The Ultimate Guide to “Japandi Style”: Effortlessly Transform Your Interior

June 26, 2024
Interior design of modern living room with stylish sofa, armchair and furnitures, beautiful decorations, brown accessories.

For those exploring different cozy and stylish interior designs, the term “Japandi” might ring a bell. For those new to it, Japandi is a fusion of Scandinavian and Japanese design styles that’s become a major trend in recent years. It’s all about creating simple, cozy, and comfortable spaces, and it’s gaining popularity worldwide, from the U.S. and the UK to Australia, the Netherlands, and of course, Scandinavia and Japan.

In the U.S., interest in Japandi spiked in late 2020 and early 2021, and it’s still going strong. Google Trends shows that searches for “Japandi” continue to rise, indicating this trend is here to stay. Many experts believe Japandi’s appeal isn’t just a passing fad. While the term is relatively new, the concept blends design philosophies that have been evolving for over a century.

Why has Japandi captured so much attention? One major reason is the impact of COVID-19. The pandemic created a need for healing spaces in our homes as we dealt with information overload and a fast-paced lifestyle. As many of us spent more time at home, we craved comfort and calm, making Japandi’s serene aesthetic particularly appealing. Additionally, the growing awareness of environmental sustainability has driven interest in Japandi. This design style often features furniture and decor made from sustainable materials like wood, bamboo, and recycled items, attracting those who aspire to a greener lifestyle.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the Japandi style from various angles, exploring how you can effortlessly incorporate this beautiful design into your own home.

INDEX

 

What is “Japandi”?

Minimalist Wabi-Sabi interior

Earlier, I mentioned that Japandi is a fusion of Scandinavian and Japanese interior styles. Specifically, it combines the Scandinavian concept of “hygge” with the Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi.” Let’s dive a bit deeper into these ideas.

“Hygge” is a Danish word that describes a cozy and comfortable space, focusing on human interaction and relaxing moments rather than material things. In contrast, “wabi-sabi” is a uniquely Japanese aesthetic that finds beauty in simplicity and imperfection, appreciating the depth and richness in things that are old or withered.

The Japandi style marries these two concepts, creating an interior design that is both functional and comfortable with a minimalist approach that eliminates unnecessary clutter. Key features include the use of subdued colors and natural materials.

But how did the design styles of Scandinavia and Japan, two regions so far apart, merge so seamlessly? The answer lies in shared values. Both Scandinavian and Japanese interior design emphasize simplicity and functionality, using natural materials and respecting skilled craftsmanship. These shared values likely stem from the need to adapt to harsh natural environments—Scandinavia’s severe cold and Japan’s seasonal variations.

While Scandinavian and Japanese designs share these underlying values, they do have some differences. For example, Scandinavian interiors often use a lighter, cooler color palette, while Japanese interiors lean towards warmer, earthy tones like browns, beiges, and creams, with darker accents. This blend of color schemes is one of the elements that make Japandi unique.

Interestingly, you can emphasize either the Scandinavian or Japanese aspect of Japandi through your choice of decor. Candles and soft blankets highlight the cozy comfort of Scandinavian style, while handmade ceramics, vases, and tatami mats evoke the Japanese sense of wabi-sabi. The balance between these two styles is entirely up to you.

Explore the various aspects of Japandi to suit your taste, always keeping in mind the core principles of minimalism and functionality.

History of Japandi

I noted earlier that Japandi’s origins date back over a century, which might surprise those who see it as a recent trend. However, digging into history reveals some fascinating facts.

Around 1860, Danish naval lieutenant William Carstensen visited Japan, which had just ended its isolationist policy. He was captivated by various aspects of Japanese culture. After returning to Denmark, he published a book titled “Japan’s Capital and the Japanese,” sparking the curiosity of Scandinavian designers. Inspired by Carstensen’s book, some designers traveled to Japan, where they discovered that the values they cherished—minimalism, simplicity, and natural beauty—were also practiced by Japanese craftsmen. Since then, the mutual influence between Japanese and Scandinavian design has continued, leading to the rise of Japandi. This blend of styles has matured over a long period, making Japandi more than just a fleeting trend.

How Can I Decorate in Japandi Style?

Japandi Style decoration with tatami mat

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Japandi and its origins, here are a few tips to help you incorporate this style into your interior design:

  1. Room Rearrangement
    Japandi embraces minimalism with the slogan “less is more.” Start by decluttering and removing items you don’t need. You can use Marie Kondo’s tidying method as a helpful reference.
  2. Use Natural, Soothing Colors
    Opt for neutral colors like browns and grays. If you want to add accent colors, choose calm, darker browns and greens to maintain the soothing atmosphere.
  3. Choose Natural Materials
    Select furniture and decor made from natural materials like wood (walnut, acorn, teak), bamboo, stone, Japanese paper, linen, and rattan. Handmade ceramics also embody the Japandi aesthetic beautifully.
  4. Create Effective Negative Space
    Japandi design values negative space. Ensure each item in your space has ample surrounding blank space. Placing plants in vases can further highlight this concept.
  5. Focus on Functionality
    Every item in your space should have a clear purpose. Avoid purely decorative items. Furniture should have clean lines and, if possible, additional functionality (e.g., a stool that doubles as a side table or a sofa with storage).
  6. Embrace Harmony with Nature
    Bring nature indoors by maximizing natural light and incorporating indoor plants. This creates a comfortable, harmonious space.
  7. Introduce Japandi-Inspired Items
    High-quality, long-lasting furniture made by craftsmen plays a key role in Japandi style. Several brands offer products that align with this aesthetic:

On Etsy, a search for the keyword “Japandi” will show a variety of items, giving you a great sense of the Japandi vibe. Japandi is a design style that blends Scandinavian and Japanese interior design. You’ll find Scandinavian-inspired candles and blankets alongside Japanese ceramics, vases, and tatami mats, which all fit perfectly into the Japandi aesthetic.

If you’re thinking about adding tatami mats to your space, we recommend these Tatami Mat. Unlike traditional tatami, these mats come in a flexible 32.3″ x 32.3″ size, allowing you to easily adapt them to your living space. With a wide variety of colors available, it’s easy to blend Japanese elements into a Western-style design. These mats are perfect for anyone looking to introduce the Japandi style into their home.

Conclusion

In this issue, we explored Japandi, a design trend that continues to create a buzz among interior design enthusiasts. What do you think? Until I wrote this article, I wondered how such a synergy could have emerged between the design concepts of Scandinavia and Japan. I was surprised to learn that the two countries share similar design values, making this unique fusion make a lot of sense.

Japandi is a fantastic design style for those seeking a calming and serene living space. It’s not too difficult to introduce Japandi into your home. Why not start by incorporating a few items that embody the Japandi concept and create your own tranquil space?

 

Reference link:

The rise of ‘Japandi’ style
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“Japandi” Style Is The Minimalist, Multi-Cultural Interior Design Trend That Shows No Sign of Stopping | Vogue
‘Japandi’: Why Japanese-meets-Scandi design is taking over the internet | CNN
What Is Japandi Interior Design? A Complete Guide
Is Japandi still on trend?
Everything You Need to Know About Japandi Style Interior Design
What is Japandi Style and Is is better than Wabi-Sabi? | TALLBOX
Popular Japandi Brands – TheDesigneur
What is Japandi Style and How Can You Create It At Home
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Expert’s Guide to Japandi Interior Design | Castlery US
8 Ways To Make Your Home Look & Feel More Japandi | Lick
Japandi Style – Scandinavian meets Japanese interior design