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The expressions of a happy home...

The Happy Home Project by Jean Nayar
The Happy Home Project by Jean NayarCourtesy Filipacchi Publishing

The Happy Home Project


Author Jean Nayar’s book The Happy Home Project: A Practical Guide to Adding Style and Substance to Your Home was released last month and I’ve just had the chance to sit down and peruse the book, which is filled with beautiful photography and satisfying sentiment. “Who doesn’t want a happy home?” the author writes in her opening. “When I began writing this book, my home was already happy. In fact, over the years when I was working in an office building, I would often come home at the end of the day, walk through the front door and whisper gratefully to myself, ‘I live in heaven.’”

The book stems from a blog Nayar wrote, which was inspired by The Happiness Project—written by Gretchen Rubin and supported by Woman’s Day magazine. The blog, titled The Happy Home Workshop, is where Nayar began discussing an ambitious wish list of home improvements she intended to make in her own haven over the course of a year, exploring a wide range of cross-cultural design ideas that she implemented there. The chapter on “wabi-sabi” is one of my favorites.

“Unlike feng shui and vastu, which offer prescriptive approaches to living in harmony with nature, the Japanese art of wabi-sabi encourages making your home a sanctuary by tuning in to your own intuition,” Nayar explains. “Instead of aiming to improve your living spaces by filling them with bigger, better and new things, wabi-sabi encourages creating a richer life by cultivating a sense of appreciation for imperfection, impermanence and incompleteness.”

The chapter goes on to explain what constitutes wabi-sabi in greater detail (and what does not bring its benefits). In the yea column are asymmetry, restraint, modesty, intimacy, utility and naturalness. In the nay column are mass production, finery, competition, and noise. To see Nayar’s list of “ingredients of a happy home,” visit our adroyt blog. The images there project a veritable moveable feast!