What happens when you cross two of the most popular interior design trends of recent years? Japandi, and it’s taking the world by storm. The hybrid aesthetic first emerged last year and combines the cool, rustic vibes of Scandinavian—or Nordic—design with the traditional elegance of Japanese styles. The end result offers a sleek yet homely finish to any room, in a stunning combination of the two most popular trends in recent years.
Both Scandinavian and Japanese design trends celebrate minimalism and share similar principles in aesthetic by promoting the art of decluttering. Scandi designs introduced the world to hygge and lagom, giving homes a cosy feel with the “not too little, not too much” concept, while the Japanese concepts of wabi-sabi and mottainai became mainstream, encouraging us to find the beauty in imperfections.
Now, the fusion of the two trends has created Japandi, and it’s surprisingly easy to bring this style into your home. By simply picking the right colour palettes and a few statement pieces of furniture, you’ll be able to find the perfect balance of minimalism and cosiness in your home.
Opt for a neutral and muted colour palette
While Scandi designs opt for white and pale shades, Japanese design looks more at neutral and natural shades. Wooden panels, flooring, and even ceilings are not uncommon in Japanese homes, and the colour palette reflects this with natural shades of browns and greens.
Find the ideal Japandi balance by going for more neutral and pale shades. Light shades are ideal for walls, such as light greys, baby blues and pastel greens, as these reflect natural light and go well with darker accent colours you may find on stained wooden furniture. Mixing up the colour scheme allows you to introduce depth and texture to the room layout with a few statement pieces of furniture.
Choose simple, functional furnishings around the home
In both Nordic and Japanese design, furniture styles are defined by clean lines, neutral tones and an emphasis on practicality. Furnishings should all serve a purpose rather than be a standalone piece of decoration in order to keep clutter to a minimum.
Multipurpose furniture is ideal for this, as it allows you to maximise its uses without overcrowding a room. For example, Danish company By KlipKlap create customisable benches that can easily be transformed into daybeds and vice versa.
For accents and decorative items, go for products that are understated, imperfect and unique, in keeping with wabi-sabi principles. Luxury interior design brand Sansho specialises in handcrafted Japanese homeware, sourcing ceramics and earthenware created by traditional artisans in the Far East. All pieces are unique, adding authenticity to your Japandi aesthetic.
Upcycle furniture to add to the rustic look
When looking for furnishings, going for natural finishes is the easiest way to add a Japandi look to your home. Wooden floors and furniture, as well as ceramic homeware all contribute to the rustic feel of hygge, while maintaining a minimalist look. Repurposed and upcycled furniture can also be used to decorate your home, following the Japanese concept of mottainai, which teaches that “everything has a soul” and that you should avoid waste.
There are many DIY projects you can take on if you want to upcycle a broken piece of furniture. For example, a table with a broken leg can be used as a console in a hallway, old coffee tables can be repurposed for outside use in the garden, and old dressers can be turned into a mini bar.
Bring nature inside with houseplants
Plants are an essential addition in both Scandinavian and Japanese design, blurring the lines between indoors and outside. Indoor plants can help to destress and boost your mood, in a natural way, and can instantly make you feel more relaxed and calm.
If you’re not very green-fingered, there are a number of low-maintenance plants to choose from, which can still be placed around the house for a splash of nature and colour. Boston Fern, Devil’s Ivy, and Staghorn are all easy to look after, and can survive well anywhere around the house.
Both Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics share the same basic principles when it comes to decorating your home, so it’s easy to see why they come together so naturally to create Japandi. This trend will be able to help you stay away from cluttering your home with a minimalist approach, while remaining homely and cosy.