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Embrace Japandi Interior Design: The Fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian Style

Mindfully designed interiors have steadily taken the spotlight in our homes in recent years. From a growing emphasis on environmental consciousness, natural furnishings and a vintage-meets-contemporary approach emerges Japandi design: subdued, grounded and here to steal your heart.

Japandi interior design is born in the intersection between practical Scandinavian homes and Japanese composition. You may not have heard the term before, but you'll certainly be familiar with the aesthetic. The seed of this fusion traces back to the past century, and now the timeless characteristics of the Japandi style are taking front and center stage in a compelling way.

Let's explore the core elements of Japandi composition and why its elegance is so highly sought after.

What is Japandi Design?

Japandi interior design is a blend of Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics. It combines the minimalist and practical aspects of Scandinavian homes with the simplicity and traditional elements of Japanese decor.

The two approaches meet in a blend of natural design, discretion and intentional living.

The History of Japandi

Following a 200-year closed-border policy, Japan reopened its shores to foreign visitors in 1850. This period attracted designers and artists from across Scandinavia. Quickly becoming captured by Japan's artistry and zen aesthetics, these visitors returned home with newfound inspiration.

This cultural exchange marked the inception of Japandi interior design. Today, the vision captures the utilitarianism of Scandinavian style with the soft-spoken cultural traditions of the Japanese harmonizing to create a refined and understated luxury in the home.

Dining table and a minimalist kitchen with fresh plants and fruit.Japandi style invites nature, flow and harmony into the home.

What's the Difference Between Japandi and Wabi-Sabi?

While Japandi and Wabi-Sabi both embrace similar concepts, they follow distinct design principles and express differently within a space. Japandi is a fusion of Japanese and Scandi interiors, whereas Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese philosophy that celebrates imperfection, transience and natural aging.

Although the two design principles feature crossovers in minimalist approach, color palettes and natural texture use, a Japandi home typically follows clean lines and functionality, whilst Wabi-Sabi highlights irregularities, authenticity and more rustic vibes.

What are the Elements of Japandi Design?

Between the contemplative energy of Japanese interiors and the bright, cozy atmosphere of Scandinavian homes, the Japandi style finds its expression. Blending elements from both design traditions, Japandi lends itself to equilibrium and peace. Japan's airy simplicity meets Scandinavia's textured materials and muted tones, creating a synergy that reconnects spaces with their elemental roots.


Japanese and Scandinavian interior design both embrace minimalism, but they do so in distinct ways influenced by their respective cultures. Rooted in Zen Buddhism, Japanese interior decor expresses minimalism through harmony, tranquility and embracing the beauty in imperfection. Its counterpart, Scandinavian hygge, is the concept behind functional Scandi minimalism. Hygge invites a snug and warm environment in response to long, dark winters.

Combined in Japandi form, you'll find uncluttered spaces, plenty of natural light and low-set furnishings that create a sparse ambiance within a room.

Natural Elements

Japandi style embraces sustainability and organic textures, reflecting a close relationship with nature. Japanese designers use natural materials such as lighter woods, brushed stone, paper shoji screens and ceramics, bringing warmth and structure to the space. Blended with wool, leather and simple textiles from Scandinavian style, a Japandi space celebrates craftsmanship with tactile variation and balance.

Complementing the natural materials, Japandi homes showcase lush foliage, carefully crafted bonsai and ikebana similar to a Japanese garden.

Neutral Color Palette

A classic Japandi color palette conjures the image of sparse woods, expansive skies, wintry days and earthy hues, reflecting the roots of Japandi's origin. Interiors typically feature a neutral color palette, with muted colors such as earthy browns, soft grays and creams dominating the color scheme. Accent tones such as cherry blossom pink and clear blue can also be found within the range, creating intercontinental nostalgia.

Japanese design's warm tones soften the crisper Scandinavian colors, preventing the space from feeling stark or cold. Together, they create a grounded schema.

Functional Furniture

Furniture pieces in Japandi design tend to be functional and sustainably made, using light woods like pine, bamboo or birch. These pieces are simple, with clean lines and no unnecessary ornamentation. A distinctive feature is low-lying furniture, such as tamati mats and futons found in the living space, or low-seated beds in the bedroom.

The Japandi style emphasizes multipurpose pieces that can easily be moved or stored away, promoting a sense of openness and flow. An open-play layout enhances the interplay between spaciousness and natural light, brightening the area.

Highlighting the minimalist approach, Japandi homes feature intentional decor that serves both decorative and practical purposes. Teapots, books, stools, vases and cozy throws are thoughtfully incorporated throughout the home, adding to the serene and practical aesthetic.

Neutral colored living room with a couch and bright knit textile throw.Bright, cozy textiles add a flash of color and interest to a Japandi living room.

Cozy Textiles

Soft textiles such as cotton, wool and linen are used to infuse Japandi interiors with a sense of homey comfort, appearing in rugs, throws and cushions. To introduce textured layers and create a visually dynamic space, these soft materials are complemented by woven bamboo, jute and rattan found in light fittings, table mats and decorative accents.

This combination of textures not only enhances the tactile experience but also embodies the Japandi practice of blending natural materials with a minimalist approach. Incorporating these varied elements creates an effortless and relaxed atmosphere in the home.

How To Incorporate Japandi Style in Your Home

Transforming your home into a minimalistic and inviting Japandi haven enhances the natural flow of your home and can impact the grounded energy you bring with you into daily life. Here are a few tips to get you prepared for this beautiful decor:

Eliminate Clutter

To embrace the minimalist and intentional nature of Japandi style, decluttering is key. Start by assessing each room in your home and deciding which items no longer serve a purpose. Invest in minimalist storage options, such as sleek cabinets and furniture styles with hidden compartments.

Even better, see if you can find multifunctional furniture to store items. Embrace simplicity by prioritizing quantity over quality, allowing each piece to shine its own light.

Invest in High-Quality Pieces

Japandi style focuses on high-quality furnishings that boast craftsmanship and longevity. Choose furniture made from natural materials like wood, leather and ceramic. Curate a collection of durable and timeless pieces that will withstand the test of time, rather than trending items that may go out of style in a few seasons.

Keep in mind that while clear lines are an inherent part of Japandi style, a mix of straight lines and softer curves afford elegance and harmony to the home.

Enlist the Help of a Professional

If you want to optimize the balance between functionality, layout and flow in Japandi style, consider hiring a professional interior designer who specializes in this aesthetic. A professional can provide expert guidance to create a harmonious and serene environment that highlights the qualities of your space and naturally integrates your favorite pieces into the final result.

Create Japandi Style in Your Home

If Japandi interior design has left you feeling enchanted and inspired, you're in good company. As a fusion between contrasting cultures and design philosophies, its allure is leaving a lasting impression on homes across the world today.

The subtlety of its minimalistic yet layered style requires a discerning eye, and the investment is well worthwhile. If this concept is new to you, you may seek the expertise of a professional to help integrate this beautiful cross-cultural vision into your home. Decorating Den Interiors has a team of experienced decorators ready to help you achieve a simple and down-to-earth Japandi interior. Connect with our experts today to get started.

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