Though Scandinavia and Japan may be on opposite ends of the Earth, they actually share many core design values, including simplicity, functionality, and a neutral color palette. These ideas, combined with a harmony with nature, form the basis of Japandi, the east-meets-west trend that will turn your home into a zen retreat.
What makes this hybrid trend so interesting is not just its purified aesthetic, but the merging of two unique cultural ideas: hygge and wabi-sabi. Hygge, of course, being the Danish word synonymous with coziness and nesting, and wabi-sabi being the Japanese concept of embracing imperfection. With these two ideas in mind, Japandi aims to imbue your space with organic comfort and peace of mind.
What Defines the Japandi Aesthetic?
Simplicity is at the heart of Japandi, meaning simple shapes, minimal embellishment, and limiting your belongings to the bare necessities. Each piece of furniture should have a purpose and decor should be limited.
Another defining characteristic of Japandi is a sense of harmony with nature. The main way this is expressed is by using natural materials, most importantly wood. Other natural materials at home in a Japandi setting include bamboo, rattan, cane, and ceramic. For textiles, choose materials like wool, linen, and jute, preferable raw or undyed.
In terms of color, the Japandi palette combines light, warm neutrals from Scandi influence with the rich earthy tones of Japan. For an extra touch of nature, incorporate a pale green.
Paints from Sherwin Williams
Curious about decorating Japandi in your home? Because this style is so minimal, decorating Japandi is really quite easy. To brighten, declutter, and tranquilize your space in Japandi fashion, simply follow the steps below.
Step 1: Eliminate Clutter
The first step of any Japandi makeover is to cull. Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose or as Marie Kondo says, “spark joy.” Decluttering is essential in Japandi, as it allows your space to breathe and makes your home appear bigger and brighter.
This is not the time to show off your extensive personal library or your collection of meaningful trinkets gathered over the years. Anything that can be donated or put into storage, should be. Otherwise, you can go for a faux minimalist look by putting these items away in containers made of natural materials, like wood boxes or covered rattan baskets.
Marie Kondo Shoji Collection from The Container Store
Kondo herself even has a line of shoji closet and office organizers you can pick up from The Container Store!
Step 2: Embrace Wabi-Sabi
Add essential intrigue to your new Japandi interior with some perfectly imperfect accents! We recommend decorating with artisan elements, such as hand built ceramics, handwoven textiles, and painted artwork with visible brushstrokes.
We’ve also designed our Japandi collection of tile stickers with ample wabi-sabi charm. In this collection, discover hand-painted patterns, many of which are fabric-inspired and incorporate elements of both Scandi and Japanese design.
Check out a few of the stickers from the collection below or head to the collection page to discover all of these unique and eclectic designs!
Step 3: Illuminate with Warm White Walls
White walls can be scary, but this is one instance in which you’ll want to embrace them. Not only do white walls reflect light and brighten your space, they are also the ideal backdrop for all the wood in your Japandi home.
However, not just any shade of white will do. Choose a warm white like the ones below to prevent your home from feeling cold and lifeless.
Warm white paint swatches from Sherwin Williams
Step 4: Add Color with Pale Green
Any kind of bold color contrast is decidedly un-Japandi. That said, if your neutral color scheme is feeling a bit too drab, try working in a color pop with pale green!
Not only are soft green tones like moss and sage perfectly in line with the natural aspect of Japandi, they are also very on trend at the moment. These light, natural hues add serenity and cleanliness that will fit nicely in your zen home.
Step 5: Furnish with Wood
Both Scandi and Japanese design lean heavily on wood, so choose furniture and fittings made of timber. Scandi design tends to use light woods, while Japanese design favors medium-toned woods. Mixing wood tones is a great idea, but limit your interior to a few so that things remain cohesive.
Wood floors are a great place to start. If you don’t already have wood floors and are unable to install them due to a rental agreement or budget, you can use floor stickers instead! You’ll find a few wood-inspired sticker options in the Quadrostyle Pavement & Quarry collection, such as Salon in wood and Campagne in wood.
Next, add streamlined timber furniture, like chairs, shelves, and cabinetry. Good news for people on a budget, you can find some great pieces of Japandi-friendly furniture at IKEA! Some of our favorite pieces include the Lisabo and Voxlov chairs.
To emphasize Japanese influence, try incorporating a shoji screen, either as a room separator or as a decor piece like this lamp.
Step 6: Hygge Up Your Home
Add the final touches to your Japandi home by maximizing the hygge factor in your home. The easiest way to do so is by incorporating plenty of cozy textures. If you’re in the market for a new couch, choose one that’s extra plush. Otherwise, give your current sofa a Japandi makeover using minimalist wool throws and raw linen pillows in neutral tones. Other textures to consider include jute rugs, cane lampshades, and woven baskets.
In search of more Japandi style inspiration? Head to the Quadrostyle Japandi collection page to discover tailor-made Japandi looks for your home!