Japandi Style: What Is It and How Do I Incorporate It into My Home?

Japanese interior design is inspired by simplicity, a reverence for nature and the incorporation of natural elements. Scandinavian interior design is characterized by a minimal and clean approach that combines functionality and beauty. The marriage of the two distinct traditions is known as Japandi style. A relatively new trend, Japandi is gearing up to be one of the year’s most popular. Let’s dive into some background on the style, its defining elements and features, as well as a few unique products that fit right in.  

Japandi Defined

At first glance, Japan and Scandinavia don’t seem to have much in common. But a closer look at their design styles reveals that there are plenty of areas of similarity and overlap. Simplicity, natural elements and comfort that result in a calming and tranquil overall vibe are hallmarks of both regions. At its heart, Japandi style is the confluence of the design functionality found in the countries that are considered culturally Scandinavian (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland) and the rustic minimalism found in Japan. The result is an ideal blend of clean lines, bright spaces, light colors and exceptional form and function.

For the sake of clarity, both Japan and Scandinavia have numerous sub-design styles within their overarching styles. For example, wabi-sabi is a Japanese design aesthetic that values the beauty of the imperfect and impermanent, such as a knot in a piece of wood or a wilting flower. While there may be elements of Japandi style that cross over into other design styles within Japan and Scandinavia, Japandi is its own unique thing.

Why Japandi

Depending on the current style of your interior space, there are potentially innumerable reasons why you might want to incorporate Japandi style into your home. If you’ve been thinking about living a more healthful and meaningful lifestyle and, emphasizing you and your family’s connectedness to nature, there may be no better way than to integrate some of the elements of Japandi. There’s also the possibility that you’d like to enjoy the unique vibe created by a fusion of cultures – one that’s both intentional and artful. Again, Japandi style fits the bill. Of course, you may opt for a Japandi style sensibility simply out of the desire to remove the clutter from your space and enjoy a Zen-like calm. Whatever your reason might be, your goals are within reach.

Key Elements

As you delve deeper into the intricacies of Japandi style, you’ll undoubtedly uncover endless nuances that make the style limitless in options and flexibility. For the moment, let’s look at some of the key elements that make up the style so you can start incorporating it into your home environment immediately.  

Sonneman Proton 40 Inch 12 Light LED Multi Light Pendant by SONNEMAN

Japandi style is marked by muted and natural color palettes, like browns and beiges, that make a space feel warm and inviting. A pendant light, like the Proton by SONNEMAN, can help you achieve this minimalist vibe with its neutral tone and abundant structural volume.

Access Lighting Chuki 15 Inch Mini Pendant

Another important aspect of Japandi style is eschewing clutter for minimalism and creating a clean sightline that extends throughout the entirety of a space. This is achievable with a mini pendant like the Chuki from Access Lighting. Its convex metal cage and opal glass diffuser are simple, practical and beautiful.

Justice Design Group Radiance 7 Inch Mini Pendant

Japandi style is big on materials derived from nature that have a handmade sensibility. Ceramic is an ideal material to bring into your home and achieve the look, which makes the Radiance mini pendant by Justice Design Group a unique choice for your space.

Origami 26 Inch LED Large Pendant by Troy Lighting

Just because Japandi style is inherently minimalist is no reason you can’t incorporate artistic statement pieces that are whimsical and enlightening. Go for the Origami LED pendant by Troy Lighting, which plays on the ancient art of paper folding using hand worked iron as its material source.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard Everley 13 Inch Mini Pendant by Corbett Lighting

Last but not least, let’s not forget that at its heart, Japandi style is both casual and comfortable, and aims to throw off an easy vibe. You’ll get plenty of that from the Everly pendant by Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Corbett Lighting, with its modern simplicity and easiness on the eyes.       

Get the Look

You already know a few distinct lighting elements that can impart Japandi style to your interior space. Now, let’s look at some other ways. How would you like it if immediately upon entering your home, you were greeted with a style that was at once natural, muted and inviting? Furniture and other decorative elements like picture frames, vases and plant potters made from materials like limestone and reclaimed wood can instantly impart that feeling of bringing the outdoors in. Similarly, Japanese garden plants, rocks and bamboo can work wonders to instantly throw off that Japandi style. You can also play around with things like lacquered urushi wallpaper, textured paper lamps and shibori fabrics.  If you really want to go deep into the trend, you can extend Japandi style to the outside of your home with lush Zen gardens, seamless indoor-outdoor transitions and smokeless bioethanol fireplaces.

Get Inspired

As with any specific interior design style, there are no hard and fast rules to Japandi style. Decorating in the style is an opportunity to get inspired by two unique cultures while using your imagination and personal style to come up with something that is as bespoke as it is beautiful.


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