5 Steps for Achieving Japandi

October 28, 2020
Emily Wordsworth

You may have heard the term Japandi floating around the world of interior design and home furnishings. It is a trend and aesthetic that has become all the rage as of late and maybe one that stands the test of time. Championed by interior designers and savvy homeowners, it brings a whole new sense of minimalism and calm to interiors.

What is Japandi?

Its name lends itself to its visual nature, a blend of Japanese and Scandinavian design philosophies. Japandi delivers the best of both worlds to create a visual narrative of humble items paired with impeccable craftsmanship. On the Japanese side, elements of wabi-sabi are employed; the idea that beauty is imperfect impermanent and incomplete. Wabi-sabi employs characteristics of asymmetry, modesty, intimacy and natural objects. In terms of Japandi, it exudes a rustic, raw elegance.

From the Scandinavian side, it incorporates aspects of “hygge” a style centred around creating a warm atmosphere that prize snugness and repose. Together they make a cohesive design language of clean lines, craftsmanship that is to be admired, idyllic functionality and a charming contrast of colours.

The Colours of Japandi

As both Japanese and Scandinavian design embrace minimalistic hues, it is no surprise that their choice of tones works well as a symphony. Scandi interiors often incorporate white and mellow neutral tones, whereas Japanese interior are often a reflection of nature; darker in comparison, yet still warm and tranquil. These can manifest in moody browns, deep greens and taupe.

Undoubtedly, they bring out the best in one another. The neutrals proving a cosy canvas, whilst their darker counterparts offering up a balanced contrast. That is not to say that Japandi interiors are devoid of playful palettes, in fact, it is encouraged to add accents colours in the form of pillows, rugs, a single painted wall or other refined trinkets to build out the space. Mixing in a variety of textures alongside both dark and light wooded furniture is paramount to the Japandi design philosophy.

How Can You Achieve a Japandi Interior?

This medley of styles is simple at its core but calls for refreshing accents that speak to your personality. Here are the basics to achieve a Japandi-style home.

Less is More

Clean and uncluttered interiors are virtues embraced by both the Japanese and Scandinavian. It provides a basis for a space that serves you well, allows your mind to be free and keeps a home low-maintenance.

Get Low

Japandi favours low furniture that sits closer to the ground. This is because the Japanese have an affinity for being as close to the earth as possible. This can manifest in arms chairs that lean back, low coffee tables, beds and benches.

Quality Eclipses Quantity

Japandi places emphasis on quality over quantity. It favours simple designs that are made well over elaborate trinkets that are fleeting.

For example, when it comes to greenery within the home, which is another facet of Japandi, opt for one or two plants with highly expressive forms over an abundance of flora. The bold speaks volumes over the many. Examples of this can be found in the art of Ikebana,  which favours simple statements.

Au Natural

Natural materials like wood are essential to Japandi, it is best when mixing both light and dark. Think wooden beige dining tables paired with mahogany chairs.

However, to create a more cohesive space that is inviting, additions like rattan baskets, fine ceramics and straw placemats bring a sense of traditional Japanese craft and a modern Scandinavian touch. Again, think of the idea behind wabi-sabi, embrace imperfections like cracks, knots and chips as perfection is never the goal.

Accessories Functionally

Within your home, choose accents that fit your needs. Nothing in your space should be without purpose. Throw a textured blanket on the couch for cold nights, decorate with bowls that house fruit or opt for a statement lamp that is both sculptural and handy.

All images via Pinterest