Arata Takabatake

We found two stellar ideas to steal in Remodelista’s recent Davelle: 13 Ideas to Steal from New York’s Newest, Tiniest Jewelbox Restaurant.

Yudai Kanayama, owner of the gem of a Japanese restaurant on NYC’s Lower East Side, employed inspired tricks to turn its narrow shopfront into a “bright and thoughtful little world”, which included mixing modern with aged to create a lovely feeling of wabi-sabi.


Water down and scratch off paint.

Finding white walls didn’t go well in the space, Kanayama devised a way to imbue the walls with texture.

The cement walls and wood frame around the window are hand-scratched…We put some texture using paint with lots of water. [We did] our best to make them not too artificial… Natural’ was the key word for our space.

No doubt it would take some trial-and-error to thin the paint to just the right degree where it would like great dried and scratch off in a compelling way.


Break a few tiles.

Carrying on the perfect/imperfect wabi-sabi aesthetic into the bathroom, his friend Mika broke some of plain white floor tiles into smaller pieces. He grouted them into the floor in an irregular way, making for  “a simple white tile mosaic art”.

A technique would have to be devised to “break” the tiles into smaller pieces. We imagine that rough use of a tile cutter would work, with practice.

Arata Takabatake


Photography by Arata Takabatake.

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One thought on “2 Ideas To Evoke Charming Wabi-Sabi in Your Space

  1. Simple, yet such great ideas! This is what I love the most about wabi-sabi. Davelle is a great place I love their menu as well!

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