Don’t get us started about the idiotic title of the recent New York Times T Magazine piece The Luxury of Humility, about the Greenwich Hotel’s multi-million dollar penthouse suite renovation designed by Axel Vervoordt. It’s an amazing hash of wabi-sabi principles and haute-luxe, but we’re missing the “humility” part.   

“The costs of achieving this kind of minimalism are eye–watering, and seemingly inconsistent with its mission of aesthetic humility. “ writes The Times’ David Netto. Counters Vervoordt: “The Emperor of Japan had a wabi garden. Wabi is for people who already have a lot.”

In our understanding: NOT! Whatever.  The house tour yielded some lovely ideas, like this low table made of 4 pieces of wood.  It reminds us of the alter-ish low tables/shelves we’ve seen in the past: a slab of reclaimed wood propped on upright boards or…

floor mounted book rail

…even rocks….

low shelf bench altar
via you are the river


wood slabs for d-i-y tables


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2 replies on “A Zennish Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table

  1. Thanks for the post, and the observation on the true nature of Wabi-Sabi that is getting so warped by the 0.01 %’s design hubris. Humility is more often, like invention, born from necessity and how the mind adapts to immediate conditions. The “hardships” of the Luxe life that Monsieur Vervoodt claims to eradicate through his extravagantly edited style are laughable, infuriating, and eye–watering in light of the actual increasing disparity of wealth in favor of Vervoodt and De Niro’s ilk, but it is the destitute students and aesthete squatter/refugees who are still those who uphold and practice this philosophy daily in the real world, with or without other options available. Commercialism, planned obsolescence – with its proliferation of throw-away possessions- can be avoided with patience and considered application. That requires discipline in true wabi-sabi spirit and is one reason I appreciate this great blog.

  2. Well said! Thank you. In the course of writing the piece, I checked out The Greenwich Hotel’s website, curious if the images were on their site yet. They feature 2 penthouses under “Accommodations“, both in a classic style. Cost for those: $5500 to $6500 per night. I’m guessing, they figured one was obsolete and they ripped it apart to do their FAUX wabi sabi thing.

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