Perfect, Imperfect is a beautiful, inspirational book, that is a celebration of accident, curation, collection, collaboration, re-use, re-imagining, and true originality. Its founding principal is the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, which advocates the beauty to be found in imperfection, impermanence and the authentic. Imagine this, then, set it in the context of 21st century living, where designers are merging digital technology with the handmade, as well as incorporating the natural world.
The book is split into visual sections: Spirit of Nature; Strange Beauty; Mark of Hand; Deep Shadow; Weathering and Decay; and Incomplete and Irregular. Each one is beautifully styled and photographed by Sharyn Cairns and Glen Proebstel resulting in a collection of images that fascinate and intrigue, with thought-provoking text by Karen McCartney who has a wealth of experience in interior design, art and architecture.
The homes and studios of the creatives featured are from all over the world and the interiors all have one thing in common. That they mix current design objects alongside well-worn ones, and that they mix comfort, design and off-beat beauty.
There’s no doubt there is a skill in combining so many disparate objects – in the wrong hands it could be disastrous – but each and every designer featured is a master at this art. The result is a weighty tome of inspiring page after inspiring page.
I have a feeling I’ll be dipping in and out of this one for some time to come.
Perfect Imperfect: the beauty of accident, age & patina by Karen McCartney, Sharyn Cairns and Glen Proebstel (Murdoch Books, £25.00). Photography by Sharyn Cairns.