What is wabi-sabi?

"The Japanese view of life embraced a simple aesthetic that grew stronger as inessentials were eliminated and trimmed away." Architect Tadao Ando

Wabi Sabi has come to mean simple, un-materialistic, humble by choice, and in tune with nature.  It connotes a natural progression, a patina that extinguishes the gloss.  It’s the understanding that beauty is not static, but changing.  It provides a window into the past and a connection to our built environment.

Wabi sabi is an ancient design concept of paring back to the simple essentials.  It is understated and modest, a kind of quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered.

It is within this broader philosophy that Patrick and his team design and custom manufacture fitted furniture including bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, paneling, sliding screens and stairs.  We take a holistic view of furniture design working with client and architect to present furniture that integrates seamlessly into the house.

Wabi Sabi Furniture contributes expertise to the architect and client on furniture design layout, joinery details, material sourcing, composition of materials and finishes to achieve the desired look and functionality of the furniture.


Patrick McKenna


Patrick McKenna has taken a keen interest in design and all things Japanese since he was a young boy spending hours with his best friend from a Japanese family in a neighbourhood just outside Chicago, Illinois.   The school trips to Frank Lloyd Wright homes and Mies Van der Rohe buildings in Chicago influenced his early design aesthetic.   He studied Japanese Language and Arts in college and earned a bachelor of arts in International Studies from Manhattan College in New York.   During and again after college, he spent 2 years exploring Japanese culture and arts while working for an American company to build 26 timber framed homes on in-fill sites to an earthquake torn Kobe.   At that time he worked side by side with the highly skilled artisan-craftsman Japanese carpenters who to his surprise didn’t use nails, or screws in their joinery!  The learning curve was steep, but the path became the goal as one project led to the next, and then the next, as achieving the best furniture and joinery design kept driving his interest.

Patrick moved to Ireland in 2000.  Since 2001 he has worked with Shane Kummer and built a team of outstanding master craftsman and joiners.  Together they have completed several projects in Ireland and UK to exacting standards.   Patrick lives in Dublin with his Kilkenny raised wife, Aideen and kids, Conn and Paddy.