What is Japandi Interior Design Style?

Published on
February 28, 2022
Written by
the Bold Design Team | Winnie Kwok and Rachel Lopez

The latest interior design style to infiltrate your Instagram feeds is a mix of clean lines, natural materials, and serenity--Japandi. It’s like the bonsai tree of the interior design world, meticulously crafted yet minimalist in appearance. Everyone’s jumping on this bandwagon. Even Amazon has a whole series of Japandi-inspired furniture and home decor available online.

Japandi design is a combination of modern Scandinavian and Japanese interior design styles. Modern Japanese-style living spaces are often minimalist, with simple furniture, blank walls, and a warm neutral color palette. Here, less really is more. Japanese interior design also plays off of the concept of wabi-sabi (侘び寂び). Literally translated, wabi-sabi can mean either “simple-antique” or “austere-loneliness.” As an aesthetic, wabi-sabi refers to an acceptance of imperfection, where even an unfinished or imperfect room can still make a beautiful home.

Modern Scandinavian interior design consists of simple cool tone color palettes, minimalist decor, natural materials, and plenty of soft furnishings. What makes the Scandinavian style (also referred to as Norse design) unique is its embodiment of hygge. Hygge is the Danish concept of tranquility and of finding joy in little everyday actions.

Despite originating from completely different cultures and geographies, both Japanese and Scandinavian designs share similar values. Both are minimalist. And both emphasize the importance of functionality and sustainability.

What does Japandi look like?

A Japandi-designed room is bright and airy with lots of natural light. Spaces are defined by a select few statement pieces. The muted color palette allows shapes and lines to really take center stage. Accents and furnishings are made from natural materials like rattan, bamboo, wicker, burlap, linen, clay, and terra cotta.

Here’s how to add some Japandi aesthetic into your home:

  • Remove clutter - Reducing clutter is paramount to any modern minimalist look. Japandi is no exception. If you struggle with keeping countertops open and clean, however, consider using baskets, boxes, or folding screens to keep clutter hidden and give your space a more calming feel.
  • Add Contrast - Mix light woods with sleek metal finishings. Use dark blues and grays as a backdrop for white cushions. Juxtaposing materials and colors creates an exciting, unique look. You can even use vibrant colored house plants to help create contrast.
  • Pick Statement Pieces - Japanese statement pieces tend to be more sculptural while Scandinavian statement pieces focus on comfort (like a tapestry, cozy sofa, or fluffy pouf). But both styles prioritize function and durability. Look for items that will stay with you for years to come. And consider making a statement with interesting shapes instead of bold color.
  • Keep It Natural - Unfinished woods, imperfect pottery, and bushy house plants bring in the feeling of nature and really embody the wabi-sabi concept. To fully embrace the Japandi style, try to look for sustainable and eco-friendly materials or maybe even shop from local manufacturers.

Here’s one last Japanese-ism: ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会). Literally, it means “one life, one encounter.” The phrase has come to encapsulate the transience of life. Things cannot remain the same forever. Change is inevitable, so enjoy the hygge wherever and whenever you can.

Check the Bold Interior Group Blog for more interior design inspiration and home staging info.

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