Creed's Tessa Thompson embraces 'wabi-sabi' in a soaking tub – it's a top bathroom trend for 2023

The Creed III actress is making (literal) waves on the internet and in the bathroom – and it's approved by those in the know

Tessa Thompson
(Image credit: GettyImages)

Creed star Tessa Thompson may be making headlines for her role in this most talked-about film franchise – but her soaking tub is sparking (almost) as many conversations among those in the design world. 

The Los Angeles-born actress shared a series of images from a neutral-hued bathroom – exhibiting what appears to be a micro-cement-style wall. The minimalist space is, in itself, something to admire, but one key feature takes center stage: the Japanese soaking tub. 

This tub, also known as an ofuro, is supposed to be used exclusively for soaking, not for bathing – hence its generous, cocooning shape. Traditionally, you are expected to shower before entering the tub, before scooping water from the tub to bathe yourself with soap or shampoo. You should then enter the tub and unwind.

Though we don't know if Tessa followed the correct procedure, we do know that the tub is at the top of bathroom trends for the year ahead. And design experts agree.

According to Houzz's 2023 Home Design Predictions, Japanese-inspired design is one of the biggest interior design trends of the moment – but with its soothing shapes, colors, and benefit to wellness, this 'trend' is certainly no fad.

'Japanese design influences have quietly been making their way into the mainstream for a while now, and in the coming year, professionals on Houzz predict that we’re likely to see this trend emerging in a much stronger way,' the report says. 

'Characterized by clean lines, muted colors, and natural materials, Japanese style is restful and understated... the philosophy of ‘wabi-sabi’ is also seemingly popular among Houzz users, with searches spiking (up by 179%).'

For the uninitiated, wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic that finds 'beauty and serenity in objects, landscapes, designs, etc., that are simple, imperfect, and impermanent', according to

Besides its natural colors and materials, the soaking tub's distinct curves are also a hit among those in the know. The experts at Victoria + Albert similarly predict that curves such as these will continue to increase in popularity – and their benefits are more than aesthetic.

'Curves are perfect for creating a soothing atmosphere where we can take care of ourselves, mentally and physically,' they say. 'Adding curves to the bathroom elevates it from a cold, clinical feeling space to a comforting living area.' 

Spa bathrooms (such as this, but also in all shapes and sizes) are also expected to gain yet more momentum in the coming months. 'Having a dedicated space for rest and recuperation is becoming increasingly popular – and there is nothing more indulgent than a long soak in a beautiful bathtub,' the experts add. 

Japandi Living by Laila Rietbergen and Marlous Snijder – $43.33 on Amazon

Japandi Living by Laila Rietbergen and Marlous Snijder – $43.33 on Amazon

For more inspiration on Japanese living (in this case, combined with Scandinavian style), we're consulting this guide written by Instagram-famous interiors author Laila Rietbergen. The book has more than 200 images of interiors in which Japanese aesthetics and Scandinavian design go hand in hand.

We'll continue scouting Tessa Thompson's Instagram for more design inspiration after watching Creed III, naturally. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.