Japandi
Photo by Taylor Simpson on Unsplash

The Scandi style has been popular outside of Scandinavia for so long now, it feels like a classic that’s here to stay.

And it’s no wonder really, given how well it acts as an antidote to our busy lives. It’s calming colour palettes and minimal décor help us to create serene spaces in which to decompress.

This year we’re set to see a new twist on it, with the style being increasingly mixed with Japanese style to further enhance its wellbeing qualities.

While the stand-alone looks are easily distinguishable, Japanese design does have some common traits with Scandinavian design. Both lean towards natural materials, comfortable functionality and simplicity.

All of these values lend themselves to creating a relaxing environment, and it’s the perfect blend to soothe our senses during these very trying times.

To create a Japandi aesthetic in your own home, following are some helpful guidelines:

  • Choose a calming colour palette in muted tones. Scandi typically opts for light neutrals, while Japanese often has dark saturated backdrops. For your Japandi effect, go for warm neutrals…something of a middle ground between the two.
  • Add natural textures, in the forms of rugs, throws and cushions. You definitely want to get your Hygge on here. Keep patterns to a minimum, opting for simplicity and favouring a variety in textures. Maybe you could use some Japanese lacquered wallpaper on one wall, for a high quality luxe finish that still honours the principles of simplicity.
  • Keep décor low key, with no extraneous ornaments. We’re not talking sparse minimalism – decorative items do have a place in this style. However, they should be intentional and follow the-less-is-more principle. Those items selected for simple adornment will ideally also serve a functional purpose, such as a vase for fresh flowers.
  • Add in live plants in beautiful pots, but not too many. Japandi seeks to highlight the elements of nature, but to allow each piece to shine by not overcrowding it with competitors.
  • Choose high quality furniture made from natural materials. Mix and match some pieces from both styles – clean lines and light wood for Scandi, and low curved pieces for Japanese. If you already have a lot of Scandi-inspired pieces, try adding some round floor cushions in muted colours to lend a Japanese vibe.
  • Keep your space as uncluttered as possible. And for all the everyday stuff of life that you need to hang on to, but will disturb the calm vibe you’re aiming for, use baskets or other containers made of natural materials to both organise and keep them out of sight when not in use. You could also use an elegant screen to section off your work-from-home corner from the rest of your living room.

And most importantly, favour sustainability in all your choices. The Japandi style speaks to and of our natural environment and everything about it should be eco-friendly. Keeping this top of mind, you’re aiming to create a simple and functional space that also oozes cosiness and comfort.

If you can strike a nice balance between these design styles, you’ll create a sense of peace and harmony within your home. And this is both the objective and the appeal of Japandi.


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