Japandi, the new minimalism
Refresh your home with Japandi design
Japandi design is the interior fusion trend of the moment and it’s perfect for spring. With sleek lines, muted colours, and a soothing, Scandi vibe (Japandi is a portmanteau of Japan and Scandi, after all), it’s the easiest and coolest way to freshen up and revive your living space after spending a year staring at the same four walls.
So, if you’re sold on the idea of a trend that brings together a Scandi aesthetic (neutral tones, wooden details) and Japanese design (low seating and killer storage solutions), here are the Japandi décor details you should consider incorporating into your home. You’ll love the perfect balance of proven practicality and cosy comfort.
The Japandi trend brings together the two colour palettes of Japanese interiors and Scandi design – think: muted neutrals combined with warm statement shades. We’re talking oatmeals, eggshells, taupes and beiges. This kind of toned down colour scheme might have the potential to be boring but it doesn’t have to be.
You can interpret the call for ‘muted hues’ however you want, but the overarching idea of Japandi design is for no one colour to dominate. You want to achieve a perfect harmony of hues. So…stark white walls are a big no-no!
Wood, wood, natural fibres, and more wood.
On the Japanese side of things, bringing in bamboo elements seems obvious, as does introducing pieces with soft curved edges and sensual design.
Meanwhile, Scandi design favours blonde woods with sharp angles and simple lines. Combine the two for maximum visual impact.
In addition to wood and bamboo though, I really love the new rattan revival going on. Consider looking for rattan storage boxes, seating options and room dividers for your Japandi redesign. Don’t be afraid to mix and match!
Just keep in mind that both Japan and Scandinavia put a huge price on sustainability. So, this isn’t the time to invest in plastic-finish furnishings. Instead look for natural (even vintage!) pieces made from sustainable materials that have been built to last.
I’ve talked before about my love for house plants. They just add so much life and colour to a space, no matter what the size. And the great news is they’re an excellent addition to any Japandi space, perfect for adding a splash of lively colour to that muted backdrop and adding a softness to those straight Scandi edges.
While you could stick to the forever faves, like banana leaf plants and monsteras, why not mix it up by incorporating cute bonsais too?
Personally, I think this is an area where you can freestyle it, but I definitely recommend looking into a mix of both hanging and floor plants to add an extra dimension to the room.
Statement pieces have been a key part of interior design since…well, forever! But they come into sharper focus as part of the Japandi trend, especially because both Scandi and Japanese design put minimalist, clutter-free design above all else. Chuck the tchotchke!
Look for pieces that really tie the room together and combine elements of your chosen colour scheme.
You could also go for a double whammy of Japandi style and choose statement pieces that are also multifunctional. After all, Japanese design is all about making the most of the space available to you. I’m a huge fan of futons. Not only do they serve two purposes, but they can also help make the most of a small space and allow for floor-level seating – all key elements of Japandi design.
Japandi design, when done wrong, can feel flat and sterile. After all, so much of it focuses on natural fibres, clean lines and multifunctional furnishings. And I get it! It’s super easy to get caught up in the clean aesthetic that it’s easy to forget much of Scandi design is about creating ‘hygge’, a.k.a. a feeling of cosiness and comfort. And that’s where your textural details come in.
Look for thick knit blankets that can add a softness to statement sofas or give height to futons; go all in and splurge on a plush rug to really tie the room together; or, consider buying velvet furnishings. Basically, think about what ‘comfort’ means to you.
If you’re not sure where to start with this one, I recommend tableware – runners and placemats are easy spots to introduce depth and texture through fabric.
The world has been on a storage and organization kick since Marie Kondo published her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And storage continues to be important to Japandi design.
The key here is to choose storage solutions that will blend into the background, rather than stand out. So, skip the large bookshelves with built in drawers and look instead for woven boxes and baskets that can be stacked and used as bedside tables or living room focal points.
Folding screens are also great, allowing you to hide larger items and give a new dimension to the room. Plus, they often come in natural materials like paper and rattan.
To sum up, Japandi design is about form and functionality. Each piece you incorporate into the space should be carefully thought through and chosen to fit with the neutral, muted appeal of Scandi-Japanese aesthetics. Wood and natural fibers are key, while plush throws and rugs can add softness to the space. And don’t forget those house plants!