What is Japandi? And 6 ways to apply it at home.

Japandi in the living room
via Easyrelooking

What about minimalism in interior design?
A few months ago I got somewhat annoyed by soemthing an interior decorator had said, in the article
10 things to know about minimalism in interir design. I didn’t agree with her opinion that minimalism had had its peak and was currently disappearing.
I am pretty sure that minimalism is not a fad.

Sometimes you come across a word, a trend or a melody that you don’t know but as of then see it everywhere, again and again. That’s what happened to me with the ‘new’ minimalist movement of Japandi.
This trend, the word being a merger of Japan and Scandi(navian), has been growing since 2017 and is gaining followers every day.

What does Japandi look like and how can it be applied here?
I did some small research to find out more and I share my findings!


Japandi style for a dining rrom
via The fabulous fleece company

Simply said, Japandi is a hybrid trend. This new way of decorating combines the modern flair of Scandinavian design with the timeless elegance of Japanese aesthetics to create a style with the best of both movements.
Both the ‘Japanese’ – and the ‘Scandinavian’ style are about minimalism. They emphasize the importance of creating primarily functional rooms, defined by a minimum of essential elements rather than an accumulation of decorative objects.

Simplicity is therefore at the heart of Japandi’s style. We find the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi‘, which consists in the search for beauty in the imperfect. And there are also aspects of ‘hygge’, the Scandinavian trend that aims to create an atmosphere of warmth and comfort.

In the Japandi aesthetics, the neutral and pale colors of the Scandi style find are in balance with the more sustained Japanese palette, whilest the sleek Japanese design is softened by the eclectic and rustic nature of the Scandi style.
The result is clean lines, raw functionality, a flawless finish and lots of contrast.

Japandi kitchen
via Freshidees

If you like the hybrid philosophy and the look of Japandi, I summarized 6 ways how to apply it in your home.

1 / Combine both styles of furniture

Scandinavian and Japanese furniture both have clean lines and are above all functional, but there are some differences: Scandinavian furniture is usually light in color and Japanese furniture often has darker tones and more elegant forms.
Try to mix styles – don’t hesitate to use different shades of wood and mix curved and straight lines, it’ll create depth and variety.

2 / Choose functional accessories

Carefully add accessories, but not too many.
Scandinavian style a
ccessories focus on comfort, such as soft carpets, big cushions and cosy plaids to add a warm atmosphere to the interior.
Japanese accessories are usually functional objects, utensils such as vases or screens, bowls or trays.
The Japandi style/philosophy pieces ideally combine the two but maintain a feeling of simplicity and minimalism.
Beauty must be associated with usability.

3 / Use contrasting colors

Contrast is essential to create interesting interiors which os also the case in the Japandi style.
You should find out which nuances define the two styles combined.
On the one hand, Scandinavian design is characterized by a mix of light and neutral tones, natural woods and touches of pastels. The Japanese style, meanwhile, is known for its deeper tones.

The key colors of the Japandi style are therefore also soft Scandi tones such as light gray, pink – and pale blue and pastel green. And to contrast these, you can add darker tones, such as anthracite gray, indigo, emerald green or even black.
For the furniture it’s the same thing, Scandinavian furniture is usually made of light wood and has a relaxed simplicity, while Japanese furniture is more refined with colored or painted wood and more curved shapes.

4 / Prefer simplicity

The Japandi style is mostly about minimalism, so you should create spaces as decluttered and airy as possible.
There should’nt be too many accessories or other decorative items. Choose quality over quantity and choose only a few well-thought pieces.


Japandi kitchen
via Côté Maison
Japandi workplace and desk
via Nordic Design
5 / Go for natural materials

Obviously, wood is an important material in the Japandi style. (Mixing light and dark wood is therefore a good way to create the contrast mentioned earlier). Other natural materials are bamboo, rattan, linen, wool and paper.
Don’t forget plants, an essential natural element for any interior. They can also help soften the (sometimes too) clean lines of this minimalist look, and add color!

In addition to plants, the Japandi interiors also let nature in through very large windows, if possible obvioulsy.

6 / Go ‘low’ and leave a lot of open space

Japanese furniture tends to be low, to meet the traditional cultural need to feel and stand closer to the ground. Low elements also give a real feeling of space and therefore a feeling of ‘calm’ in an interior. Low furniture is perfect for the Japandi style.
So instead of a high cupboard for example you could opt for low sideboard. A good choice is also a kitchen without wall cabinets to leave space above the work plan.
Another way to create a feeling of space and minimalism; make sure you have enough moving space around and in between furniture.


Japandi living room
via Freshome
Japandi kidsroom
via My Paradissi
Japandi bedroom
via Minford

And that rounds up what I found on the Japandi trend.

Japandi is more than an interior style, it’s a philosophy. It’s an encounter between East and West that works with the best of – and also the differences between the Scandi style and Japanese interior design to create a really perfect minimal style.

What I like in this trend is first of all the new dimension brought to the Scandinavian trend that was starting to get old. Furthermore, I like the fact that the Japanese style brings color and depth to the light and discreet palette of scandinavian design.

All we need now is to apply it in our own homes, what do you say?




If you like minimalist design, you might also like to ckeck out the article on this all white loft that oozes minimalism

… or the minimalist home of designer Ingegerd Råman, in Sweden.



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