bell tolling at dinnertime. It’s a willingness to be easily
delighted instead of critical, skeptical, or fearful. Wabi-sabi is candid, honest,
and unswerving from the everydayness of real life, and it can liberate us from
the burden of expectation because it always welcomes the unexpected.
Embracing wabi-sabi as we entertain gives us license to reorder our priorities,
letting go of what we think is required of us and replacing it with our own
version of what special and meaningful look like on our own terms.
We need wabi-sabi in our homes and minds now more than ever because we
are over-saturated with glossy images of “perfection”—there’s far too much in
the media to compare ourselves to, seemingly always telling us to do more. A
wabi-sabi viewpoint pushes these ideals aside and urges us to appreciate a
different kind of ideal, such as people, places, and things with humility and
simplicity, giving little importance to what’s perceived as cool or of-the-moment.
People who embrace wabi-sabi live large, open lives, with welcoming homes in
which to entertain at a moment’s notice. Entertaining comes easily to them
because their idea of hosting is about simply showing up, not showing off. You
know these individuals by the way they make you feel instantly at ease and at
home. Whether they offer you grilled squid or a glass of apple juice, the crux of
the matter for them is providing real comfort and deep connection rather than
adhering to conventional ideas of what entertaining should be.
My personal sense of what sharing a home is all about changed dramatically
after my family’s house burned down in a California wildfire, and with it nearly
everything we owned. Whereas at times I may have been tempted to buy into the
idea that what I owned, and how perfectly I controlled it all, defined me, I
swiftly learned on the brink of adulthood how temporary stuff is. Instead of
desiring the best, most covetable, or most sophisticated objects, I’ve come to see
my home as a vessel for filling with friends and belongings that remind me of
transience, such as traces of nature, photographs, and gifts from loved ones. I
still enjoy and admire things, and my current home is full of them, but they’re
more like props than praiseworthy possessions—aids for making my home as
warm and welcoming as possible. Objects are fleeting, but so is the time we have
with others, and home is the place for making the most of our valuable moments
While wabi-sabi is an expansive, inclusive way of seeing the world, it’s far
from willy-nilly. It’s a thoughtful, intentional aesthetic (even if the intent is to let
things age naturally) that takes shape in many different forms, which is why I
was inspired to create this collection of wabi-sabi expressions from around the
world. Each chapter is framed by a wabi-sabi principle and explores different
regions where these principles are practiced: Japan, Denmark, California,
France, and Italy. You’ll see the young and the old, families and single people
who have woven wabi-sabi into their everyday being, expressing this philosophy
whether at home alone or entertain​ing a small crowd. These pages are filled with
the real and raw things of life—friends, homes, and settings captured just as I
found them, shot exclusively on film to reveal flaws and imperfections. No
editing, enhancing, or embellishing here. Instead, you’ll find down-to-earth ideas
for making anyone feel more at home in your space, and simple, approachable
recipes that I know to be reliable fallbacks for meals that can feed two or ten.
Ultimately, this book should be used like a field guide, both for browsing and
reading. I hope it lives somewhere in your home where dog-earing and
underlining happen naturally, getting smudged up as you cook and acquiring a
perfectly wabi-sabi patina.
Bringing people together shouldn’t feel complicated or contrived; it should be
joyful and spontaneous. This book is meant to inspire you to make those joyful,
spontaneous moments of togetherness happen more often. Having a community
is an essential and basic part of life, and for the most part we all have the same
joys, desires, and fears—we want to be known, to belong somewhere, and to
share the big and little things in life with others. Sometimes we simply need to
be with people to feel seen and heard again, and making our homes a healing
place for that to happen is a beautiful way to begin. I hope this book can serve as
a reminder that so much contentment and conviviality can be added to our lives
when we open our homes and ourselves—perfectly imperfect as we are—to
friends, family, neighbors, and strangers. The wabi-sabi way will help get us

“An antidote to the veneer of perfectionism so often presented by books of its kind, Wabi-Sabi Welcomeoffers readers license to slow down and host guests with humility, intention, and contentment.” —Nathan Williams, founder of Kinfolk

Wabi-Sabi Welcome is sharing a pot of tea with friends. It is preparing delicious food to nourish, not to show off. It’s keeping a basket of cozy slippers at the door for guests. It is well-worn linens, bouquets of foraged branches, mismatched silverware, and heirloom bowls infused with the spirit of meals served with love.

In this lush entertaining manual, author Julie Pointer Adams invites readers into artful, easygoing homes around the world—in Denmark, California, France, Italy, and Japan—and teaches us how to turn the generous act of getting together into the deeper art of being together.

In this book, readers will find: unexpected, thoughtful ideas and recipes from around the world; tips for creating an intimate, welcoming environment; guidelines for choosing enduring, natural decor for the home; and inspiring photographs from homes where wabi-sabi is woven into daily living.

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