The Natural Cycle of Life or Making Lemonade from Lemons…

Top: Damaged Burda Warehouse stock Bottom: Celine London Feature Floor 

What on earth would a luxury boutique and a Japanese philosophy have in common? Ever heard of the Japanese lifestyle ethos of Wabi-sabi? Surprisingly, it is neither a spicy hot sauce, nor new cat café, but an aesthetic that embraces the natural cycle of life, and the beauty of our very transience. It recognises perfection in the imperfect.

At its’ heart, the concept is about authenticity, and far from merely being a new term for shabby-chic, there is nothing stylised about using this uncluttered, natural design approach.

What is this philosophy that had venerable Vogue Living Editor, Neale Whitaker identify imperfection as so hot right now, within the world of interior design? Wabi-sabi celebrates the natural patina of worn surfaces that stand as proof of a life well lived and enjoyed; of reused or upcycled weathered wood, broken tiles forming exquisite mosaics, breathing new life into family heirlooms and handmade ceramics with cracks and crevices on display. The concept can be applied to many styles – from industrial chic to sleek Scandi minimalism. It’s all in the eye (and the heart).

Still not sure how this hipster-sounding trend could possibly translate into a luxury finish? Well, not only has wabi-sabi served as inspiration for a truly spectacular Celine store in London, but the story behind it is just as noteworthy.

To paraphrase talented creative consultant, Lucy Freedman of blog, last May’s Emilia Earthquake devastated a region within Northern Italy. Budra, a small specialist stone supplier based in Mirandola, part of the affected area, was heavily impacted. All their exquisite stockpile of marble slabs and precious stones were damaged in their warehouse. In a true lemons-to-lemonade moment however, Spanish Designer, Patricia Urquiola prevented the company from folding by “creating the Earthquake 5.9 collection. A collection of furniture and coverings in marble and onyx, created using hundreds of fragments of quake-struck slabs to create something beautiful, injecting life back into something that had been totally destroyed.”
Patricia Urquiola's Stunning Earthquake 5.9 Collection
Budra was responsible for the amazing floor at the new Celine flagship store in London. An authentic and beautiful story, the unique floor is truly a creative masterpiece; comprised of a luxurious patchwork of 12 different types and shades of marble, inlaid with semi-precious stones.(for more divine images of the store: 

As a design fanatic, with a passion for creative solutions such as these, I was actually moved to create my own version of Celine’s spectacular floor with my feature wall! It is a labour of love, using striking individual pieces of marble, slate and limestone to create a tonal and textural altar to the creative gods of design (wink!)
Our New Feature Wall 

That's it from us for this week, 'til next time our tile obsessed friends... 

XOXO Byzantine Design  

Changing the World one tile at a time.


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