What is Japandi décor?

12 Minute Read

Japandi décor has been trending for a little while now, and every time we see rooms styled in this way, we are taken aback by the beauty and simplicity of them. But as with all things new, we weren’t certain what the term actually meant when we first heard it, and so we thought a post to dig into the look, and explain how to get it would be a good idea – with so many fans of Scandi style, we know that many of you will absolutely love the Japandi look too 👍

Getting Your Home Prepped For Autumn 2021

What is Japandi design? 

Japandi design is a modern look that fuses Scandinavian style with Japanese style, and is a blend of the best elements of both country’s styles in one gorgeous look. Japandi brings together the functionality of Scandi style with the minimalism of both styles, as well as art, hand crafted furniture, and nature for a simple, timeless look that will look fantastic for years to come.  

How do Japanese and Scandinavian style work together? 

It might not seem like Japanese style, and Scandinavian style go together on initial thought, but despite their differences in culture and décor style, there are actually a lot more commonalities between the styles than you might think.

We talked about Scandinavian hygge style on the blog a while ago, which is the idea that your home should be functional, but also feel cosy and welcoming when you arrive home – and that idea perfectly suits the Japanese approach of ‘wabi-sabi’ – which is the search for the beauty in imperfection.

 Where the styles contrast, they also complement one another. When we spoke about Scandi style, we talked about how it was rustic in nature, with an emphasis on the lighter woods such as pine – and that is still true in the Japandi look. Japanese style tends to be more sleek and sophisticated, with darker palettes. 

What are the defining features of Japandi style?

There are a few key features of Japandi style that can be compared as being similar to the modern style of décor, since the defining features of Japandi style include: 

✅  Clean lines 

✅  Functional, minimal furniture

✅  Light colours

Bright, uncluttered spaces

Natural materials 

✅  Texture play

Autumn 2021 home ideas
Autumn Home 2021

Let’s take a deeper look at some of these features...

Choose a neutral colour palette

The neutral colour palette that Japandi style demands requires earthy shades of, cream, brown, and beige, with splashes of black and white to create that Japanese elegance we love so much. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use colour; you just need to do so intentionally and carefully. Dark shades of evergreen, deep navy blues, black, and terracotta work to provide contrast. Other colours that are brought in tend to be muted shades – you’re much less likely to see vibrant fuchsia, or fluorescent tones in Japandi décor. 

Use natural materials for furniture and soft furnishings

Whatever you’re choosing for a room in the Japandi style, natural materials are key. Natural wood features heavily, and since Scandi style favours lighter woods, and Japanese favours darker timbers, you can use either in your space.

You might decide this based on what furniture you already have, your personal preference, or which style you lean towards most.

In addition to natural woods, furniture should be made from rattan, wicker, cane, and bamboo. When you’re choosing textiles and soft furnishings, organic materials are best, but linens, cottons, and muslin all work well to create a textured look that is visually interesting.

 If you’re choosing decorative items, then look for terracotta, clay, glass, and wood. Candles, books, and ceramics can be used as decoration, but keep them minimal, and use them intentional – the Japandi look is definitely not cluttered. 

Bring nature in

Decorating your home with plants has been on trend forever – and when they are so good for you, it just makes sense. Almost any kind of plant will work to contribute to the Japandi style, but keep them low maintenance – snake plants, bamboo, and bonsai trees atop floating shelves are perfect, but you can choose whichever house plants you prefer.

If you’re not particularly adept at keeping plants alive, then faux plants can work, but you can also think about bringing tree branches and driftwood, or natural stones in as rustic décor.  

Autumn home table
Autumn home table

Reduce clutter

While Japandi style isn’t exactly a minimalist style, it definitely isn’t maximalist. The look is about lots of clean lines and open spaces, so clutter simply doesn’t work. If your home has children and pets, then use furniture and storage creatively hide toys and so on. Boxes and baskets on shelving as well as room divider screens can hide clutter and create an artificial minimalism, with the effect that your home is tidy and serene.

Invest in quality furniture

Both Japanese and Scandinavian interior cultures place an emphasis on quality items that last. While Scandinavian style tends to be of high quality, it is often more utilitarian in nature, and Japanese styles lean more on beautiful, hand crafted pieces. In Japandi style, you’ll find a blend both, and if you’re aiming to decorate your home in a way that is stylish and sustainable, Japandi should be on your list, because cheap, gimmicky furniture and design that lasts a year or two simply doesn’t work with it.

When you’re shopping for furniture to work with a room, or home that is decorated in the Japandi style, look for pieces made from natural and sustainable woods, that are treated with a wood finish that matches with the rest of your décor. As each piece of furniture we create is hand made to order, you can choose the size, and wood finish that suits your home – and your take on the Japandi trend – best. 

Halloween Decor
Autumn Home Party

Our final thoughts

Japandi style might be a relatively new fusion, but because of the emphasis on clean lines and a neutral colour palette, it already feels classic, and is almost certainly here to stay. Mixing Japanese and Scandinavian styles means you can achieve the right blend of sophisticated and rustic in your home, and if you prefer certain elements of one over the other, then you can easily lean towards that style.

If you’ve been inspired to decorate your home in the Japandi style, and you’ve incorporated one of our pieces of furniture or our shelves into your design, be certain to tag us on your Instagram posts @bensimpsonfurniture

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