What is Japandi? And how do you get this trend right?

Japandi: the new interior style everyone is talking about

It may seem that there is little in common between both Japan and Scandinavia. This is true, but not when it comes to interior design. Both regions value simplicity, minimalism, natural elements, and comfort. Not surprisingly, many designers noticed these parallels and began to combine them. At the junction of such connections, a new trendy style has appeared.

Japandi style is a mixture of two interior traditions: Scandinavian and Japanese. The name came from two words – japan and scandi.

The style is based on the Scandinavian philosophy of “you need a little to be happy” and the aesthetics of the Japanese interior, where “less is more”. Unlike traditional Scandinavian hygge style, Japandi interiors have no visual noise – fur pillows, candles, garlands of light bulbs, an open storage area with trinkets, and the decor is functional. And from the classical traditions of the Japanese style, japandi is distinguished by the absence of pronounced elements of culture, such as bonsai and the Yin and Yang symbol.

To achieve perfection in combining the two styles, you need to create a minimalistic design that is functional and aesthetic at the same time. It is in the symbiosis of Scandinavian comfort and Japanese beauty that Japandi is born.

Japandi Style Principles

Consider the principles of the new style in more detail. By sticking to them, you will recreate this sophisticated style in space.

Natural materials

Wood and stone are textures that migrated to Japandi from the Scandinavian style. However, here designers achieve brightness and volume through a combination of diverse textures, and not the decor.

For example, you can use wood of different colors and patterns – fir, beech, oak, and ash. So, light breeds are combined with dark ones. Wood looks harmoniously with metal, stone, and concrete. Plus, it compensates for their excessive coldness. According to the same principles, natural wood and organic linen, metal, and cotton are mixed.

Another technique for working in common with another Japanese movement – is wabi-sabi. It is a philosophy that describes beauty in its most natural manifestation. Wabi-sabi emphasizes that the unfinished, imperfect, and even damaged is the highest manifestation of aesthetics. Raw wood, chips, cracks, unfinished objects – these elements are organically synthesized with the Japandi style.

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The decor is a function

Japandi interiors are as practical as they are visually beautiful. Each item is in the right place and performs a specific function. The focus on functionality Japandi inherits from the Scandinavian interior, where ergonomics are valued above other properties. To reproduce this aspect, follow the commandment of the Nordic style: do not use what cannot be used in ten ways. So, a rice straw screen in the living room is primarily a way to zone the space and not just a bright accent of the interior. And let the figurine in the form of a bunny on the table also be a salt shaker or gravy boat. The only universal decor for the japandi style is living plants.

Restrained and even dark shades

Unlike the usual Scandi, Japandi-style interiors are dark. Instead of white walls – dark gray, coniferous, cold brown, or rich earthy shades. And no contrasts. For example, put a warm creamy leather or wooden chair against the backdrop of concrete walls. Let the furniture complement the background, and the decor complements the furniture – and each element harmoniously flows from each other and does not visually “noise”.

Here it is important to remember plain and raw textiles. Let linen remain wrinkled, and cotton harsh.

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Furniture “for growth”

Another requirement of japandi is that furniture should age gracefully. Such an interior consists of things that get better with age or are easily repaired.

For example, a leather sofa will last longer than a textile sofa. And scratches on the surface of the upholstery only add beauty and comfort.

In addition, pay attention to natural wood furniture, preferably hardly processed. This, even if it changes color over time, will not lose its aesthetic appearance at all. Remember that the visual component is important for the Japandi style. A bench or a coffee table made from a solid saw cut is a must.

Simple shapes

In japandi, only natural geometry is acceptable – an oval vase, a square coffee table, and a rectangular kitchen island. So, instead of a bed with an elaborate headboard, a simple podium bed would be appropriate. It is worth giving preference to rounded shapes.

Hidden architraves at interior doors, drawers without handles with a push-opening system, and the absence of skirting boards and moldings will also help to clear the interior of unnecessary elements.

Simplicity manifests itself in the desire to limit itself to low furniture. Without taking up space at a height, such furniture visually frees up space.

Nothing extra

Scandinavian and Japanese interior styles, in particular, do not tolerate crowded spaces. Therefore, Japandi design is filled with clean, straight lines and plenty of air.

In order to maintain this visual purity, designers recommend “hiding” most of the things in storage systems made from natural materials. Wicker baskets and boxes, hidden compartments in stairs, and upholstered furniture.

If you have a lot of memorabilia, documents, and things, you need to hide them so as not to overload the space.

What to Avoid in Japandi Style

When recreating the Japandi style, one must not only follow the principles as they should but also avoid some mistakes. So, you will be able to maintain a clean style, without eclecticism and congestion. Let’s take a look at a few typical pitfalls you might encounter.

Ignoring the walls

Walls in japandi are as active a participant in interior design as furniture. It sets the texture, color palette, and, of course, aesthetics. That is why to create this unique style, it is not enough just to buy the right sofa and wardrobe.

We’ll have to start from the base. To do this, you can install wooden slats on the walls or coat them with a primer for texture.


Minimalism never means a scarcity of materials and simple forms. The same applies to the Japandi style. Yes, it excludes a large number of elements, but it requires the creation of comfort within these limitations.

The combinations should create a feeling of a cozy haven where you can relax and unwind, and not a monastery where Zen is learned through hardship.

Two markers of this mistake are the use of only a neutral palette in interior design and too few furniture and objects. It is important to find the perfect balance, where nothing superfluous turns into nothing.

Loss of control over sense of proportion

The reverse side of the previous paragraph. In an effort to saturate the space and fill it with life, do not forget to track the moment when it’s time to stop. Too many elements will create maximalism in the interior. There is nothing wrong with it, but it is excluded when recreating japandi.

Vibrant colors

Saturated colors appear in the interior of Japandi in the form of accents. Light touches that, by their presence, make the overall look of the space more complex and interesting. However, it is worth overdoing it a little, and the room that has sparkled with all colors will turn into a boho style.

Choice without intention

Japandi is the case when you can’t buy a piece of furniture just because of the look. Here you should not rely only on your feelings, but choose each element according to the principle of awareness and practicality.

Let the furniture be practical, functional, and create a harmonious geometric pattern in combination with other objects and walls.


Japandi style is poetry in interior design. Like haiku, japandi develops into a neat and precise harmony of colors and shapes.

It intertwines natural beauty – natural materials, patterns, textures, and patterns; celebrating imperfections and highlighting imperfections while taking a meticulous approach to practicality and functionality.

Taking the best of both worlds – Scandinavian and Japanese style – Japandi creates a zen feel in the space. Time inside such a house slows down, allowing the owner to forget about the hustle and bustle.

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