As the minimalist lifestyle is evolving, newer, and better interior design themes are emerging as follow-ups to this trend. The Japandi style is one of them.
It is a combination of the Japanese and Scandinavian styles. It takes the best of both worlds and harmonizes them into a single, well-balanced, and profoundly serene ambiance. It’s simple, functional, focuses on the necessities, and delivers a space that evokes a sense of tranquility whenever you use it.
Japandi is all about subscribing to a minimalist lifestyle. It propagates the philosophy of eliminating clutter from your life and spaces. Every unnecessary décor element and furniture is removed, which brings a calm and liberating vibe. However, this style also allows placement of modern necessities within the space, which adds convenience to the coziness and personality that became such a staple for the Japandi look. Further, let’s take a look at everything that you need to know about it:
The shared attributes of the Japandi style
The Japandi style features the best qualities of the Japanese Zen and Scandinavian aesthetics. So, what are the common attributes that propelled designers to merge these two distinct looks into one? Let’s take a look:
At their core, both the Japanese and Scandinavian styles share a flair for simplicity. There’s nothing too complicated in these aesthetics, even they are combined. Anything that evokes a cluttered-vibe is immediately discarded to maintain a serene aura within the space.
Functionality is another significant shared aspect of the Scandinavian and Japanese styles. When combined in the Japandi look, it always tends to enhance the efficiency of the overall look. Each element and item is there for a reason. If it doesn’t provide at least some manner of functional value, it’s considered clutter.
The love of nature is a great shared attribute between Japanese-Scandi aesthetics. Both emphasize the beauty of natural materials, and both highlight them in a simple, minimalist manner. This commonality is one of the very roots of the Japandi style.
Scandinavian style craftsmanship has a very unique flavor. Similar is the case with Japanese crafts. Both have their natural flair and several traditional aspects, but at their core, simplicity is the main inspiration behind their style. Moreover, both forms appreciate the concept of “made by hand, made by care.” Therefore, respecting craftsmanship is another shared attribute that you can find in the Japandi style.
Japandi interiors are simple, functional, and impactful, made to encourage the connection with the earth.
The Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics both take root in coziness. The former can emulate it through the use of warm colors and lighting while the latter visualizes the concept of ‘hygge’ which translates to cozy homeliness.
Simplicity, sustainability, and comfort are the key elements of the Japandi interior design style, and you always get them with an extra bout of serene.
Essential elements of a Japandi style interior design
Here’s a basic overview of how the Japandi style can be emulated in your spaces:
First of all, the Japandi style emphasizes functionality. Therefore, these spaces need to be as relevant to their purpose as possible. There’s no room for frou-frou accouterments. The furniture has to be to-the-point as well as the décor. Even the layout of the space must be as efficient as possible to deliver a holistic, well-placed, circulation area that diffuses the cluttered look and presents a calming, open space.
A statement, not an abundance
Since the Japandi style doesn’t allow for much visual clutter, it can be challenging to make it feel homey. However, you can tackle this dilemma by using oversized statement accessories in place of multiple small décor items. For example, you can use a minimal statement light fixture in the middle of the room to anchor the whole aesthetic. It will act in both decorative as well as functional capacity.
Merging sleek with rustic
Since the Japandi style is a classic combination of Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics, it also features a great merging of smooth and rough surfaces that are respectively representative of these styles. This gives Japandi interior designs that extra oomph. They tend to come across as both modern and homely thanks to this collaborative quality.
If you’re looking for an example, then a live-edge table with unique wood grain is a great option. These tables are beautifully hand-crafted, are one of a kind, and feature that perfect blend of sleek vs. rustic. Other than that, even the wall claddings or floor materials can be used to evoke this contrasting palette.
Characteristics of the Japandi Style
Now, all of this begs the question; how to emulate the Japandi style intrinsically in your spaces? Here are some mainstream characteristics of the Japandi style that you can use to articulate it in your interior designs:
Banking of contrasting colors
Perfecting your contrast is the main thing that you need to focus on in a Japandi interior design. When it comes to the color palette, Japandi is a fusion of cold, dark, and warm neutral colors that are gracefully combined to deliver a serene ambiance.
To truly understand the Japandi palette, you need to know the individual color preferences of the Scandinavian and Japanese styles to begin with. The Scandinavian color scheme leans towards bright, airy, and light colors such as white, oak brown, mint green, etc. The Japanese style color scheme runs the gamut of stark and dark colors such as mahogany brown, ebony, and navy blue.
So, this is where the contrast is developed. You need to pick out both light and bold shades from the individual Scandinavian and Japanese themes to fuse them entirely within the Japandi style. The tones stretch between the use of distinctly more cool tints of muted green and blue, which are warmed by natural hues. Japandi is the ideal fusion of the fresh color palette that defines Japanese design combined with the natural vibe of Scandinavian design.
Featuring combined Furniture Styles
Since the Japandi style is all about functional minimalism, the furniture is a placeholder for both statement pieces and décor elements in this interior design style. Therefore, each piece has to be chosen with care. It should evoke a clean and simple vibe. But most importantly, handcraftsmanship is the magnum opus of this style. Every furniture piece you choose must be qualitative and should tell a story.
That said, the most challenging part here is to figure out how to combine the Scandinavian and Japanese furniture pieces in a single space. Since both styles have such a distinct visual presence, you can immediately pick their own furniture apart. In the end, you must design your Japandi interior by furnishing it with mix and matched pieces that you’ve tastefully curated from both the Japanese and Scandinavian styles.
The great thing is that both aesthetics feature furniture that is highly practical, simple, and incredibly stylistic. The main difference is in the material finish and articulation. The Scandinavian furniture is mostly finished in lighter woods, leans towards the contemporary aesthetic, is incredibly trendy, and evokes a relaxed, comfortable vibe.
Japanese style furniture, on the other hand, is low-height, leans towards traditional visuals, and is usually finished in dark woods. These furniture pieces are more refined, graceful, and somber. Their dark finishes provide a beautiful visual appeal.
The difficulty lies in picking the dark and light shades of furniture and presenting a holistic interior design picture with them.
Shared accent pieces
We’ve already talked about statement pieces, but they’re not the only things that you can use to accentuate a Japandi style interior design. You can curate the best of Scandinavian and Japanese style accessories to make a significant impact.
Since the overall beauty and grace of the Japandi aesthetic comes from its functional aspects, it’s best not to invest in purely decorative items. From the Scandinavian look, you can pick a comfortable couch or floor cushions, plush area rugs, and cozy sofa throws – all elements that are commonly used in our daily lives.
From the Japanese end of the spectrum, you can curate shoji screens, porcelain inspired vases, wooden beamed ceilings, paper floor lamps or lanterns, and even a miniature bonsai tree. You’ll notice that most of the Japanese aspects of accessorizing are mostly part of either the structure or the functional elements of the interior design.
You’ll have to carefully pick and choose which design element you want from either of these two styles to incorporate in your Japandi interior design.
Materials and Textures
The material palette of the Japandi style consists majorly of woods and whites. You rarely ever see any other content, though gentle stone accents are always a welcome addition. You need to harmonize the dark wood finishes of the Japanese style with the lighter, rougher, and distressed finishes of the Scandinavian style accents.
Other than that, you can accentuate your Japandi spaces with materials that have distinct textures. Wood with visible grain is a must along with textured rugs (especially natural fiber ones like sisal, jute, hemp, and seagrass), and linens. You can also add exciting textures through handmade lacquered wallpaper, textured paper lamps, shibori fabrics, hand-crafted ceramics, and woven baskets.
The lighting used in the Japandi style is designed to evoke a sense of tranquility. Natural light is a dominantly used force and is usually incorporated through oversized windows and translucent shoji screens. Artificial lighting is always functional, warm, and the fixtures are very minimalist. Sometimes, decorative Japanese style floor paper lamps are used to cap off the ambiance with style.
Lastly, plants are an incredibly important part of the Japandi style because nature is naturally interwoven into this aesthetic. It’s usually accomplished by bridging the boundaries between the outdoor and indoor areas so that the interior can have a fantastic view of the outside through the large windows. Other than that, statement plants can also be strategically placed all around the interior. You cannot go overboard with too many planters. You only need to feature two or three to accommodate that uncluttered look. It’s best if you choose plants that have elegant leaves. Even a small thing like that matters in the grand scheme when you’re designing a Japandi themed space.
Main Benefits of the Japandi style
If you’re wondering why you should opt for the Japandi interior design style, then here are a few reasons that might motivate you to go for it:
The number one reason for you to opt for the Japandi style is that it’s stress-free. The use of plants evokes a natural calm inside anyone who’s using such spaces. The use of cold and dark colors along with comfortable textures emulates further tranquility within the ambiance, which propels the user to forget all their worries and feel relaxed.
One of the biggest reasons why the Japandi style is so pleasing is because of its visual stability. The symmetry always attracts the eye, but more than that, the harmony of natural textures with sleek materials always makes a great impression.
Easy to clean
Another fantastic benefit of the Japandi style is how it is extremely easy to clean. Since there is zero clutter in these spaces, you can easily maintain them with regular dusting and mopping. You wouldn’t have to put in that much effort, and cleaning will take less time.
Mix and match
The Japandi style is also a fan favorite because of its hybrid mix and match theme. For example, if you’re creating a fusion of furniture styles, you can always place a traditional kotatsu style coffee table in the center of your Scandi-modern sofa formation. Similarly, you can opt for dark wood flooring and harmonize it with pastel or white walls. If you know the essential design elements of both the Japanese and Scandinavian styles, you can have a lot of fun crafting a mix and matched Japandi style interior design.
Since the Japandi style is designed in the vein of minimalist spaces, it’s more qualitative than quantitative. This style is the physical manifestation of ‘less is more,’ and this ideology makes it an excellent choice for those who prefer understated sophistication in their spaces.
So, this is your comprehensive guide on the Japandi style. We hope it will help you figure out how to incorporate it into your home interiors without much hassle at all.