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What is Japandi? And 9 Ways to Create It in Your Home

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Mid-century modern … modern farmhouse … industrial … transitional …

There are lots of interior design styles out there, and they’re all characterized by different elements that make each one of them unique. Whether we’re talking about boho or rustic or eclectic, each style has its own look and feel, but lots of interior decorators like various elements from various styles.

And unless you’re a design pro, mixing and matching different design styles can be tricky to pull off … until now.

There is one design trend that’s all about mixing two different styles together, two styles that have their own distinctive look yet blend perfectly together:

Japandi.

Not sure what it’s all about? Here’s what you need to know about Japandi style, what it is, and how to make it work in your home.

What is Japandi?

Japandi kitchen with fig tree in the corner and rattan chairs

If hygge and wabi-sabi had a baby, it would be Japandi.

Hygge is a traditional Scandinavian design with a cozy twist. It’s characterized by clean lines, neutral tones, and natural design elements with cozy textures and distinctive accents that give it a comfortable feel. The addition of textures and cozy elements makes it a bit warmer than traditional Nordic and Scandinavian styles that sometimes come across as feeling cold.

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese design style that’s all about embracing the imperfections of natural elements. This interior design style is minimalist, puts the focus on functionality, and incorporates traditional touches of Japanese style.

Japandi is the cross-section of where Scandi design and the style of Japan meet. Both center on minimalism, natural woods, and neutral color palettes. Both incorporate clean lines, embrace natural textures, and create a soothing, calming living space.

Scandinavia and Japan are about 5,000 miles apart, but these two distinctive styles fuse perfectly together in a timeless, modern, minimalist way.

For people who love Scandi and Japanese style, Japandi is the perfect choice. With Japandi style, your home won’t look like a showroom at IKEA, nor will it look like a Japanese tea house in Kyoto. Instead, this hybrid of international design styles can turn any home into a chic, livable space.

Related: 35 Bathroom Essentials That’ll Spice Up Any Washroom [Guide]

The Key Elements to Japandi Design

So how exactly do you put a Japandi look together? There are a couple of key design features that make this trend work.

Clean Lines

Japandi furniture is not ornate. It is not opulent or ostentatious. It is not overworked or heavily embellished or finished with decorative trim.

From tables to sofas to beds to chairs, Japandi furniture is simple, clean, and minimalist. With smooth curves or geometric figures, Japandi furniture is all about shapes that provide function and serve a purpose.

Contrasting Colors

While Japanese style usually focuses on rich, dark tones, Scandi style tends to incorporate lighter, neutral tones and pastels. To create the perfect Japandi interior, do a mix of both.

Mix light woods with dark woods and light tones with dark, saturated colors to get the perfect Japandi blend. When choosing your color palette, avoid brights and vibrant colors and stick to neutral shades of brown, grey, white, black, blue, green, and other colors that you would find in nature. 

Natural materials

To create a gorgeous Japandi space, embrace natural materials such as wood, rattan, and eco-friendly bamboo. Add contrast with metal light fixtures and metal accents. Accessorize with plush, cozy materials such as textured rugs, textured throws, and plush pillows.

Adding greenery and potted plants works too and helps to bring the soothing, calming spirit of the outdoors indoors.

Mix and match different materials to reinforce the Japandi aesthetic while adding depth and interest to your interior design.

Purposeful Accents

The first step in embracing the Japandi design style is to rid your home of clutter. With this minimalist style, you don’t want a bookshelf full of knickknacks or allow useless decorative items to take up precious space in your home.

Every accent and decorative piece in your Japandi home should be purposeful. If it doesn’t serve a purpose or have a function, it doesn’t belong.

The Right Lighting

A single lighting fixture can set the tone for an entire room. To create a comfortable Japandi living space, opt for pendant lights or geometric lamps and light fixtures with smooth curves or geometric angles.

And, whenever possible, let the natural light shine in. Ditch the heavy curtains, drapes, and blinds and let the sun pour in directly through your windows to help bring some of the outdoors indoors.

Mixing and Matching

The key to creating the perfect Japandi room is to have a balance of Scandi pieces and Japanese-inspired pieces. Too much of one, and you could end up with a Scandi room with a few out-of-place Japanese-style items or a Japan-inspired room with a few out-of-place Scandinavian accents.

Be mindful when selecting pieces and do your best to create an almost equal balance between the two.

9 Products That Perfectly Capture the Japandi Design Style

Japandi style is not about any one particular piece of furniture, type of wood, or color choice – it’s about how you mix and match pieces together. But when you’re staring at four blank walls, you have to start somewhere.

Whether you’re looking to create a Japandi interior in your living room, dining room, or bedroom, here are some incredible pieces to get you started:

Luka TV Stand

Luka TV Stand

The Luka TV Stand is the epitome of minimalist style in a simple rectangular shape with slotted, sliding doors. Concealed shelves offer excellent storage for audio/visual components, books, or miscellaneous items. The walnut finish makes it easy to mix and match with wood tables or wood chairs in either lighter or darker finishes.

Use it as a base for your television set, or leave the top bare for an even more minimalist look.

Don’t need a TV stand or another piece of furniture in your living room? This low cabinet can do double duty as a chic bedroom accent or a place to store supplies in your Japandi home office.

Atticus Solid Wood Dining Chairs (Set of 2)

Atticus Solid Wood Dining Chairs

Made from solid wood with rattan cane backs and seats, the Atticus Solid Wood Dining Chairs will add instant Japandi style into any dining room or dining nook. Sold in sets of two, these chairs feature angled legs, comfortable backs, and slender crossbars that connect the legs.

These chairs come in a variety of colors, but we especially love the black/natural combo. If you don’t have room for a dining table, they also make great living room accent chairs for when you have guests.

Anton 2-Piece Sectional

Anton 2-Piece Sectional

A low-profile sofa sets the tone for a stunning Japandi living room. The Anton 2-Piece Sectional boasts an ultra-comfortable design with wood slats for legs, down-filled cushions, and squared-off arms.

This sectional features a comfortable chaise lounge and can be ordered with the chaise on either the right or left side, depending on the configuration of your living room. It also comes in more than four dozen upholstery choices, allowing you to choose from a wide range of colors, textures, and fabrics.

Don’t want a neutral shade of grey or brown? West Elm’s ink blue hue in distressed velvet is absolutely gorgeous.

Related: Our 15 Favorite Oversized Deep Couches in 2021

Nera Bed

Nera Bed

If you’re short on space or want to maximize the minimalist design in your bedroom, check out the Nera Bed. In queen size, it features a bed frame, a headboard, and nightstands— all configured in one sleek, modern piece.

Made from natural wood, this bed has a versatile look. You could easily set this up in a bedroom decorated with modern, mid-century, or true Scandi style. But the fact that the wood is full of natural markings and unique patterns gives it the wabi-sabi vibe that we adore.

Global Views Sandblasted Accent Chest 

Global Views Sandblasted Accent Chest 

Lattice doors add one-of-a-kind distinction to the Global Views Sandblasted Accent Chest. Crafted from mango wood, this two-door chest boasts sturdy construction in a timeless silhouette with clean lines and square legs.

And since Japandi style doesn’t allow for any unnecessary clutter, shelves and drawers on the inside let you stash random items out of sight. (Only you will know)!

This cabinet works in just about any room, but as an entryway piece, it can set the tone for your entire Japandi apartment.

Taj Leather Strap Bench

Taj Leather Strap Bench

We’re sort of obsessed with the Taj Leather Strap Bench. Handcrafted from solid Mindi wood with woven leather straps on the seat, this bench adds instant style and sophistication to any room.

Of all the different types of furniture out there, the bench may be the most versatile of all.

A bench is perfect for use in an entryway – a place to sit and take off your shoes when you come in from outside or to toss your shopping bags when you walk in the door.

A bench is perfect for use as dining room seating. Placing chairs on one side of your table and a bench on the other always looks cool!

You can also place a bench at the foot of your bed. Sit on it in the morning to get dressed, use it to hold throw blankets, or toss your throw pillows on it while you sleep.

EKENASET Chair

EKENASET Chair

IKEA is the go-to for stylish, affordable Swedish design. If you’re looking for the perfect Scandi piece to add to your Japandi living room, look no further than the EKENASET chair.

The frame of this chair is made from solid wood (that’s right … not all IKEA furniture is made from particleboard or engineered wood). It’s upholstered in a cotton/poly/viscose blend in a deep anthracite hue that makes it easy to coordinate with a variety of different pieces.

Place it in your living room, bedroom, or entryway – it works in any space!

LISABO Desk

LISABO Desk

IKEA’s LISABO Desk is Scandinavian simplicity at its finest. In a pale, natural hue with solid birch legs, this slim desk is the perfect complement to any office decorated in the Japandi style. It features a smooth wood top and a small front drawer to hold office supplies and essentials.

LISABO coffee tables and side tables are also available if you’d prefer this look in your living room.

Solid Wood Coffee Table

Solid Wood Coffee Table

There are lots of incredible furniture finds on Etsy, but this Japandi coffee table from Nutmeg Table Company is one of our absolute favorites.

For starters, it’s made from solid slabs of walnut wood. There’s no plywood, veneers, or engineered wood on this baby. It’s also custom-made to order, so you can choose the dimensions you want or ask the artisan to make you one in your own dimensions.

This solid wood coffee table is a perfect example of how a piece of furniture can double as a handcrafted work of art. This table is hand-made one at a time, so it will take a few weeks to receive your delivery, but it’s totally worth the wait!

Will Japandi Still be a Trend in 2022?

The Japandi design trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you’re looking to give your home a brand new look with new furniture and new home décor, Japandi is a style that we expect to only see more and more of in upcoming years. 

You might also be interested in: Everything You Need To Know About Cozy Earth Bedding

Jessica Heston

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