What Is Japandi Interior Design?

Aug 4, 2022

An increasingly common question among homeowners is, “What is Japandi interior design?” The décor approach has been on trend for several years. Plus, Japandi styling has a broad appeal, so it isn’t likely to lose any momentum in the near future.

Whether you’re looking to update your home or want to stage a house you plan on selling, Japandi interior design could be an excellent option. If you’re wondering, “What is Japandi style, and how can I incorporate it in my home?” here’s what you need to know.

Japandi Interior Design

What Is Japandi Interior Design?

Japandi interior design is an approach that prioritizes simplicity and comfort. The goal is to create a tranquil space where you can rest, relax, and rejuvenate. It incorporates features of classic Japanese interiors and couples them with Scandinavian touches, ensuring functionality and form are both parts of the equation.

Minimalism plays a critical role in Japandi style, ensuring rooms don’t feel overwhelmed with clutter. Furnishings and fixtures aren’t overly ornate either, and natural materials and colors are broadly favored. However, while the number of pieces may be limited, Japandi doesn’t leave rooms feeling sparse. Instead, it’s a sense that there’s “just enough” in the room to make it comfortable.

Japandi also prioritizes craftsmanship. Quality is a primary focus, ensuring furnishings and décor aren’t just attractive but are designed to last. For example, furnishings are commonly made with solid wood, not veneer or particle board.

Handmade touches are also common, as those embrace the Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi,” the notion that imperfections can be a source of beauty. Japandi embraces the uniqueness of hand-hewn items, something you don’t typically see with mass-produced designs.

Finally, sustainability is essential. The use of natural materials is strategic, favoring items made with highly renewable products. That adds eco-friendliness to the overall aesthetic.

How the Japandi Interior Design Style Differs from Scandinavian Décor

japandi design with black elements

Technically, Japandi includes features of Scandinavian design. Both approaches favor minimalism and simplicity, offering clean lines and soft color palettes.

However, Japandi is a hair more impactful because it has more of a sense of drama. While traditional Scandinavian styling is light and bright, Japandi can include darker elements that imbue a sense of richness. Wood tones may be darker with Japandi interior design, and you’ll see far more black. Essentially, Japandi embraces a bit of boldness without going overboard, keeping the end design from feeling cold or sterile.

How to Incorporate Japandi Interior Design into Your Home

Creating a Japandi interior is fairly simple once you familiarize yourself with the core elements. Here’s an overview of the key aspects of Japandi design you’ll want to embrace.

Use a Japandi Color Palette

One simple way to introduce Japandi styling into your home is to introduce Japandi colors. Generally speaking, the Japandi color palette relies heavily on earthy neutrals, including cream, brown, greige, taupe, and olive. While white is part of the equation, it typically isn’t overly stark. Instead, warmer whites are more common.

Usually, you want to focus on hues reminiscent of natural materials, such as stones, metals, and woods. Those make the space feel more natural, which is a key feature of Japandi style.

After that, bringing in elements of black is essential. Black is grounding, but it also adds visual intrigue, creating a sense of balance with hints of drama. If you also mix in some natural greenery, you get attractive statement moments that blend well with the neutral base.

Introduce Japandi Style Furniture

furniture made of wood or bamboo

Japandi furniture is usually minimalist when it comes to general shape and style. However, that doesn’t mean it’s boring. Rich woods and bamboo are often the foundation of the furnishings. Plus, many have a handmade feel, which creates a sense of specialness.

If you’re designing a Japandi living room, you’d focus on ensuring there were natural elements in most of the furniture. For example, a Japandi sofa may feature a wood frame coupled with cushions featuring natural, neutral-colored fabric. The wood is visible on the arms, legs, and back, while the cushions provide that sense of comfort and coziness.

Common Japandi bedroom ideas also focus on natural materials for furnishings. For example, bed frames, side tables, and dressers may be natural wood or bamboo. Then, rich textiles add a sense of warmth, creating a calming space that feels inviting.

Bring in Japandi Lighting

With Japandi lighting, you have an opportunity to add some drama along with functionality. Black pendant lamps are an excellent accent, particularly if the interior is steel, copper, or another metal.

Lighting featuring natural materials can also be a solid choice. Wood, jute, bamboo, and similar materials can work quite well. The same goes for materials that resemble clay or concrete and woven-style textures. These give the lighting fixtures that handmade flair, even if it’s mass-produced.

Integrate the Right Fixtures

If you want a Japandi-style kitchen or are exploring Japandi bathroom design, you’ll want to use the right approach. Streamlined, flat-front cabinets are usually a solid starting point for both options, particularly if you opt for a natural woodgrain finish.

If possible, forgo knobs and handles, opting instead for carved-in pulls to keep the look clean. Go with a natural-looking countertop in a Japandi-friendly color, adding a bit of texture to the space.

Once it’s time to add faucets and other fixtures, go with matte finishes over high-shine. Black can be an excellent choice, but you can also try oiled bronze, antiqued brass, brushed copper, or similar options. That way, your Japandi kitchen design feels cohesive, something polished fixtures may disrupt.

Bring in Greenery

add plants to your home

Greenery is a must-have if you’re designing a Japandi home. Ideally, you want a few non-flowering live plants in every room.

Bamboo is a simple way to get started, but you have more options available. A golden pothos could be a solid choice. The same goes for snake plants, false palms, and many ficus varieties. You could also try jade plants as, while they can bloom, they typically need to be very mature before that happens. Many succulents are also solid choices.

Finish Off with Artistic Japandi Décor Touches

As with other parts of a Japandi interior, you want to focus on décor featuring natural materials and organic designs. Handmade wood and clay pieces are great starting points. They can add subtle color without overwhelming a space and come in hues that align with a typical Japandi color palette.

For art, going with minimalist designs is often wise. Simple repeating patterns in coordinating hues can be an excellent option, as those are subtle and feel quite balanced. You can also use those to bring in a pop of color, allowing you to add a bit more energy to the space.

Another option for slightly spicing up your Japandi home is with your cushions. While throw pillows should be used sparingly, they – along with cushions on dining chairs and similar textiles – can be a great way to bring in a little texture and some gentle color.

Finally, bring in elements of black. That allows you to anchor a space while adding touches of drama. Whether it’s through art, vases, or anything else, bringing in a little black is an essential part of Japandi style, so don’t shy away from this high-drama hue.


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