Japandi is a fusion of two distinct styles: Japanese and Scandinavian. It’s a combination of the Nordic concept of Hygge (a feeling of warmth and well-being in a home) and the ancient Buddhist concept of wabi-sabi(the acceptance of imperfection).
Modern Japanese (Zen) interior design is anchored in minimalist principles, clean lines, and natural materials. Rooms often feature simple but well-crafted furniture, plain walls, and neutral color palette. In modern Japanese-style homes, less is more – the variation in materials and colors is relatively limited, which makes the space feel clean and fresh. Japanese-style homes typically use warmer, light wood which is sometimes contrasted with touches of walnut or acorn tones. This repeated use of wood offers a zen-like feel.
Scandinavian interior design, like Japanese, is rooted in minimalism but takes on a different approach to achieve a calming space. Scandinavian style incorporates polished, unique furnishings and use of mixed materials and textiles. Modern Scandinavian homes feature a neutral palette with grays and whites, accented with black. Relying on this overall neutral canvas, more accessories are added to achieve a sense of comfort and warmth, without looking cluttered or disorganized – it’s very intentional.
What brings these two distinct styles together into Japandi are the core principles of simplicity, functionality, nature, and craftsmanship. The general vibe is tranquil and relaxing. This is achieved by use of neutral color scheme, natural materials, and organic shapes.
The approach is intentionally simplistic and minimalist; it focuses on key functional pieces of higher quality, and eliminates the clutter created by unnecessary objects, but adds a few “homey” pieces and warm touches, as embraced by Hygge. It focuses on function and purpose, and it promotes negative space (unfilled areas) for better flow, which contributes to the overall sense of harmony and zen. The wabi-sabi principle of embracing imperfections (such as natural flaws in wood and other materials, or deliberate asymmetry) and really living in your space is reflected by letting go of the fussy embellishments and holding onto what really matters, like meaningful and useful objects.
Sustainability is a big part of both styles and is manifested in material choices. Japandi also fits really well with the current trends that are leaning towards natural materials, neutral palettes and organic shapes.
If this lifestyle philosophy resonates with you, try applying Japandi esthetic to your own space. For ideas and inspiration, check out the key design elements and decor suggestions in the moodboard from our recent project.