Japandi interior decoration is a mixture of two main styles in decoration, Scandinavian and Japanese. These two decorating trends, of course, emerged and have been growing on opposite sides of the world. But they have a lot in common. Well, Scandinavia cultivated its focus in the 1950s. After the world wars, there was a great need to create tasteful but affordable furniture. In the same way, as technology advanced, a great attraction towards the outdoors and nature was also growing. Because of that, Scandinavian homes were introducing nature to home interiors.
It is for that reason that in the Scandinavian or Nordic decoration you can appreciate the beautiful wooden floors, lots of natural light and other natural materials such as leather. Which is why interiors with Scandinavian decor feel very calm, relaxing, neutral and functional. The two styles balance and complement each other. Each offers something that the other lacks. For example, the Japanese style offers intense colors that inject personality into Nordic spaces which are notoriously neutral. On the other hand, the rustic elements of Scandinavian decor warm up the elegant surfaces that can make the Japanese style feel a bit chilly.
Styles of Different Cultures with Great Similarity
In 1954, Elizabeth Gorden organized a traveling exhibition called design in Scandinavia. Gorden took the best designs from the countries and exhibited them throughout the United States and Canada. By 1957, Scandinavian decoration had gained international recognition, having a great global impact. Of course, the Scandinavian decor and design was losing some popularity. But thanks to the growing need to connect with nature and desire comfortable spaces to relax, Scandinavian decor is back to stay.
The main focus of this Scandinavian style is its minimalist aesthetic, its rustic textures and its functionality to decorate homes. Japanese-style interior decoration has continued in the same vein for many centuries. The Japanese style is timeless, elegant and very immediately recognizable. Most of the Japanese homes possess a characteristic that refer to the Zen philosophy. Although Zen philosophy began as part of Buddhism, its teachings have been incorporated into everyday life in Japan.
In general, this philosophy teaches to accept simplicity as a means of illumination, which perfectly reflects in Japanese decoration and interior design. The Japanese decoration style respects nature using natural materials such as stained woods. It is not based on exaggerated decoration, so it only includes the use of necessary furniture. It also focuses on creating multifunctional spaces transformed by moving furniture, such as partitions. Obviously, each of these aspects are influenced by Zen philosophy. The spaces are designed to be a quiet and very relaxing place.
This new take on minimalism that combines Scandinavian or Nordic style and design with sophistication and traditional Japanese elegance. This is a new interior trend on the rise. The Japandi style combines Scandinavian and Japanese interior design features to create minimalist and quiet spaces. Which, without a doubt, manage to feel warm and very welcoming. Certainly this is a perfect combination that despite being from different cultures, both in Nordic and Japanese culture, functional crafts are highly appreciated.
Nature and simplicity are also valued in both. As well as the clean lines and the use of natural materials are main characteristics. As we mentioned, Japan is known for its Zen and minimalism as an approach to interior design and decoration. There is no doubt that, despite being very simple, it is a very elegant and traditional style. The Japanese style provides a clean and orderly way of life, which is strongly supported by the balance of things and ancient traditions.
Two styles with the same purpose
Of course, natural materials such as bamboo and ash are used a lot. The great appreciation for natural beauty and nature alike is visible in the color options, which are kept realistic to further enhance a calm and relaxing environment. But of course we are not only referring to perfect beauty. But rather an appreciation for the beauty of the imperfect. Of course, when we talk about Japanese decoration we cannot fail to mention the Wabi-sabi style. This style recreates exactly what we are indicating to you. This style is unconventional due to its tendency to the imperfect and incomplete.
The focus of this style is to see the beauty of the humble and the modest. Enjoy and appreciate the simple and small things in life. But when we mention “appreciating the beauty of the imperfect” we do not mean that the elements or objects used in this style of decoration are made in a bad way. Rather, they are appreciated as they are, being able to see the history in each of the elements that have been affected by the environment over time. Natural material will show rust, stains, warping and chips and all is well, as it will still be visible and usable.
This decorating style started to gain a lot of popularity. But despite gaining popularity recently, this already established decorating style, minimalist and mid-century designers have always been inspired by Japanese design culture. So the combination of Scandinavian and Japanese decor has its roots much longer. Well, so that you know a little more about this spectacular style, we will indicate the main characteristics of the Japandi style for you to try at home.
Create Function Driven Spaces
There is no unnecessary decor here. In both Japanese and Scandinavian interiors, each piece should serve a unique purpose. So the Japandi style continues with this concept. Each element, whether practical or decorative, must have a clear use within the decoration. So you should then get rid of those little ornaments that you have collected over the years if they do not have a function. The Japandi-style interiors are simple, functional and truly impressive. The Japandi interiors are uncluttered and each object has its purpose, leaving no room for frills and useless decoration.
Decoration and accessories are minimal, mostly plants, glassware, books, and handmade pottery are taken into account. Wall art is also reduced to a few statement pieces. So forget about a gallery wall. A large framed abstract art or a natural landscape is enough to decorate the space in a harmonious way. Likewise, furniture should be chosen carefully as they will themselves be eye-catching accessories. They should have clean and minimalist lines, something glued to the ground following the Japanese philosophy that encourages the connection of people with the earth. You must keep in mind that this style follows the principles of minimalism. And the basic principles of the minimalist style is to bring everything to its essential quality and achieve simplicity.
Simple and clean lines
Achieving simple and clean lines is the aim of the Japandi style. For both Scandinavian and Japanese styles, simplicity is at the center of every human being’s needs. That is why this combined style is much more relaxed and informal than modern decoration. Voluminous high-back sofas are replaced by flat, functional upholstered furniture. Like the tables, chairs and shelves they are with delicate designs and clean appearance.
Each influence brings a different approach to color
As we already mentioned, Scandinavian decor embraces neutral tones and natural wood. The Japanese is a bit richer, adding stained wood and pops of black and even earth tones. The Japandi style possesses the combination of both, and this mixture creates without a doubt something unique. Try mixing neutral tones on the walls with stained wood furniture. You will certainly see that this combination of the old and the new will be spectacular. To try to introduce this style, you can start with a saturated neutral tone and create contrast by adding a mix of light woods and a few touches of black. You can also keep it monochromatic for a calm feeling. But don’t be afraid to use natural hues like reds and greens by incorporating houseplants or simple small vases. But remember not to exaggerate so that you do not break with the harmony of the minimalist design.
Natural materials are the protagonists
Although both styles use wood, although in a different way. In Japanese interiors, wood is often stained. While in interior decoration with Scandinavian style, wood has a more rustic approach. So you could choose or leave the wood as you prefer. You can even choose furniture of both styles and combine them. Of course, this may require a bit of adjustment to achieve the proper balance. But it’s worth it anyway.
Try to choose furniture with simple and natural materials but of high quality. Combine furniture with natural and textured fabrics, without decoration or pattern. You can also play around by adding some traditional Japanese accessories, like handmade lacquered wallpaper, ceramics, and textured paper lamps. Also make sure to preferably choose natural fabrics like cotton and wool for upholstery, curtains, cushions and pillows. In this way you will respect the basic principles of Japandi decoration. Keep in mind that both the design and the textures have a very significant impact to create a warm, cozy, relaxing and natural environment.
The decorative elements
Despite being different styles, both the Scandinavian and the Japanese have a lot of similarity and are driven by the same purpose. In Scandinavian interiors, decorative elements also tend to add coziness. Think cozy blankets and warm rugs. On the other hand, in Japanese interiors, the elements are usually vases and elements with practical uses. In a Japandi interior, a combination of both is made, but you should always make sure not to overload during the process. Crafts are highly valued in both cultures.
Add the natural green
Japandi-style décor relies mostly on the use of indoor plants. It is one of the basic elements of this style, bringing green elements to the interior of the home. However, due to the strong Zen influences of this trend, all elements including plants are of quality, not quantity. This means that there is no need to place vegetation to simulate a jungle, with corners full of plants. Just a few plants, or maybe just one good will be there to decorate with bold simplicity. Opt for tall plants with smooth and elegant leaves and in a simple way, also making sure to choose the right pot.
Without a doubt, this trend in design and decoration is here to stay. The Japandi style is truly too harmonious and timeless to be a simple fad. In a very clear way, it can be appreciated that, Scandinavia and Japan, despite their cultural differences, are very close to each other when it comes to interior design and aesthetics. This combination of styles works perfectly for comfortable and relaxing homes at the same time.
Bedroom with Japandi decoration
Salon highlighting the beauty of imperfection