White walls, wooden floors, modern furniture, and minimalist decor- are hallmark traits of a Scandinavian aesthetic, while the Japanese decor style is steeped in paying homage to ancient traditions, inculcating minimalism and the Zen philosophy. A perfect amalgamation of these styles- ‘Japandi’ is the confluence of Japanese and Scandinavian philosophies.
Japandi design brings the best of the two worlds and forms one calming fusion. In both cultures, there is a mutual appreciation of high-quality craft skills, nature, and things made by hand and made to last. The design is known for its de-cluttered simplicity, elegant minimal decor and functional accessories. It’s called an ‘ideal unison’ of function and form, think clean lines, bright spaces, and neutral colours.
Though it is relatively a new trend, experts claim that Japandi is soon going to pop on every Instagram feed and home decor magazine.
What are the elements of the hybrid trend?
Japandi style draws its inspiration from the popular concept of Wabi- Sabi- a view that is centred on the acceptance of imperfection and appreciating the beauty that is impermanent and incomplete in nature. It creates understated elegance with an emphasis on using natural materials and simplicity.
Here are a few significant elements of Japandi:
Neutral colours are the key
Focusing on creating positive and calm energy, the Japandi design includes only neutral colour palettes. The juxtaposition of the two regions’ colour schemes is one of the starkest indicators of Japandi. While Scandinavian designs focus on neutral colours, richer hues are the nucleus of Japanese designs. Colour palette with hues like light beige, off-white, or pale pink is often chosen for the base while richer shades of green, plum and brown are incorporated into the furnishings to bring an overall subtle look.
Natural material as decor
Japandi design is also known to promote sustainability. The design deeply respects nature and is one of the key pillars for both Japan's and Scandinavia’s design aesthetics. It promotes the usage of sustainable materials like wood, bamboo, rattan, and paper. If you are trying to incorporate Japandi in your decor, look for statement pieces. Usage of plants, bamboo and paper decor also brings out earthiness to space, simultaneously allowing a home to feel cozy, yet tied to the environment.
Quality over quantity
Japandi design is definitely a “less is more” philosophy. The design’s prime focus is craftsmanship and quality. It promotes furniture and decor pieces that are timeless and not throw-away or mass-produced. Choosing items with intention and purpose is a key to Japandi style – pieces should stand the test of time and lessen our overall impact on the environment.
The Japandi style seeks a constant flow of air and light. Creating space and openness with a limited number of objects are key to the style. The design also includes Nordic furniture which is lighter, and brighter and focuses mainly on minimalism and functionality. The Japandi design includes low height modern furniture, for example, a low sideboard or open shelves would be used to replace higher cabinets.
Add statement pieces
The Japandi design values the aesthetic beauty of a simplistic style. It encourages adding statement rugs, art pieces and accessories. For layering rugs, choose natural fibres- jute, rattan in bright and neutral hues to master this cozy yet peaceful atmosphere. Experiment with combining different fibres and patterns to include more texture and dimension into your interior. However, adhering to this simplistic design approach is key to a perfect Japandi style.
The rise of Japandi
Though Japan and Scandinavia are 8,043km away both have a lot in common when it comes to design. The clean, simple, functional and tranquil Japandi has become much sought-after in the past three years. Experts claim that since the design ensures a perfect blend of the Scandi notion of ‘hygge’, (the Nordic term for the homely feeling of cosiness), and Japanese ‘wabi- sabi’, (finding beauty in imperfection), it creates a stress-free atmosphere in these hectic lifestyles.
An expert told BBC that the current popularity of Japandi can also be attributed to consumers’ newfound keenness to do their bit for the planet. Consumers are also attracted to Japandi’s appeal for sustainable goods. The design in some ways is a philosophical reaction to the rampant consumption of trendy and cheaply-made goods. Consumers want to make their everyday life simple yet trendy and Japandi gives them all.