Japandi combines the natural simplicity of the Japanese and Scandinavian design to create a look that is cozy and sophisticated. It is rooted in a deep appreciation for natural materials, functionality, and craftsmanship.
Also known as Japanordic or Scandinese, Japandi creates a feeling of a calm sanctuary by combining aspects of “hygge” (a Nordic term for a cozy or homey feeling) and “wabi-sabi” (a Japanese term for finding beauty in the imperfect, the impermanent, and the incomplete) to create a warm and inviting space to find comfort in.
Photo source: Pexels | PNW Production
In this sense, Japandi is also a philosophy that seeks to find serenity in the spaces we inhabit. Design is not just for show, it’s also a means to create a safe space where one is more connected to nature and oneself.
This fusion is a reflection of the growing intimacy we have with our space, which in some ways has been the place we learn to live with. It’s a different approach to how we think about our space in a way that honors authenticity, intentionality, and comfort above all else.
Here are some ways you can incorporate Japandi design to invite calm, serenity, and snugness to your space.
Stay in touch with nature
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Rooted in an appreciation for the beauty of nature, the Japandi style incorporates natural material, earth tones, and greenery into the space. Natural materials such as wood, bamboo, stone, and rattan can foster the feeling of being grounded. Natural fibers like wool, cotton, and linen give a sense of warmth and texture to your space as well.
Creating outdoor gardens is also a good way of staying connected to nature. For your indoor space, use plants to decorate your space while improving your feeling of wellbeing.
When it comes to the use of colors, a combination of light and dark-colored woods is also a great way to add contrast and depth to your space. In the same way, matching a monochromatic palette and warmer earth tones can give a feeling of calm.
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Create a cozy minimalist space
The Japandi style creates a look that is clean and simple without it being cold or monotonous. It focuses on creating a peaceful and relaxing ambiance within your space.
According to Leni Calas of Ward 5 Design: “The focus on color choices should always be harmony over contrast, using hues that complement each other rather than standing out. When brighter colors are incorporated, they are done so meaningfully and subtly.”
Light colors from Scandinavian design and the darker tones from Japanese style can also promote feelings of tranquility. Textiles like throws, cushions, organic cloth, and wool also add and provide warmth to your space. Layering them on furniture can also give a pop of color to any room.
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Combining old-style furniture with modern pieces made from natural materials not only adds a touch of nature to a room but also keeps the room well-designed. Adding neutral abstract wall art is another way to keep your space interesting without it overpowering your room. These design elements draw eyes to the wall and help make a small space look more put together.
Photo source: Unsplash | Brandon Cormier
Lighting is another important element that can create a feeling of snugness and intimacy in your space. Using recessed lighting like wall lights, cove lights, or small lamps through your home can soften the light and bring attention to different areas that would otherwise have been overlooked.
Sustainability and functionality
A common element of both the Japanese and Scandinavian design is its deep respect for artisans and fine craftsmanship. There is more appreciation for local handmade goods over the mass-produced, simple over the decorative.
It is being deliberate in choosing unique pieces that are valued for its quality, authenticity, and understated beauty. This aspect of the Japandi style can be described as curating with intention.
Photo source: Pexels | Yan Krukov
It is in choosing sustainable materials and quality goods that we are able to appreciate each piece in our home and give it the space that it deserves. There is also an affinity towards well-built and handmade furniture that has a sheen of antiquity and comes with subtle imperfections.
Each piece should also have a purpose within your space. Ottomans and other multi-storage furniture are ways to have both style and function into your space. Rugs and floor pillows are another creative way of softening your space and also add additional seating when needed.
This is also in line with the growing movement towards using more eco-friendly goods made from sustainable materials that is also present in the interior decor space. An example of which are handmade vases, wooden chopping boards, ceramic pots, and cozy cotton throws.
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Embrace slow living
The Japandi style promotes calm and serenity and it invites people to practice it through how they style their space. As modern life becomes more hectic, Japandi style’s philosophy of simple, cozy, and functional design is encouraging people to slow down and be gentler with themselves.
Photo Source: Unsplash | Liana Mikah
Its design motifs of white walls, calming colors, textured surfaces, and rustic designs bring calm and serenity in one’s home.
Spaces designed with slow living in mind give a feeling of warmth and contentment. The furniture chosen is curated yet practical, beautiful yet sustainable. The approach to interior design does not fuse form and function with intentionality — only giving space to what has meaning for us.
Slow living is also a lifestyle that promotes consuming consciously and choosing slow fashion over fast, reusing over repurchasing, function over form. This also extends to bring new life to old things by recycling them or redesigning them.
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Back to basics
In many ways, the Japandi style feels like exactly what we need. As with wabi-sabi, it offers a refreshing antidote to our fast-paced, over-stressed, and consumption-driven world. It encourages one to slow down and reconnect with nature and oneself.
It steers us to the direction of seeking beauty by appreciating rustic simplicity and fostering genuine contentment. It teaches us to learn to live more mindfully and have a deep appreciation for the slow and simple things in life.