Wabi-sabi meets French Country is the unexpected style combination that's huge for 2024 – here's how to create the look

Combine the tradition of French country with the natural simplicity of Wabi-sabi for a rustic organic look that's huge for 2024

neutral living room with cream sofa and chairs and exposed brick wall with fireplace
(Image credit: Kathy Kuo Home)

With so many new interior design trends cropping up each year, there inevitably becomes some element of crossover between them. Especially with trends that follow similar overarching design themes, we often begin to see new styles emerge that take reference from two standout trends. 

At the start of 2024, there's one trend combination we're beginning to see embraced by designers: French Country meets Wabi-sabi. While French country decor welcomes more color and traditional patterns and Wabi-sabi is, by contrast, more understated, the two interior design styles are united by their collective embrace of a less-than-perfect, natural approach to decor.

Taking to Instagram, NYC-based interior designer Kathy Kuo originally noted the effectiveness of combining these design styles. We spoke to Kathy to learn more about this unexpected blended trend to watch out for in 2024. 

'French country and Wabi-sabi are a match made in design heaven because they both use beautiful imperfection as a strength,' Kathy tells H&G. 'The French country design tradition is built using and decorating with antiques and time-worn treasures, and similarly, the wabi-sabi aesthetic fully celebrates perfect imperfection in the way it appears in nature. The two styles complement each other beautifully in the way they spotlight one-of-a-kind details, tradition, and organic beauty.'

kathy kuo home
Kathy Kuo

Kathy Kuo is a celebrated interior designer and international guru within the home and lifestyle space. She has 20+ years of experience in the design industry. 

In 2024, one overarching theme in the world of interior design is a focus on creating homes that feel lived in and relaxed, a shift away from rigid trends that follow a far more curated approach. It's no surprise then to see interior design styles such as French country and Wabi-sabi unite, emphasizing the prominence to come in 2024 of a laid-back and comfortable way of decorating our homes. 

A light wood kitchen with marble counter tops

(Image credit: Brad Krefman)

Kathy explains that a space that references both French country and Wabi-sabi is all about embracing decorating with neutrals, pairing organic shapes with rustic details: 

'Here’s how to infuse the most exciting neutral tones into your space, embracing the essence of both Wabi Sabi and modern French Country aesthetics. Imagine a setting where elegant curves meet rustic textures, like a quaint wooden stool paired next to an artisanal woven basket. This year, we’re seeing a shift towards more minimalistic architectural details, beautifully paired with curvaceous furniture and lighting.'

The key to achieving this on-trend look is to enhance the original details of a space, embracing plenty of natural materials such as wood as well as curved furniture rather than anything too sharp or angular. Add a touch of tradition through rustic patterns and you'll create a space that balances these two styles.  

To bring this style into your home decor ideas, shop our French Country meets Wabi-sabi edit below and you'll be well on your way to achieving this sought-after look.

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.