What do you get when you combine the very best of minimalist techniques from Japanese and Scandinavian design? Japandi, a trending interior design style that’s quickly growing in popularity among fans of less-is-more home styling.
While it’s still a relatively new trend, Japandi is popping up in homes across the country—and in commercial spaces, too. Here’s what it’s all about, plus some quick tips on introducing this streamlined style into your own space.
What is Japandi?
Japandi is a type of design that merges Japanese and Scandinavian minimalist elements. (Hence the name, which is a combination of Japan and Scandi.) From Japanese design, we see a strong focus on natural features and materials, as well as rich colors that add depth to a minimalist environment. And from Scandinavian design, we get the sort of sleek, simple, and functional design elements that have made it so ubiquitous in modern homes.
Because Japandi is a hybrid design trend, it’s not just about taking the key features of both types of design but also balancing them out together to create one cohesive space. Japanese elements introduce warmth to the sometimes stark nature of Scandinavian interiors, while in the opposite direction, Scandinavian elements bring interesting contrast to Japanese design and help translate into it a more Western point of view. And it’s easier to embrace in your own home than you might think.
The elements of Japandi design
Japandi takes the best elements of Japanese and Scandi design to create interiors that are as welcoming as they are impeccably styled. And regardless of your budget, there are many core takeaways that you can use as you style your own home.
The major elements of Japandi design include:
- Minimalism – This probably isn’t much of a surprise since both Japanese and Scandinavian interiors are rooted in a minimalist mentality. From furniture to décor, minimalism is a mainstay of Japandi design, with a high priority placed on curated and complementary items that exist in harmony without any degree of clutter.
- Functionality – Everything has a purpose in a Japandi interior, whether that function is use-driven or purely intended to balance out the space. Other types of functional materials that you mind find include plenty of natural plant life, which on top of adding beauty to a space also provide other benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, promoting creativity, and helping you focus.
- Peaceful palettes – There is definitely a creative use of color in Japandi design, but hues are chosen quite intentionally in order to evoke warmth, peace, and tranquility. You’ll see a lot of neutrals of course due to the Scandinavian influence, but also plenty of saturated yellows, greens, and blues. You can even find richer shades like lacquered blacks and purples, though they’re used quite sparingly.
How to decorate in the Japandi style
Interested in bringing this unique interior style to life in your home? The tenets of Japandi design are inherently based in simplicity, so a lot of the process will likely involve editing down, rather than adding to.
Here are some ways to embrace Japandi design in your own space.
Bring on the hygge
If you’re at all familiar with Scandinavian design, then you’ve definitely heard about the concept of “hygge,” which refers to an unmistakable quality of warmth and welcomeness within a space. This same approach is a major component of Japandi, and can be achieved with simple elements like the judicious use of candles and increased natural light, as well as books, throw pillows, and cozy nooks that encourage you to curl up with both.(Video) Japandi Interior Design Style | What is Japandi and How Do You Decorate in Japandi Style?
Remember: a truly Japandi interior is one in which everything serves some sort of purpose. Carefully curate the items that make it into each room rather than trying to fill up your space with embellishments. This includes small items like décor, but also larger items like furniture and artwork. Keep in mind the Japanese concept of danshari, which is all about finding joy in the simple things.
Choose contrasting colors
Japandi design makes ample but smart use of color. This includes a heavy use of contrasting colors, particularly bold contrasting neutrals like black and white mixed with the occasional pop of green, brown, or blue. You’re not barred from bringing in the occasional brighter hue, but stick to neutrals for your main color palette and use other colors as sparing accents. And when in doubt, opt for white walls and add contrast from there.
Wood, plant life, and natural light are all part and parcel of Japandi design. Other natural elements that have a home in this type of interior style include stone—including marble—as well as water. Learn more about designing with natural elements in our quick guide to feng shui, which, while based on slightly different principles, offers many cross-overs with Japandi design.
Make use of texture
Japanese homes often feature unique textural focal points that add visual interest to an otherwise highly minimalistic interior. Instead of painted textures though, this type of texture is more commonly achieved through wood accents—think walls paneled with thin bamboo slats or wooden beams on the ceiling.
Mix and match your furniture
There are a lot of similarities between Japanese and Scandinavian furniture, but a lot of things that set them apart, too. For true Japandi design, you’ll want to bring in a bit of both, including the straight lines and light colors of Scandi pieces and the more traditional shapes and darker colors of Japanese pieces. As always, aim for balance, creating a cohesive space that doesn’t rely too heavily on one type of furniture but instead effortlessly blends the two together in a way that just makes sense.(Video) Is JAPANDI Home Decor For You? Watch & See ! | And Then There Was Style
Feature flow throughout your space
In Japandi design, how your room flows is closely related to—and just as important as—what it contains. This tendency toward “obstacle free” design is one of the primary features of any minimalist interior, and refers to both sight lines and how you physically move about your space.
Keep out the clutter
Speaking of obstacle free design, a true Japandi space is one that’s devoid of clutter, and not just the kind that we associate with being messy. Consider clutter as it pertains to décor as well, and make sure that areas like bookshelves and tabletops feature a fair amount of empty space. This goes hand in hand with curating your environment and only sticking to the things that really need to be there. If you do need to keep other items on hand, keep them out of sight through the creative use of storage.
FAQs about Japandi design
Quick answers to some of the most common questions about this pretty and calming home design style.
What does Japandi mean?
The term Japandi is a mix of Japanese and Scandi design, which refers to the two styles that it is a hybrid of.
What does it mean to be a hybrid design trend?
A hybrid design trend is a combination of two or more distinct types of design. Japandi is a great example of this, as is the ever-popular boho-farmhouse trend.
What are the basic elements of Japandi design?
Japandi design is all about minimalism, functionality, and nature. This is achieved through things like a primarily neutral color palette, a distinct lack of clutter, and an appreciation for earth-driven elements like wood, plants, and natural light.
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What is Japandi style interior? ›
Japandi is the intersection of Scandinavian and modern Japanese interior design styles. Both, rooted in minimalist design principles, with a focus on warmth, natural elements, and muted color palettes. With Japandi, you won't find ornate, gaudy detailing.What is Japandi design style? ›
Japandi blends the smooth, modern lines of Scandinavian design with the sleek, functional, elegance of the Japanese aesthetic. It is minimalist yet welcoming, and is all about using neutral tones, lots of textures and natural materials.What are the 4 types of interior design? ›
Traditional interior designing Style. Modern style of interior design. Industrial interior design style. Minimalist interior design style.How can I get Japandi style? ›
- Opt For Natural Materials To Elevate Your Dinner Table. ...
- Pick Handcrafted Pieces Made From Rattan. ...
- Sleep Better On A Natural Bed Frame. ...
- Accessories In Vibrant Earth Tones Complete The Look. ...
- Natural Lighting Calms A Space. ...
- Choose Seating That Is Both Minimal And Functional.
The “Japandi” style combines the best of both sides: the bright, light color scheme of the Scandinavian style, and the warm and natural one from the Japanese. White is used but dominates the soft colors inspired by nature such as brown, beige and terracotta. The colors must be natural and simple.What are Japandi colours? ›
Muted greens, watered-down greys, pale ochres and delicate eggshell tones are your friends for a Japandi colour palette.Who started Japandi? ›
The word is the union of Japanese and Scandi (Scandinavian). The origin of this style dates back to when the Danish designers and creatives began traveling to Japan, the moment the 220-year-old closed-border policies were finally lifted.What type of wood is used in Japandi? ›
The Japanese have readily available Cedar (sugi), Red Pine (akamatsu), and Cypress (hinoki), whereas the Scandinavians mostly use Oak, Mahogany, Pine and Teak. You can integrate both wood tones into your Japandi home by creating a contrasting effect between light and dark woods.Is Japandi a trend? ›
The Rise of Japandi in 2021-2022. One of Pinterest's biggest predictions for 2021 was Japandi, a new home decor trend. And this trend should continue in 2022. Forget that sparkly white modern minimalist kitchen – this year, you'll be bringing sleek Japanese style to Scandinavian simplicity and hygge.What are three 3 trends right now in interior design? ›
- Open Concept Homes. ...
- Cheap Replicas. ...
- Shiplap. ...
- All-White Kitchens. ...
- All-Gray Interiors. ...
- Minuscule Home Offices. ...
- Boho Style. ...
- Mosaic Tiles.
What is the most popular interior design style? ›
These trends were broken down in 18 different categories, including styles such as Art Deco, Asian Zen, and Victorian. From our research, we found that the most popular interior design style is Industrial.What is the golden rule in interior design? ›
You've probably heard of the 2:3 rule, otherwise known as the 'golden ratio'. Ideally, every room should follow this. Start by dividing a room into two sections – the larger one should measure 2:3 of the space, and be the area for big pieces of furniture such as your sofa, bed or dining table.What is the difference between Japandi and wabi-sabi? ›
Japandi is kind of the new Wabi-Sabi, which celebrates the beauty of imperfection. As Wabi Sabi Japandi's focus is on natural, minimal looks - the new nordic element brings in typical Scandinavian shapes and textures.What is wabi style? ›
“Wabi” stands for “rustic simplicity” or “understated elegance” in Japanese, while “sabi” interprets as “enjoying the imperfect”. This is a Japanese philosophy that has been around from 15th century, depicting something more than a design trend that comes and goes every so often.What is the most timeless Colour? ›
Select a soft shade of gray—trendy and timeless, especially on exteriors. "However, if your design aesthetic is drawn to darker hues, deep reds, navy, and black also have timeless appeal," Wadden explains. "Colors like Tricorn Black (SW 6258), Naval (SW 6244), and Rave Red (SW 6608) are other fan favorites."What are the 4 color themes? ›
The four main types of color schemes are monochromatic, two-color, three-color, and four-color. A monochromatic color scheme uses one color in varying tints and shades. Complementary colors are two colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel, creating high contrast.What color is Hygge? ›
Hygge: The Color of Contentment
Pair this subtle blue-gray with a deep hue like Silhouette AF-655. If you are opting for a more monochromatic palette, consider Thundercloud Gray 2124-40.
White is, of course, always a good paint choice, because it feels elegant, fresh and clean. Plus, Gibbons says, “black and white are the most timeless colors you'll find anywhere and the most timeless color combination.”What is Muji interior design? ›
What Is The Muji Interior Design Style? Muji is a Japanese concept that embodies an exquisite and minimalist living room style, influenced by the Japanese Zen religion. It is characterized by sleek minimalistic features, lots of organic elements, and subtle yet interesting hints of iconic design features.What is a Shibui color scheme? ›
(Shibuichi is a billon metal alloy with a silver-gray appearance.) In interior decorating and painting, gray is added to primary colors to create a silvery effect that ties different colors together in a coordinated scheme. Depending on how much gray is added, shibui colors range from pastels to dark.
How popular is Japandi? ›
Japandi décor style is one of the most popular interior trends right now – racking up no less than 56.5 million mentions across Instagram and TikTok, according to industrial-inspired home accessories and lighting brand, Industville.What is Japanese interior design called? ›
If we were to sum up Japanese interior design in one word, it would be – zen. Steeped in thousands of years of tradition, this ancient style, known as “Kanso”, is not only calming but a cultural representation of the Japanese way of life.What is Scandinavian interior design called? ›
While many minimalist interiors can come off feeling a little too stark or cold, Scandinavian spaces are meant to be warm and inviting. Cozy, comforting accents are the key to that success. In Nordic countries, they call this concept hygge.Is Japandi timeless? ›
In the never-ending quest for a style that is unique, yet timeless, Japandi has emerged as a strong contender. This rustic and contemporary Scandinavian style was pioneered in Japan in the 1950s. A decade later, it became popular with Westerners who were looking for an alternative to Danish modernism.What is biophilic interior design? ›
In short, Biophilic Interior Design means incorporating nature into our indoor environment. It comes from the word Biophilia – meaning Love of Nature. Biophilic Design focuses on creating a calming space with a visual connection with nature while improving wellbeing, health and productivity.What is wabi-sabi decor style? ›
In this manner, wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy and interior design aesthetic that embraces the beauty of any substance or being in its most natural and raw form, giving a unique aesthetic and sense of comfort with simplicity. Wabi-sabi looks into life and into design as 'imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete'.What is the most popular style of Japanese design called? ›
Ukiyo-e (Woodblock Prints)
Ukiyo-e are one of the most distinctive and unique styles of Japanese art.
The Japandi style honors principles of minimalism while being warm and livable. It says “goodbye” to clutter and “hello” to cozy zen. These spaces are often open concept, filled with plants, and appreciate timeless furniture. In a word, Japandi is peaceful, functional living at its best.What is wabi-sabi style in interior? ›
It seeks to maintain a minimalist aesthetic and adds warmth to interiors via rustic materials and objects that tell a story. Author Andrew Juniper says, "If an object or expression can provoke in us a feeling of serene melancholy and spiritual longing, then that object can be considered wabi-sabi."What does Grandmillennial style mean? ›
Sometimes referred to as “granny-chic,” grandmillennial style combines traditional, homey pieces with modern elements. Unlike sleek modern or industrial interiors, grandmillennial style embraces typically outdated decor, such as floral-patterned curtains and china plates and prints.