A Japandi-style interior embraces two different cultures where minimalism and respect for nature reign supreme. Here’s how to approach it.
If you feel like it’s time to jazz up your minimalist design spaces to add a touch of timelessness and sophistication into your home, I invite you to take a few minutes to scroll through your instagram feed to enjoy Japandi-style homes.
This fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian design has given birth to warmer and more elevated interiors, where cosiness, simplicity, and a deep appreciation for nature and sustainable living are celebrated.
At the heart of the growing Japandi style trend is the desire to embrace the best of two design cultures where comfort and function, a clutter-free aesthetic, and relaxation once you enter the sanctuary of your home is revered. Still not sure whether Japandi design style is your vibe?
A little deep dive into the essence of this rising design trend, its defining characteristics, and a few decor and styling tips will have you itch to try out the Japandi style trend in your home in a way that celebrates your uniqueness.
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What is Japandi Style?
Japandi style is a mix of Japanese design and Scandinavian design that champions minimalism aesthetic and natural materials to deliver interiors that are bright and airy, oozing simplicity, comfort, and tranquillity.
These interwoven aesthetics with their centuries old heritage bring together Japanese design’s appreciation for refined natural materials and Scandinavian design functionality, to create spaces with clean lines, light and earthy tones, and timeless handcrafted furnishings.
The emergence of the Japandi design movement goes back to the 19th century, a time when prominent Danish architects and furniture makers started venturing out into Asia, especially Japan, courtesy of its open border policy that lasted 200 years, in search of inspiration.
Both Japanese and Scandinavian cultures favour natural materials, especially wood, and minimalism in their design styles.
From a cultural standpoint, the Japanese aesthetic and philosophical principle of “wabi-sabi” and the Scandinavian concept of “hygge” have greatly influenced Japandi style.
“Wabi”, refers to an appreciation of simplicity, authenticity, flaws and imperfections in various aspects of our lives, ranging from modern design to art, and our approach to living . “Sabi” recognises the transient and natural cycle of life from creation to decay of human life, any substance or objects such as wood, ceramics, or stone that gracefully age over time. Together ‘wabi-sabi’ is about finding contentment and beauty in flawed, imperfect aspects of life and creations.
The Scandinavian practice of “hygge” revolves around the desire to create living spaces that are comfortable, cosy, and promote wellbeing. It’s about turning your home into a calming environment with lots of soft textures and environmentally sustainable materials you can retreat to to recharge your body and mind at the end of the day.
Japandi Style Home Essentials
If you are still grappling with the idea of embracing Japandi style living for your home, below is a curated collection of Japandi design inspired home items you can have a look at.
This will help you have a better understanding of what this design aesthetic might look like within your own space, and how you might play with your existing home furnishings to seamlessly integrate new pieces in different parts of your home.
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Elements of Japandi Style
The Japandi design aesthetics embody a few principles that make them stand out from other design trends:
A Blend of Cultures
Japandi style is, at its heart, a celebration of Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian simplicity where East-meets-West.
It marries the best of both worlds, combining the tranquillity and balance of Japanese design, where the “wabi-sabi” philosophy of embracing beauty with its imperfections is a way of life, with the functionality, comfort, and cosiness of Scandinavian interiors through the “hygge”.
Central to Japandi design is the principle of minimalism. Living spaces are bright and full of natural light, they are kept clutter free, in muted colours and clean lines, focusing on the essentials and eliminating excess.
Decorative accessories add lots of warmth to home interiors – they are carefully curated to add visual interest without being excessively ornamental. This helps create a serene atmosphere that promotes relaxation and mindfulness.
Japandi interiors favour the use of natural materials like white and medium tone wood, stone, and bamboo.
It is fairly common to find furniture pieces and decorative accessories made of natural textures such as rattan, jute, seagrass, hemp, clay, or cotton placed alongside carefully curated greenery or dried plants such as pampas grass. These elements connect the space to the natural world, providing warmth and a tactile quality to the design.
Muted and Earthy Colour Palette
The colour palette of a Japandi style-home tends to be muted and earthy, with a preference for white and neutral tones such as soft greys, warm beige, off-white, greige, terracotta, browns, and muted greens. The understated shades help convey a sense of calm, peace, and serenity in home interiors.
Scandinavian design influence shines through in the choice of functional and versatile furniture pieces in Japandi styled interiors. Clean lines and a focus on usability where form meets function are key aspects of Japandi furniture.
Japandi style values handcrafted furniture pieces and decor accessories that can withstand the test of time.
When curating home furnishings and accessories for home interiors, people who are in love with this design aesthetic tend to focus on quality and handmade pieces that can easily last for generations and be turned into family heirlooms.
Emphasis on sustainability
Sustainability in the choice of materials and design techniques are fundamental to both Scandinavian design and Japanese design.
This transpires in Japandi style where lots of natural materials, amongst which richer and lighter shades of wood in flooring, construction, and furniture pieces and carefully chosen environmental friendly building techniques prevail.
How to Decorate your Home Japandi Style
So, if you fancy giving your home a little bit of Japandi style vibes, here are a few ideas you can cherry pick to come up with a style that works best for you and your loved ones.
Declutter Your Space
Start by cutting down clutter to have some breathing room in your home, allowing fresh air and natural (or even artificial) light to easily flow through your living spaces. Remember that Japandi style is all about embracing an elevated version of minimalism.
So, get rid of any unnecessary items and embrace a “less is more” approach to your home decor. Proceed methodically, one room at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the process. Check out this step-by-step guide on how to declutter your home before you start.
Play with White and Earthy Neutrals
To create a calming home that exudes the best of Japandi design, consider going for neutral paint shades where soft whites, a bit of light greys and blues are the dominating hues.
Punctuate your rooms with soft furnishings and decor accessories in earthy tones of brown, terracotta, ochre, burnt orange, sienna, clay, and greens.
Introduce Natural Materials
Emulate Japandi style in your abode by bringing a lot of natural elements into your rooms. Wooden flooring and furniture including dining chairs and tables, beautifully crafted side tables, and lots of clay pots and ceramics can breathe life and add much warmth into your living spaces.
Stone kitchen countertops accessorised with hemp or jute rug, rattan storage baskets, and cotton accessories are great ways to anchor your home in nature.
Incorporate Indoor Plants
Indoor plants are a wonderful addition to any Japandi-inspired space. Not only do they bring a touch of nature indoors, but they also improve air quality, which is particularly beneficial in urban areas.
Consider adding Japanese house plants such as kokedama and Bonsai in your home; they can easily stay alive indoors over a prolonged period of time. If you don’t have time to take care of real plants, go for either dried plants or artificial ones.
Invest in Functional Furniture
Invest in furniture that combines functionality with aesthetics. Pieces with clean lines and multifunctional features work best.
As for sofas and accent chairs, you can choose to go all in with lighter shades of warm whites and light greys or try out darker hues of browns, greys, greens, and blues.
When it comes to wooden furniture, feel free to mix medium tone wood that is more present in Japanese design with light wooden pieces which are more prevalent in Scandinavian design.
Embrace Natural Light
Japandi-style homes are designed to maximise the flow of natural light throughout the year, especially during colder seasons where daylight becomes scarce.
Emulate this approach by creating a light-filled interior which focuses on installing large windows and minimal window treatments to allow sunlight to flood your space.
Experiment with Balance and Symmetry
Japandi style puts a lot of emphasis on creating a sense of balance and symmetry in the choice of furniture and accessories and in the ways they are arranged in each room.
For example, to create a similar effect in your room, go for dual furniture pieces such as side tables or desk lamps that you can lay out on both sides of a bed or a sofa to achieve a harmonious flow.
Layer Cosy Textures
While Japandi design leans towards minimalism, it doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort. Whether you are living in a hot climate or in colder countries, creating a hygge-inspired sense of cosiness and comfort is important to a welcoming home.
Introducing soft and cosy textiles like wool throws, sheepskin rugs, and plush cushions, task and ambient lighting including candles in your living spaces will bring calming and inviting tones into your abode.
Add Curves and Organic Shapes
Scandinavian design influences over Japandi style can be observed through an extensive use of curvy sofas and decor accessories in the homes of people who have adopted this design aesthetic.
Give a try to an authentic or lookalike curvy Gubi beetle dining chair, a Ferm Living round vase, or a House of Gärsnäs daybed to elevate your home interiors with timeless organic shapes and tactile textures.
Promote Sustainable Practices
Sustainability and eco-conscious living are intrinsic parts of a Japandi lifestyle. Ensure that your Japandi-inspired home aligns with these values by choosing eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient appliances.
For example, when designing your kitchen, choose sleek, handle-less kitchen cabinets and high-quality, energy-efficient appliances. Recycle and upcycle old furniture pieces, clothes, books, and any decorative objects as much as you can.