A Couple Embrace Wabi-Sabi Design to Travel Back to the Past

Hallway and Concrete Floor The gray-black structure in the middle of the home has been cladded in rusted metal and gold foil on one side to appear weathered and aged.

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Decorating IDEA

For extra softness, fold back the bottom corner of a curtain panel and tack it to the window frame.

Above:The dining room’s large farmer’s table with surrounding black Windsor chairs offers plenty of space for seating loved ones.

A Couple Embrace Wabi-Sabi Design to Travel Back to the Past Photo Gallery


A tin chandelier pairs beautifully with the antique cupboard, bench, baskets, sconce and children’s portraits.The linen curtain and sisal area rug provide a layer of warmth.

Opposite:The kitchen cabinets and window trim are painted the same red, which offers the perfect backdrop for primitive kitchen collectibles. The farmer’s table flanked by Windsor chairs functions as a workspace. A linen curtain pinned to the window frame and a tin witch’s hat-style chandelier punctuate the space with charm.

Living Room, Chair, End Tables, Bar, and Concrete Floor The lower convex edge of the structure is fitted with strip lighting, which when switched on, illuminates the passageway between the curved structure and  the interior wall.

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With ideas galore and plenty of elbow grease, an antiques-loving homeowner polished her New England diamond in the rough into a real gem.

Marcia Donnelly takes laying one man’s trash is another man’s treasure to heart—she has rescued some ofher favorite furnishings from the garbage. When we lived on Cape Cod, she recalls, my son and I used to get some great stuff out of the dump or out of a swap shop. When the Massachusetts homeowner decided to relocate farther inland a fewyears ago, she quickly saw the potential in an 1897 cottage brimmingwith character.

Living Room, Stools, Concrete Floor, and Chair Balconies and generous windows visually connect the interiors to nature outdoors.

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Below:The wallpaper-covered entry presented quite a challenge. When I peeled it, the plaster was coming with it, so it had to stay, Marcia explains.! had to do something, so I painted this. I have got 32 hours in it!

Living Room, Concrete Floor, Stools, and Chair Across from the curved structure is a wall clad in Taiwanese cypress panels.

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Right: Marcia’s light-filled front porch is the perfect spot to catch up on a good book and chat with neighbors passing by.

Below right: A collection of cast-iron dogs stand at attention on the steep old stairs. and snapped it up. I’ve done alot myself as far as ripping offwallpaper, sanding and priming and painting, Marcia explains. I refinished the floors in the bedrooms upstairs, and I stripped the entry stairs and railing.

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Living Room and Concrete Floor Clean, lightweight furniture pieces of different styles have been integrated into the living room.

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Living Room, Chair, End Tables, and Concrete Floor A steel blue cabinet floating near the entrance dissects the living area.

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Storage Room and Shelves Storage Type The mobile furniture items can easily be relocated to suit different needs and occasions.

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Hallway and Concrete Floor Concrete and warm wood merge together to create a tranquil setting throughout the home.

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Bedroom, Bed, and Table Lighting A peek at the minimalist master bedroom.  

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Bedroom A "watshitsu" room, which is used for meditation and tea drinking, has a fully glazed wall that looks out to the verdant trees beyond the apartment.

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Bath Room, Accent Lighting, Wood Counter, Concrete Wall, and Vessel Sink The guest bathroom features an organically shaped wooden table, which is suspended on copper and rests against the textured stucco wall.   

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Bath Room, One Piece Toilet, and Terrazzo Floor A partition wall separates the master bathroom from the bedroom.

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Bath Room and Soaking Tub Various shapes of bespoke lighting have been used to give the interiors a warm, calming atmosphere.   

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