About

Wabi is a Japanese word that conveys a simple way of life free of ornateness. Pursuing Wabi journals the building of a modern house in suburban San Diego.

29 Responses to About

  1. Greg Lemke says:

    This is a great blog, and looks to be a wonderful house.
    I live in San Diego, and recently finished a more modest remodel that was done by Jennifer Luce.
    (See http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/23/garden/23luce.html?ref=style)
    I very much like Sebastian Mariscal’s work, and would love to see your house, if this is possible.
    Congratulations,
    Greg Lemke

  2. ag says:

    great pics! love the trees, floors, and use of black on the outside of house. I plan on using the same for my home in the mountains. Love the photos of japan and the stories. Every time I see the steak on a rock cooking at the okan, I become starving and I also have the urge to buy a “rock grill.” keep up the good work.

  3. Paul Hibler says:

    Greetings,

    I own an artisanal pizza restaurant company in LA. We stumbled across your wood siding with our architect, Barbara Bestor. We are building a new store and remodeling another and we would love to use this burning technique. I would appreciate any feedback you might have as to it’s use. We are looking at using it on a counter wall, inside. What happens to the oil finish? Does anything “rub” off if you contact the material. I noticed that you use it inside as well. I love your sight and it’s spirit. Cheers

    • says:

      It does not rub if you contact, since excess charcoal was washed off. In this month’s issue of Dwell, there is a write-up with photos of a more traditional way that architect Terunobu Fujimori uses – the photos are better online.

  4. matt says:

    i love your photos. What kind of camera do you use?????

  5. Matt says:

    Would you be willing to disclose who your architect was? He/she does beautiful work, and I couldn’t find any info on the site.

    Thanks.

  6. Joe Perez says:

    Hello,
    You have a beautiful home. My wife and I are considering razing our current home and building similar to what you have completed. I was wondering if you would mind sharing the ballpark cost of the entire project including de-construction. Again, beautiful home. I admire the work your architect has completed and you have decorated beautifully. Thanks.

    Joe Perez

    • says:

      The deconstruction cost was less that estimated and the tax benefit turned out to be greater than I has expecting (will depend on your tax situation). The cost of the house turned out be more that what had been estimated due to material costs of the siding (lumber strike in Canada) and some design changes – larger living area. I think it averaged to a bit less than $300 sq ft. Whatever you do expect and plan for cost overruns during construction (20-30%) – it will make it less painful when you encounter them.

  7. Bill says:

    I stumbled across your page, I love the photos you take, I follow them, and get the updates.
    I noticed that your house is in Carlsbad, CA… I lived in that fine coastal community for a number of years, never saw any architecture that was worth too much there, as you said, too many McMansions…

    If you don’t mind telling me, what street is your house on?
    You can email me, if you decide to disclose such info.
    Thanks,
    Bill Dodd

  8. Merola says:

    I own an artisanal pizza restaurant company in LA. We stumbled across your wood siding with our architect, Barbara Bestor. We are building a new store and remodeling another and we would love to use this burning technique. I would appreciate any feedback you might have as to it’s use. We are looking at using it on a counter wall, inside. What happens to the oil finish? Does anything “rub” off if you contact the material. I noticed that you use it inside as well. I love your sight and it’s spirit. Cheers
    +1

  9. Adrian says:

    I have very much enjoyed your site, your house and your attention to detail. The ‘zen of views’ seems to apply well here.

    I am planning a house build of a similar size here in the UK. I too am very interested in the burned wood technique as many local rural building here are finished in black weather board – but it’s coated with paint or pitch. Also interested in knowing what the exterior timber is and how that is finished. It looks like American Black Walnut possibly? I’d be interested in how this would survive the weather here in England. Can you point me in any directions?
    Many thanks and well done.
    Adrian

  10. says:

    The wood is western cedar. Not sure how it’ll hold up in the UK, but its used quite a bit in the US Northwest, which is wet.

  11. cocomino says:

    Hello this is excellent blog.
    I live in Japan and I am native Japanese.
    But I want to study English and make a many friends.
    So I write blog in English.
    http://cocomino.wordpress.com/

    I work as engneer to architecture and city planning.

    Thanks.

  12. trend says:

    Hello, I love the Vostock theme you use for your blog, I would like to use it too, unfortunately there is no sidebar at the right and it seems impossible to add it by using a “edit them” so I would like to know if it was possible for you to send me the css file (to add the right sidedar) ?

    Thank you for your answer !

    • Ken says:

      I added the sidebar item as widgets from the wordpress UI customization page. I customized the css for minor items though.

  13. Trend says:

    Ok, I tried to do it too but it does not appear or the theme is broken, can you give me the code you’ve added to the original theme or any tutorial you have used? You can answer on my mail box…

  14. rachcortes says:

    Hi!!
    I like your blog a lot, so I’ve tagged you for the Liebster blogging award. Please take part of it! Here are the rules: http://thehatofthemad.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/liebster-award/

  15. daniac1981 says:

    le tue foto sono stupende……from Italy

  16. Chad says:

    Aloha Ken,

    I stumbled across your blog looking for great photos of Hawaii. You really have a talent for framing the scene. I especially enjoyed your shots of Hana, Maui. I’d like share some of your photos of Hawaii on our Facebook page, and maybe our blog, w/ attribution of course. I’d love it if folks clicked back through to your blog to view the rest of your photos. I hope that you won’t mind. We feature many local photographers and love your work.

    Please feel free to reach out to me anytime and if you come back to Hawaii, look me up. Maybe we can collaborate sometime.

    All the Best,
    Me: Chad @kahunahana
    Our Company: @ExperienceHI

  17. sherman says:

    Love your pictures, and appreciate you to share with us,
    From Buenos Aires, whatever you want, you just contact me,
    Abrazo

  18. Nice pics Ken. Will look to see more. MM 🍀

  19. RYAN SINGER says:

    Ken, I love your home and yet I paused today at the thought of “pursuing wabi”…

    What holds me back from receiving the idea fully is that Wabi is something which happens and you accept. I do not think one is on an active pursuit of wabi or perhaps this might be possible. Perhaps my thinking is incorrect as I am not Japanese.

  20. I just discovered your blog and I love it! Greetings from Mexico.

  21. Amy S says:

    Hello! As a half-Japanese woman, having resided in. primarily in Japan until age 18, I am thouroughly enjoying your website. I, too, now reside in California, & am seriously thinking of incorporating this type of siding into a home. I wish to subscribe, yet can not find a place to submit my email address to do so. Please could you let me know how I can suscribe?
    Thank you!

  22. Rika says:

    I love the Japanese culture !!
    Greetings from Algeria !

  23. Gasp! Beautiful. I look forward to the follow.

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