At first glance, Japan and Scandinavia may seem like very different cultures. However, when it comes to design sensibilities they share many similar elements. Nordic and Japanese aesthetics emphasize natural materials, simplicity, and practicality. The union of these aesthetics has resulted in a new trend called “Japandi.” Japandi interior design combines Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics. Although this trend surfaced as early as 2017, we anticipate its popularity will grow this year.
What is Japandi Interior Design?
Both Scandinavian and Japanese design emphasize minimalist philosophy to make a space functional and serene. The legacy of Japanese design focuses on art, nature, and zen buddhist principles. Zen Buddhism rejects clutter. Modern Scandinavian design emerged in the 1920s and swept through the Nordic countries. Its innovations emphasized the durability of products. Design reduced an object to its natural form, for example the design of a chair was reduced to its most simple structure. Together, these aesthetics curate a welcoming, airy space that is composed of geometric lines and practical forms.
What are the Elements of Japandi Interior Design?
A balanced blend of Japanese and Scandinavian design embraces the minimalism in order to create a functional, beautiful space. Following Zen Buddhist principles, clutter is rejected to create a space that is balanced and visually appealing.
In a Japandi interior, you will see natural materials such as wood, ceramic, linen, and stoneware. Muted color palettes are common in this style. However, occasional pops of color may be incorporated. Furnishings with clean, geometric lines are selected to curate a consistent style.
A neutral color palette is used to unify the space and complement the wood furniture. The aim of Japandi is to create a peaceful atmosphere so when bright pops of color are incorporated into the space, they are subtle.
In addition to creating a serene sanctuary, Japandi aesthetic also encourages sustainability. Sourcing sustainable furnishings goes hand in hand with this style because it emphasizes the use of natural materials such as wood. As more consumers become mindful of their environmental impact, they choose sustainable options.
How Scandinavian and Japanese Styles Pair Together
If you’re a fan of Scandinavian design, you’ve probably heard of “Hygge,” the Danish word for a feeling of coziness. Hygge has grown into a style that was very popular in the U.S. the last year. The central idea is that your home should be a comfortable place.
Next, we will add the Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi,” which embraces imperfection. These rustic accents and natural materials that define Japandi. Nordic and Japanese design work well together because they are both rooted in minimalism and function. Combined, this creates a sophisticated yet comfortable interior.
These two design approaches have their differences, but Japandi designers use these differences to compliment each other similar to how contrasting colors on the color wheel pair well when used in the same artwork. Traditional Japanese interiors are sleek and geometric while nordic interiorss utilize round shapes that create a cozier space. The old Norwegian homes were rustic with wood panels and furniture painted with Rosemaling technique. The blend of these aesthetics creates bright minimalist interiors. These spaces bring attention to the rustic, wabi-sabi wood accents in a modern way. These warm, natural textures also prevent a minimalist space from feeling cold and empty.
How Can I Decorate Like Japandi Interior Design?
If you tried last year’s Hygge trend, you’re already on your way to curating a Japandi interior! To create this look, select unfinished wood such as bamboo to create natural accents. Dark finished wood will create a Mid Century Modern look. Muted colors and green tones will create an earthy, light space. You can even use houseplants to bring green tones into your Japandi Style.
The core aspect of Japandi is the elimination of clutter. If you’re a visual person like myself, I feel stressed by clutter. Clean space is good for mental wellbeing, so Japandi has grown in popularity through 2020 because people spent more time at home during the pandemic. Japandi’s clean lines help lead the eye through an interior space. This style is great for creating an office with an efficient workflow.
If you’re a family with a very active household, creating Japandi style may be a challenge. In ortder to create the illusion of minimalism, store items in containers with natural textures such as woven baskets. You can purchase my favorite wood and linen storage bins from Target here. My favorite Japandi home decor pieces feature soft cloth textures and elegant wood furnishings. You can also use paper folding screens to hide clutter. My favorite part about these paper screens is that they allow light into your space.
Quality over Quantity
Both Japanese and Scandinavian design share a love of craftsmanship. You should select furniture and decor that you will cherish for years to come. Choosing quality pieces is also more sustainable because we don’t want our Japandi furniture to end up in a landfill a few years from now.
Where can I buy Japandi Furniture and Decor?
Since Japandi is currently trending, you can find stylish pieces at most retailers. My favorites include Crate & Barrel and West Elm. If you choose to shop at West Elm, you will be given the option to shop only sustainable furniture on their website. If you’re on a budget, visit Target for some affordable options. When you’re shopping look for soft textures such as linen to create cozy accents. You can use unfinished pine or bamboo for your light wood accents.
Here are a few of our favorite Japandi decor staples:
The Zinus table is my favorite dining table for hosting guests. You can even use it as an office desk. I love the blonde, unfinished pine wood. The tapered legs are smooth, clean, and pleasing. I purchased this table back in 2018 and it still brings me joy!
Have you seen a cuter minimalist soap dispenser? I purchased this ceramic and soap dispenser in 2019 and I do not regret it! Not only is it a nice accent in my bathroom, it is also very durable. Believe me! I’ve dropped it a few times! Check out the matching tray and toothbrush holder from Blomus here. I plan on completeing my collection.
With Oslo in the name, you know that these beautiful wood trays will fit a Japandi home! I recently purchased one with a dark wood finish to match my Mid Century Modern Furniture. West Elm also offers an unfinished option for the perfect Japandi look.
This paper room divider has a natural finish. Its design is very pleasing, and very Japanese. I used it to hide clutter in my small apartment and create the illusion of a bigger space..
Plant lovers will fawn over these Japandi Pots:
Since my beautiful Glosom Plant Stand is no longer available, I’d like to recommend a similar midcentury plant stand that has an options for finished or unfinished wood.
If you have large plants, the Radius planter is perfect for you! This minimalist planter is lightweight and comes with a drainage hole to protect your plant’s roots. I bought my first one a year ago and just ordered a second for my fiddle leaf fig.
Did you try Styling your space with Japandi Interior Design sensibilities?
I recently purchased the Nattie White Wine Glass Set from Crate & Barrel and I’m in love!
This rising trend will be on our radar for the next few years! I love how Japandi is a sustainable and mutable style. Motifs of other styles can be found in Japandi, such as the tapered legs of Mid Century Modern furniture. What are your thoughts? Do you love Japandi? Are you currently decorating? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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