This Wabi-Sabi Décor Apartment Will Give You Design Ideas for Days

Wabi Sabi decor

To turn a space into a sanctuary, we often think about what we want it to look like. When designing her three-bedroom apartment in Hong Kong, Alex Tanya Weller, co-founder and creative director of homewares brand Miss Amara, decided instead to consider specifically how she wanted to use the space, and then bought pieces and furniture that lined up with that aim.

“Hong Kong never sleeps — it’s so electric and fast-paced ,” she says.

“I wanted my home to feel the opposite. To be able to step off the streets and come up to relax. I’m very into the wabi-sabi décor for the way it makes you feel calm and grounded, but I chose to go more with the colour palette and minimal wabi-sabi style as a base, paired with statement artwork and pieces we have collected.”

Alex Weller

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Weller, who shares the space with her husband Aaron and their newborn son, says that for her, a home is all about a feeling, and that personally, she feels an instant calm and centredness in neutral spaces dressed in tone and textures.

Her lounge room in particular is where she likes to relax, so she purposefully added lots of texture to it, like a luxe wool rug that she enjoys sinking her toes into at the end of a long day. As the room is long, she says she embraced that with low shelving that extends the length of it. The pride and joy of the space? Mario Bellini couches.

Wabi Sabi interior design

“I knew I wanted the camaleonda couch from the moment I saw it, so when we found one at a vintage store, even though it wasn’t the configuration I was looking for, we snatched it up and reupholstered it in a beige, velvety material,” she says. “It turned out perfect for the space.”

As the lounge room space itself has a calm colour palette, Weller says she purposefully juxtaposed that with one of the first pieces she bought from Dina Broadhurst. After buying the colourful piece, she was hooked on art, and continued searching for pieces the couple could add to their collection.

“I won’t stop until every wall is full,” she says. “Art is such a wonderful form of self-expression and truly makes your home feel like yours.”

Wabi Sabi decor

As Weller and her husband love food — she says some of their best conversations and experiences revolve around sharing meals together — she also paid particular attention to their dining room. Bringing in some of her favourite experiences from eating out, she was adamant about incorporating a booth seat.

“If we go to dinner, I’m always going to fight you for the booth seat,” she says. “We worked with a custom furniture builder to make the seat for our table, and made this long enough that I don’t have to fight my guests for it. The nice thing about having a long seat is that we’ve been able to host many more people than we used to.”

Another feature of the dining room that’s unusual is that she’s opted to bring the coffee machine out of the kitchen and into the dining room, where she created a coffee station on an island. She and her husband will sit and have a coffee every morning (and some afternoons!), taking time to decompress and talk about the upcoming day or the morning they’ve had.

Coffee machine station

“It’s a special ritual of ours, and we were very intentional about creating that moment for ourselves in the dining space,” she says. “It was one of the best decisions.”

Once they’ve had their morning coffee, the couple start their work in a bedroom converted into an office. While their office had always been an afterthought in previous homes, this time around, Weller wanted it to be different.

“Instead of opting for desks, I actually ordered a dining table and Eames chairs for this room,” she says. “It feels so much more collaborative, and we often get our team to work with us from here. I love the final outcome.”

Wabi Sabi decor

Being creative, Weller says she’s extremely visual and that every idea she has stems from a vision or image — be it fashion, food or a painting. As such, she used a hot glue gun, linen and corkboard to cover one of the office walls in custom pinboards. It inspires her, she explains, because everything she’s doing at any point in time is up in plain sight for her to see and ideate.

Overall, she says the experience of designing her home has been incredibly rewarding as the way she and her family relax in the space is exactly as she intended it to be.

“I try and aim for that feeling when you check into your favourite hotel — homeliness with a touch of luxe, a feeling that makes you want to get straight into a fluffy robe, sheet mask and watch Netflix, maybe with a martini to boot,” she says.

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