To highlight beauty in imperfection.

In the beginning of 2021, I moved into a new apartment.

As I moved in, I began to gather used furniture. A table here, a chair there; I began to amass a collection of mismatched but usable furniture.

I found a free dresser that I wanted to sand down and repaint. Sanding it proved difficult. The paint slowly came off. It was not going well.

On a run, I had an idea. Instead of concealing the dresser's wear and tear, I could highlight it.

"In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi (侘 寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection"

During quarantine, I learned to practice this philosophy. Even more things than usual were out of my control. Often the best recourse I had was to take a deep breath.

My idea for the dresser?

I would slice it at an angle and create two pieces of furniture.

No, it would not serve its original purpose of holding clothes. Instead, I would celebrate the new piece as a set of bedside tables. The bright orange paint peeking out behind my books is a reminder to practice acceptance.

Everynight before I go to sleep, I fill a glass of water and put on my bedside table. I am fine if the glass makes a watermark, I do not use a coaster.

A sketch with dimensions of the parts of the table. A photo of the tables before it was painted.