Japandi décor style is one of the most popular interior trends right now – racking up no less than 56.5 million mentions across social media, according to industrial-inspired home accessories and lighting brand, Industville.
Not yet familiar? As the term suggests, Japandi is a mix of Japanese and Scandi style – a combination with endless appeal.
“While geographically, Japan and Scandinavia may be worlds apart, when it comes to design, the two countries are synonymous with creating interiors rooted in simplicity, comfort, neutral colours and natural materials,” says Alysha Alli, who heads up the interior design team at Redrow homebuilders.
“Together, the two cultures have led to the recent creation of the now universally loved interior trend, Japandi.”
Illustrating a beautiful marriage of east meets west, where Scandinavian’s cosiness blends seamlessly with Japan’s minimalism, Ms Alli says Japandi style is growing in popularity with homeowners of all ages.
“While the trend has been around since 2016, its popularity grew throughout the pandemic, and still has an enduring effect,” Ms Alli explains. “Homeowners continue to create a functional yet welcoming interior that’s perfectly suited to a healthy balance of work and home life.”
Scandinavian homes, she says, tend to prioritise comfortable interiors that are warm and inviting and deeply rooted in the countries’ concept of ‘hygge’ (cosiness), while Japanese design adopts the countries’ ‘wabi-sabi’ philosophy, which originates from Zen Buddhism.
“The term refers to embracing imperfections and finding beauty in the natural, unpolished world,” notes Ms Alli. “This fusion of two cultural beliefs has today created a design that’s loved for its welcoming and warm minimalist aesthetic.”
How can you get the Japandi look?
1. Neutral colour palette
“Earthy tones and muted colours are key to recreating the Japandi look,” says Ms Alli. “Sage and muted greens, paired with watered-down greys, pale ochres, beiges and sandy tones should be top of your Japandi colour palette.”
Scandi interiors can often favour clear whites, but Ms Alli recommends replacing this with a light stone, beige or fawn tone, to avoid your interior feeling more Nordic than Japandi.
“While Nordic design favours lighter colours, Japanese interiors can often appear more daring by introducing richer colours through design accessories. For a truly Japandi look, take note from Japan’s approach to colour by adding a contrasting colour to your neutral palette, such as pale pink or charcoal grey, either through soft furnishings such as cushion covers or throws, artwork or lighting,” she suggests.
These small colour additions will add a richness to your interior that stops the room from feeling muted and restricted to similar colours, she explains.
“A key thing to remember is that Japandi interiors should always blend harmoniously together, where every item is given equal attention,” says Ms Alli. “So any contrasting colours should not stray too far from your neutral palette, but rather as a pop of colour.”
2. Sustainable furnishings
“Both Japanese and Scandinavia interiors use wood as their dominate interior material – but do so in very different ways,” observes Ms Alli.
“Scandinavian-influenced interiors favour a rustic approach, where the wood is often left pale and untreated. Whereas in Japanese-inspired interiors, the wood is more likely to be stained and darker, creating a much richer effect.”
Don’t be afraid of opting for both, she says. Although the wood may be different, the natural colours remain in the same palette, so will still create that desired harmonious effect, while adding a little intrigue to the room that’s rich in an artisan feel.
“Other authentic, natural materials, such as bamboo, rattan, cotton or hemp, offer an easy way to introduce texture and a natural element into your interior,” Ms Alli adds.
She says eco-friendly materials are perfect in the bedroom too, which should be rich in nature and free of tech for a good night’s sleep. “And perfect for introducing that unpolished look synonymous with ‘wabi-sabi’,” Ms Alli notes. “Assorted warm metals also work beautifully with these natural materials and provide a contrast in texture.”
Where both Scandi and Japanese interiors share a love of nature and house plants, as Ms Alli points out, Japandi interior leans towards fewer but bigger plants, where the larger plant is used as a focal point in the room.
“Other ways to bring the outdoors in can be through adding branches to large ceramics for a vase vignette, which offer a sustainable homemade accessory.”
3. Minimalist cosiness
To ensure you strike the balance between Japan’s minimalism and Scandi’s cosiness, Ms Alli says: “Adopting a minimalist approach by decluttering will allow your home’s architectural features and clean lines to shine.
“Decluttering is an easy way to create the illusion of a minimalist interior – and can quickly transform forgotten or previously hidden elements, such as antique statement vases or ornaments, into focal pieces,” she adds.
Use the lines of your shelves or bookcases themselves as a decoration, she suggests; don’t obscure them with trailing plants or soft furnishings. “The overall look should be one of continuity – blending shapes and sleek functionality – that remains rich in personality through your ornaments or books.”
– With PA
If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.