Japandi is more than just a style; it is a philosophy of life, a way of living.
Japandi style of interiors is a relatively new design hybrid but it has gained popularity with consumers who are looking toward eco-friendly aesthetics and becoming more considered when it comes to buying ‘stuff’ rather opting for quality over quantity, which works exceedingly well with this minimalist, considered and calming scheme.
Before we jump into the Japandi interior, let's understand the elements of Japanese and Scandinavian design.
Japanese interiors have a traditional Zen philosophy that inspires simplistic and minimalist architecture and design.
Line, form, space, light and material are the essential elements central to this widely popular design aesthetic.
Great value is placed on the absence of nonessential internal walls to open up a space and allow an organic flow between spaces.
This practice is believed to reduce all elements down to their core essential quality.
The Japanese design in a very considered way and have many elements that are symbolic.
An important element to Japanese design is the principles of Wabi-sabi.
Wabi-sabi is an ancient Japanese concept that celebrates the beauty of imperfections that surround us.
Instead of covering those imperfections, it is celebrated and appreciated.
This translates to interior design through materials like knotted wood, pitted concrete, woven rugs, and hand-made textiles.
A show home interior is shunned for a more lived-in look, resulting is a sense of peace and tranquility through simplicity
Scandinavian design seeks to improve every day life.
Lighting is key to this interior as Nordic countries get on average seven hours of daylight during the winter, because of this window treatments are virtually non existent.
Natural hardwood or white flooring are used to make the rooms feel brighter.
Whites, greys, blacks, and browns are often interwoven creating a clean and calming look.
Paired with soft pinks and rich sea greens for added accents.
Scandinavian interiors focuses on simplicity and functionality, the use of natural materials and no clutter.
Scandinavian design prides itself on innovative and functional design.
In terms of furniture in natural hues with clean lines and smooth rounded edges are the way to go.
Texture plays a big part in Scandinavian design in order to stop this minimalist interior from looking cold and stark.
You achieve this by adding soft textiles, such as sheepskin, wool and mohair.
A metal chair for example will often have something soft and cozy draped over it.
Similarly to the idea of hygge, Sweden uses the word lagom, which means living a balanced and happy life.
WHAT IS JAPANDI STYLE?
Drawing from the elements of both designs as discussed above, the Japandi interior style is created.
Combining rustic and modern elements of Scandinavian functionality with the traditional and timeless elements of Japanese design.
Bringing these two styles together creates a perfect balanced space which is minimal, functional, warm and calming.
Both styles concentrate on the minimalist and clean approach to interiors but at the same time it's warm and cosy.
It's interesting to note that this scheme saw a massive rise in popularity in 2020 when, during the pandemic, as many of us yearned for a functional yet restful home.
HOW TO CREATE THE JAPANDI INTERIOR IN YOUR HOME LIKE A PRO!
The colour palette for a Japandi interior will consist of dark, cool and warm, neutral colours.
Tones such as beige, taupe, greys and oatmeal are calming and tranquil.
Other soft tones to consider are pale and dusty pinks, sage greens, earthy browns and light blues.
You don’t want any colours dominating or jarring against each other, but bring in darker colours to create contrast.
You want to keep the overall colour palette muted and considered.
To incorporate richness introduce bolder colours like deep greens, charcoals and navy.
Jet black is used frequently in Japanese design, but I find that often solid black used on a large scale can be cold and a hard colour, so use sparingly.
The main difference between these two styles are the colours that are typically used.
Scandinavian designs use light and neutral tones whereas Japanese interiors are usually darker colours contrasted with lighter ones.
Japandi style embraces craftsmanship with a focus on handmade pieces made from sustainable materials.
Choose materials such as wood, rattan, linen, and paper over cheap plastic options in bright colours to keep this look cohesive.
Scandinavian pieces of furniture are perfect as they are usually made from wood and the design is clean and simple.
On the flip side the Japanese typically have dark stained woods and soft curves to their design.
Use elements from both sides to create the Japandi interior.
Plants are a huge part to achieving this style of interior.
Plants improve the air quality around you and reduce anxiety and stress.
Our brains associate nature with relaxing and this helps boost our moods.
They also add a layer of softness to your scheme and are inexpensive.
The Japandi design isn’t sparse but every element is considered and intentional
To add warmth and texture to your scheme consider using materials such as cashmere, wool, velvet, silk and linen.
Cashmere and silk are indulgent textures that will make great statement pieces.
Use these materials in throws, cushions, curtains and table linen.
Match the furniture with these natural and textured fabrics in simple designs or add traditional Japanese decorative elements, such as hand-painted wallpaper and handmade ceramics and textured paper lamps.
You can also add texture with mirrors, picture frames, baskets, table lamps and carefully selected artwork. These items add layering and interest to a room.
Introduce warmth into the interior by using products such as pale oak floors and sisal or jute rugs.
MINIMALSIM & FUNCTIONALITY
The key to achieving a Japandi interior is having no clutter.
Keeping a minimalist and paired back design is one of the reasons why this interior style works so well in small spaces and opened planned living.
However, the feeling of well being and functionality are just as important.
Keep furniture choices compact and simple, thereby fusing Nordic design and Japanese craftsmanship.
Let's look at some Japandi style ideas broken down by rooms, simply click on the images to find out more.
JAPANDI DINING AREA
JAPANDI LIVING ROOM
For further reading, have a look at Niki Brantmark and her brilliant book called
The Scandinavian Home. Niki is a Londoner now living in Sweden and has a popular blog entitled
Another good read is Goodbye, Things; The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki.
It describes how the author got rid of items in his life he didn't absolutely need and how this lead him to live a more enriched, happy life.
The beauty of a Japandi design is that it’s incredibly versatile.
The simple aesthetic means it can fit seamlessly into any interior.
You could go full haul on the Japandi style or incorporate selected elements.
The art to creating a Japandi style interior is in keeping it simple and without mixing together too many elements.
Keeping the space uncluttered so that you can appreciate the beauty of each item.