When Japandi Style originated first?

The Japandi style less known as East-West Fusion design originated in its traditional form when westerners and mostly Danish designers and creatives began traveling during the Danish Golden Age to Japan after the closed-border in Japan ended in the mid-1850s and in 1854 the Treaty of Kanagawa was signed which permitted the trade with western merchant ships. 
This transition took place 220 years after the enforcement of the Sakoku Edict, which had closed Japan’s borders to foreigners.

The early traces of this design style can be seen in ceramic crafts, architecture, and Danish furniture.
The relationship of influence between Denmark and Japan that began almost 150 years ago is at the heart of this two styles design flow.

In the 1860s the Danish naval lieutenant, William Carstensen, sailed to Tokyo (then called Edo) to explore the country, whose borders had opened just 10 years earlier. He developed an obsession with Japanese culture and, upon his return to Denmark, published a book of his findings titled “Japan’s Capital and the Japanese”, which played important role for firing up western curiosity about the Japanese lifestyle and crafts.

The Japandi style has been growing in popularity over the past decade, with a renewed focus on craftsmanship, local materials, minimal design, and the classic “less is more” philosophy.

It is a true hybrid of East and West hence the word “fusion”, combining the homey, cozy feeling of Scandinavian design with the timeless silhouettes of Japanese aesthetics. Japandi leans more towards functionalism in its focus on furniture and objects serving a role rather than being merely decorative. The Scandinavian influence particularly emphasizes practicality and multifunctional use of items in a japandi home.

The scandinavian japanese design style is marked by simplicity, minimalism, the alignment of form with function, and a mutual appreciation for simplicity and minimalism and has grown in popularity over the past decade and is now a prominent design style in the worlds of industrial and interior design.

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George Nicola

George is a seasoned interior designer and property marketing strategist with over 13 years of experience. He specializes in transforming properties into visually stunning spaces, helping clients recognize the potential and beauty in each property. With an impressive international client base of exciting projects throughout Europe and America.

TL;DR What are the Japandi Style Interiors?

In short Japandi (/jəˈpandi/) style fuses “Japanese” and “Scandinavian” aesthetics in interior design. The name blends together “Japan” and “Scandinavia” to refer to this minimalist, functionality, a natural fusion of the Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian philosophy to create serene, balanced interiors.

What is Japandi Style Interior:

In 2024 the Japandi trend has formed itself as a home design with minimalist concept, an intersection between japanese design and the scandinavian concept for living. The design takes best of both worls into a new interior style. The use of natural materials with with clean lines, light wood furniture, and pops of black for contrast evoking warmth is the root of the japandi home.

  • Japandi interiors are always associated with the emotional contemplation of nature and the seasons.
  • Celebrate the simple yet striking grandeur of negative spaces following the yugen and shibui concepts.
  • A cozy reading nook with tatami mats, a low-lying futon, and a shoji screen separating it from the rest of the room.
  • A dining table made from reclaimed wood with imperfections celebrated, paired with simple Scandinavian chairs.

What is not Japandi Style Interior:

  • A cluttered space with too many ornaments and furniture pieces.
  • A dark and heavy atmosphere with an overdose of dark wood and earthy tones.
  • A purely Scandinavian space lacking any Japanese elements or cultural references.

Key aspects of japandi interior design include:

Clean lines, light woods, neutral colors, purposeful simplicity based on the Shibui principle
Spaciousness and negative space entirely focused on the yugen concepts.
Natural materials and textures – wood, rattan, stone, linen
Subtle, sparse decorative accents
Reverence for nature through ample daylight and plants
Functional, long-lasting furnishings and elevated craftsmanship
Acceptance of imperfections and asymmetry (wabi-sabi influence)
The goal of the Japandi interior style is to promote calm, balance, and tranquility within an organic yet refined environment. It combines Japanese harmony and ritual with scandinavian hygge to create peaceful, inspiring everyday living spaces needing little to achieve balance.

Hygge is a Danish philosophy focused on embracing coziness, comfort and contentment through creating charming, intimate spaces and prioritizing simpler pleasures in daily routines. Some key aspects include:

Aesthetics – Warm, muted color palettes, natural textured fabrics, and ambient lighting create a welcoming refuge from the world. Tactile layers engage the senses through pillows, throws, sheepskins adding visual richness and physical ease to unwind in style.

Indulgences – Hygge encourages enjoying comforting treats from hot cocoa to decadent pastries without guilt. It’s about pampering oneself alongside deeper connections to self, loved ones and environment for balance.

Togetherness – Candlelit dinners, fireside gatherings, leisurely conversations promote bonds. There’s an emphasis on slowing down to interact without distraction. Preparing/sharing food plays a role too.

Mindfulness – Simple rituals like a nightly cup of tea help immerse in the present moment. It’s about recognizing everyday “magic” others may overlook via humble pleasures right at home.

The hygge mentality focuses on carving out regular doses of cozy contentment as an act of self-care through atmospherics and meaningful little delights. The goal is sustaining mental/emotional warmth from the inside out despite external conditions.

Shibui is a Japanese aesthetic concept that values subtle, austere beauty and elegant simplicity.

Pronunciation: Shibui is pronounced as “she-BOO-ee” featuring three syllables:

  • “she” sounds like the English word “she”
  • “BOO” rhymes with “too”
  • “ee” sounds like the letter “e”

Here are some key details about shibui:


  • The word “shibui” translates to “astringent” or “bitter” in Japanese, but takes on a positive connotation in aesthetics and design.

Core Principles:

  • Celebrates simplicity, emptiness, and everyday functionality
  • Finds beauty in natural raw materials rather than ornamentation
  • Focuses on pure, quiet forms stripped down to their essence

Common Traits:

  • Clean lines, negative space, natural materials
  • Subtle, muted, earthy color palette
  • Handcrafted items with natural flaws accepted
  • Expressive minimalism infused with tranquility

Related Concepts:

  • Aligns with wabi-sabi philosophy embracing imperfection
  • Links to MUJI principles of essential, universal design
  • Similar to Scandinavian minimalism and restraint

the full pronunciation is the three flowing syllables “she-BOO-ee”.

Spelling: In the Hepburn romanization for translating Japanese, shibui is spelled:

  • shibui

In basic English spelling, you may also see it written without macrons as:

  • shibui

So while you may encounter both “shibui” and “shibui”, saying it with the three light syllables of “she-BOO-ee” will allow correct phonetic pronunciation. The emphasis falls on the middle “BOO” sound.

“she-BOO-ee” is one fluid phrase that captures the lyrical essence of the term shibui that connotes stripped away simplicity belying richness. The pronunciation also mirrors the seamless minimalist elegance shibui qualities manifest through when applied to art and design.

Yūgen is a key concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics meaning “subtle and profound grace.”

Pronunciation: yūgen is pronounced as “YOO-gen” with two syllables:

  • “YOO” rhymes with “glue”
  • “gen” sounds like the word “gen” meaning “style” or “type”

Some key aspects include:


  • Refers to a deep awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too complex and mysterious for words


  • Comes from Chinese youan, meaning dark and obscure
  • Adopted by Japanese monks to describe spiritual enlightenment

Common Interpretations:

  • A profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe
  • An awareness of the cosmic forces of nature
  • Appreciation of things that can only be sensed but not explained


  • Associated with the emotional contemplation of nature and the seasons
  • Captured in literary and artistic works that suggest something deeper

Relation to Design:

  • Links to celebrate the simple yet striking grandeur of negative spaces
  • Inspires focus on announcing arrival versus filling voids

In essence, yūgen reminds viewers to embrace awareness of spaces “between” and summon personal awakenings through meditative gaps purposefully incorporated into subtle, thought-provoking Japanese architecture and minimalist interiors.

The full pronunciation is “YOO-gen” with emphasis and elongation of the first syllable.

Spelling: In the Hepburn romanization system for transliterating Japanese, yūgen is spelled as:

  • yūgen

With two u’s side-by-side indicating a lengthened “yoo” sound, an umlaut above the first u to clarify it is said separately, and ending with “gen”.

In basic English alphabet spelling, this gets simplified to:

  • yugen

So while both “yūgen” and “yugen” may be seen, pronouncing it as “YOO-gen” will allow English speakers to most closely communicate the term. The focus rests on the opening “yoo” sound conveying a sense of drawn out wonder and awe fundamental to this profound concept.

What is Japandi style?

A Japandi-styled living room with a couch and a poster.
A Japandi-styled living room with a couch and a poster.

Japandi style, a fusion concept of Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics, with rich history that dates back hundreds of years. However, the most significant influence and exchange of ideas between these two cultures began in the mid-1850s when Japan opened its borders after a closed-border policy that lasted for around 220 years. Scandinavian designers and artists started visiting Japan and became fascinated with the country, culture, and items they found there.

The exchange of ideas between Japan and Denmark has been mutually beneficial, with Japanese designers learning from the functionalism of Danish design, and Danish designers learning from the beauty and simplicity of Japanese design. This exchange led to the creation of a new and exciting style of design that is both functional and beautiful.

The term “Japandi” itself cemented itself in the design lexicon in early 2022, indicating its relevance and popularity in the modern design world.

Social media has also helped drive Japandi’s recent popularity, with the visually soothing, balanced imagery aligning with modern aspirations towards slower, more mindful living.

While it pulls from tradition, Japandi continues to adapt as current trends toward sustainability, multifunctionality and seamless indoor/outdoor connection shape modern interpretations.

Many mistake Japandi for Muji. “Muji” translates to “no brand, quality goods” from Japanese. The word “mu” can mean “nothing” or “empty” while “ji” means “thing” or “article.”

Together they signify a focus purely on useful items devoid of labels. In a way Muji style resembles to Japandi but it is not a style, but retail company who created a brand who grew into a design flow since 1983 in Tokyo.

Despite its historical roots, the style continues to be popular and is not likely to fade away anytime soon.

The essence of the Japandi home style lies in the minimal decoration with clean lines, warm and light woods, neutral easy to the eye colors, and purposeful simplicity of both Japanese and Scandinavian design. Key elements include spaciousness, natural materials, subtlety, and celebrating craftsmanship through restrained form. The goal of Japandi style is to promote calm and balance within an organic yet refined environment.

A Japandi-style dragon on a boat.
A Japandi-style dragon on a boat.

It’s important to note that while Japandi style has historical roots, it has evolved and adapted to modern homes and tastes, making it a vernacular interior design style.
This style is characterized by a neutral, earthy color palette, the use of natural materials and textures, clean, simple lines and spaces lacking clutter, and a sense of harmony between all elements and the surrounding nature.

Evolution of Janapdi Style

Japandi was pioneered by Danish designer Niels Gammelgaard. Influenced by Danish modernism and Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy, he fused the two aesthetics into what he dubbed “the feeling of Japan and the thinking of Scandinavia.”

In the 1990s, Japandi gained initial followers in Gammelgaard’s native Nordic countries, especially among Scandinavian designers integrating Japanese influences. By the early 2000s, Japandi proponents grew in North America as well.

As mid-century modern style evolved in the 2010s, Japandi’s clean-lined yet natural look became a popular update for modern households. Leading voices included lifestyle bloggers and sites like The Spruce, Amsterdam-based Modest Minimalist blog, and Ariene Hong’s Iconic Life blog.

Today Japandi continues to be mainstreamed on social media and e-commerce sites like Etsy. Notable influencers are Justina Blakeney and her Jungalow brand pushing the “boho Japandi” style. Meanwhile stores like Anthropologie and Article feature Japandi collections for wider audiences.

In what countries Japandi home design is a thing?

Japandi homes gained popularity in various countries around the world. The style is particularly appreciated in the countries of its origin, Japan and the Scandinavian nations, due to their inherent cultural aesthetics and design principles.

In the United States, Japandi style has seen a surge in interest, with Google Trends indicating a record high search volume. The style is also popular in the Netherlands, as evidenced by Dutch interior designers’ fascination with Japandi decor and interiors.

In the United Kingdom, Japandi style is growing in popularity among homeowners of all ages, with millions of mentions across social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.

An illustration of a Japandi-style living room featuring furniture and plants.
An illustration of a Japandi-style living room featuring furniture and plants.

In Denmark, the Japandi style is evident in the design of certain establishments, such as a Japanese restaurant in Copenhagen that blends Japanese and Scandinavian design influences.

Australia, like the US, Australia’s laid-back lifestyle and love for natural materials find a perfect match in Japandi. The focus on light and open spaces further aligns with the country’s sunny climate and connection to the outdoors.

Overall, the Japandi home designs emphasis on simplicity, tranquility, and harmony with nature resonates with a global audience, making it a popular choice in interior design across various countries.

Japandi is Used in residential and commercial spaces

In Residential Spaces

Japandi’s tranquil aesthetic makes it extremely popular for homes, especially open concept houses and new apartments. Busy homeowners are drawn to its clean look and ability to promote calm.

The style works well in living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and kids spaces.

The neutral palette also makes it easier to integrate existing furniture into a Japandi refresh. It emphasizes intentionality, with furniture often serving more than one purpose, such as stools that can double as side tables or sofas with built-in storage.


In Commercial Spaces

Beyond housing, Japandi is also prevalent in commercial interior design. Its soothing qualities and focus make it effective for offices, particularly open floor plans.

Coworking spaces, cafes, yoga studios and spas also utilize Japandi elements to augment concentration and relaxation.

Hotels and hospitality venues like the Japandi-inspired Aesop stores implement the style to craft destination atmosphere. The functionality meetings Japandi’s lack of opulence pairs well with minimalist Scandinavian and Japanese architecture.

Office furniture and accessories in Japandi style include desks, chairs, shelving, and storage that are minimal and timeless.

It brings in natural light, uses a neutral color scheme, and focuses on minimalism, with an emphasis on high-quality and natural materials like wood, stone, and cotton.

Notable Japandi Books

Introducing “Japandi Style: When Japanese and Scandinavian Designs Blend” by Agata Toromanoff and Pierre Toromanoff.

This book delves into the latest trend in interiors, Japandi style, which seamlessly combines the functionality and minimalist look of Scandinavian design with the pure elegance of traditional Japanese craftsmanship.

Discover the fundamental principles, iconic objects, and exemplary works of Japandi style, as well as practical guidance on decorating and furnishing various rooms in this harmonious design aesthetic.

Published by Merrell on 19th September 2022, this hardcover book spans 160 pages and offers a comprehensive exploration of the captivating Japandi style.

“Soft Minimal: Norm Architects: A Sensory Approach to Architecture and Design” is a stunning coffee table book that exudes high quality and sophistication.

It beautifully showcases the works of Norm Architects and their unique brand of soft minimalism, which speaks to the mind as much as the body, creating spaces that feel as good as they look.

The book presents a curated collection of residential and commercial projects throughout Scandinavia, Italy, and Japan, reflecting on Nordic traditions, modernist principles, and the importance of natural materials.

The imagery is inspiring, and the copy is deeply poetic, making it a must-have for architecture and design enthusiasts.

Overall, this book is a valuable addition to any design library and comes highly recommended for its high-end quality and insightful content.

“Scandi Rustic: Creating a cozy & happy home” by Rebecca Lawson and Reena Simon offers a delightful exploration of Scandinavian design infused with rustic natural materials, resulting in a warm and inviting interior style.

The book takes readers on a journey across the UK and Europe, showcasing the best in Scandi Rustic homes, making it suitable for urban apartments, country cottages, and new-build spaces.

The book has received positive feedback for its colorful pictures and inspiring ideas, making it a perfect addition to any coffee table or home decor collection.

While some readers found the content and quality to be a bit lacking, overall, it has been well-received for its beautiful imagery and inspirational content.

Notable Japandi Buildings/Spaces

The Japandi style, a fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian design aesthetics, is evident in various notable buildings and spaces around the world. Here are a few examples:

Aesop Store in Montreal: This retail store showcases the Japandi style through its minimal design approach. The store’s interior is patterned with spindle mouldings reminiscent of historical bannisters, creating a sense of warmth and simplicity.

Aesop Store in Nagoya: Designed by Koichi Futatsumata of Fukuoka firm CASE-REAL, this store uses local soil as the main material, reflecting the Japandi emphasis on natural elements and sustainability.

Kinuta Terrace in Tokyo: This residential space features a muted color palette and minimalist design, with a grey stone table and wooden sofa complementing the beige walls and curtains. The design embodies the Japandi style’s focus on simplicity and natural materials.

A Japandi style wooden table and chairs in a room.
A Japandi style wooden table and chairs in a room./ By Keiji Ashizawa Design and Norm Architects

Opus Arisugawa Apartment in Tokyo: Renovated by Copenhagen-based practice OEO Studio, this apartment showcases the Japandi style through its use of natural materials and serene atmosphere. The design includes slated wooden cabinetry and a light wooden bathtub, creating a harmonious blend of Scandinavian functionality and Japanese rustic minimalism.

Apartment in Gdańsk, Poland: This vacation apartment for a Japanese-American couple features a two-storey space with a view of the city’s historical architecture. The open design and orientation of the rooms towards the window allow the residents to enjoy the view from anywhere in the home, reflecting the Japandi style’s emphasis on simplicity and harmony with nature.

An image showcasing a Japandi-style modern kitchen with wooden cabinets.
An image showcasing a Japandi-style modern kitchen with wooden cabinets.

Model Cottage in East Sheen, UK: The East Sheen project is a stunning renovation project that has transformed a house into a beautiful example of Japandi style. L+Architects, in collaboration with TALLBOX, have seamlessly blended Japanese and Scandinavian design elements to create a harmonious, minimalist, and elegant living space. The project showcases a perfect fusion of clean lines, natural materials, and a serene color palette, offering a contemporary yet timeless aesthetic.

ZERO9 Residence in India: This residential space showcases the Japandi style through its use of comfortable and functional furniture in earthy tones, ample daylight, and hints of black and dark green that break the monotony.

A Japandi-style bedroom with a bed and a bedside table.
A Japandi-style bedroom with a bed and a bedside table / By ZERO9 Studio

OWIU Studio on Dezeen: OWIU Studio, an architecture and design firm, has refurbished a residence within a historic Downtown Los Angeles factory, infusing the industrial environment with Japanese design influences. Situated in the Biscuit Company Lofts, the Biscuit Loft occupies a space within a seven-story factory originally constructed by a bakery company in 1925, which underwent conversion into residential units 15 years ago.

A Japandi Style living room with a black and white painting on the wall.
A Japandi Style living room with a black and white painting on the wall. / OWIU Studio

A Quiet Reflection in Sweden: This living room showcases the Japandi style through its use of minimalist styles and natural materials. Bare branches and dried flowers add an organic touch to the interiors.

Japandi vs Muji style

Muji and Japandi share the same cultural DNA rooted in Japanese minimalism emphasizing pristine utility that promotes wellbeing more than surrounding oneself with abundant possessions ever could.

Japanese Japandi style vs Muji
Japanese Japandi style vs Muji

Where did muji originate?

The term Muji refers to a Japanese retail company that embodies the ideals of minimalism, functionality, and simplicity in its brand and product design. Muji was founded in 1980 by the Seiyu Japanese supermarket chain to offer generic, unbranded versions of products sold in the stores. The first official standalone Muji store opened in 1983 in Tokyo.

“Muji” translates to “no brand, quality goods” from Japanese. The word “mu” can mean “nothing” or “empty” while “ji” means “thing” or “article.” Together they signify a focus purely on useful items devoid of labels.

An illustration of a modern kitchen designed in the Muji style.
An illustration of a modern kitchen designed in the Muji style.

While Muji preceded the actual term “Japandi”, the retailer has become a go-to destination for authentic Japanese-inspired interiors and goods that embody the calm essence many seek through the blended Japandi style. Muji exemplifies how curating purposeful, unembellished objects creates home tranquility – a cornerstone the Japandi aesthetic stands upon.

Neutral color palette: Both favor whites, blacks and natural light wood tones in their products/spaces. Soft, muted hues create serene backgrounds.
Natural materials: Wood, cotton, wool and linen feature heavily, celebrating raw textures and restrained elegance.
Clean lines & forms: Lack of ornamentation and embrace of curvature for an organic sense lend visual clarity.
Negative space: Generous emptiness allows designs/objects to breathe while fostering contemplation.
Multifunctionality: From a bench with hidden storage to side tables doing double duty as stools, utility reigns in both styles.

Variety of materials: While Japandi incorporates some metal and stone, Muji products are largely wood/fabric-based for purity of form.

Artisanal customization in Japandi: More personalized expression comes through in Japandi via handicrafts and architectural layouts tailored to individuals. Muji leans standardized.

More plants/greenery in Japandi spaces: Boundaries between indoor & outdoor are blurred through lush vegetation in Japandi while Muji favors starker negatives spaces.

Japandi allows a bit more individualization layered onto the cornerstone of shared modern japanese style design principles also embodied in the Muji brand. But calm, poised utility links the two styles firmly.

Founder Ikko Tanaka wanted to challenge the excessive branding, packaging and design of the 1970s. Muji embodied the Japanese concept of being satisfied and uplifted by simple, purpose-driven objects used thoughtfully in daily rituals.

Early Product Focus:

The initial Muji offerings focused largely on stationery and storage organizers, reflecting stripped-back authentic Japanese utility in the office and home. The range steadily expanded into apparel, furniture, household goods, food and more.

So Muji originated from a Japanese minimalist rejection of excessive commercialization in favor of elevating everyday basics to artful simplicity. This ethos still underpins the Muji brand over 40 years later in their sleek retail spaces filled with practical essentials.

Japadi vs Wabi Sabi Design Style

Japandi and Wabi Sabi are two distinct design styles that originate from Japan and share some similarities as shibui philosophy, but they also have significant differences in their philosophies and aesthetic principles.

  • It is pronounced as “wah-bee sah-bee”.
  • The emphasis is on the first syllable of each word, so “WAH-bee SAH-bee”.
  • The “a” vowel in “wabi” rhymes with “spa” and the first “a” in “sabi” also rhymes with “spa”.
  • The “i” vowel in “sabi” is pronounced as a long “e” sound, like the “ee” in “see”.
  • Overall, it should sound like “WAH-bee SAH-bee” with equal emphasis on both words.

The main difference between Japandi and wabi-sabi is their core aesthetic approach. Japandi fuses minimalism and functionality while wabi-sabi embraces natural imperfection, while both promote connection with nature.

Japandi vs Wabi Sabi
Japandi vs Wabi Sabi

Other differences include:

Approach to Space and Clutter: Japandi design focuses to create a sense of spaciousness by minimizing visual clutter and simplifying the design. In contrast, Wabi Sabi is less concerned with perfection and more with the beauty of aged and imperfect items, suggesting a more intimate and personal approach to design.
Philosophy: Japandi is about clean minimalism and functionality, whereas Wabi Sabi is about embracing the imperfect and transient nature of objects.
Japandi promotes a light, sleek, and simplified look aiming to soothe spaces. Conversely, wabi-sabi revels in the rustic and unfinished with perfectly imperfect textures and forms being the focus.
Furniture and Decor: Japandi furniture often features a minimalist design with a focus on texture and grain, while Wabi Sabi values the natural and the handmade over the mass-produced and the perfect.
Ornamentation: In Japandi, form and function take precedence with subtle plants and stones accenting. Wabi-sabi lavishly layers in flower arrangements, scroll art, patinas bringing ornate embellishment.
Color Palette: Japandi typically uses a muted color palette with neutral shades, while Wabi Sabi often features a more earthy color palette.
Materials: Both utilize natural materials, but Japandi favors lighter textured woods, rattans and linens. Wabi-sabi incorporates more heavily grained, cracked, or perforated woods along with coarse woven textiles.

How to choose a style between Japandi and Wabi-Sabi?

Choose Japandi: If you seek a calming and functional space with a modern twist, Japandi’s clean lines and minimalist approach might be the perfect fit.

Pick the Japandi look if you are after the feel of japanese interior that combines elements of Japanese minimalism with Scandinavian functionality and design elements. This type of home design is characterized by clean lines, natural materials, and a muted color palette, emphasizing simplicity, functionality, and balance. 

Furniture in Japandi style often features a minimalist design, with a focus on texture and grain. 

The color palette typically includes neutral shades like black, white, gray, and beige. Japandi favors a clean and minimalist approach to design, where less is more, and objects are carefully selected and placed in a thoughtful manner to create a harmonious balance between form and function.

A Wabi-Sabi-style bathroom with wooden cabinets and a window.
A Wabi-Sabi-style bathroom with wooden cabinets and a window.

Choose Wabi-Sabi: If you’re drawn to natural beauty, rustic charm, and a Zen-like atmosphere, Wabi-Sabi’s embrace of imperfection and connection to nature could be ideal.

Wabi Sabi, on the other hand, is a Japanese aesthetic that finds beauty in imperfection and values the natural and the handmade over the mass-produced and the perfect. It celebrates organic and unpretentious design that showcases natural materials and textures, often with a muted and earthy color palette.

Wabi Sabi embraces imperfections and the transience of objects, creating a loving, inviting, and personal space that is touchable and grounded in human emotions.

While both Japandi and Wabi Sabi celebrate simplicity and natural materials, they have different philosophies and aesthetic principles. The choice between the two would depend on personal preference and lifestyle. If you prefer a more modern and functional space, go for Japandi. If you prefer a more rustic and intimate space, go for Wabi Sabi.

Japandi vs. Scandinavian Design

The main distinction between Japandi and Scandinavian design stems from Japandi’s infusion of Japanese minimalism which results in a much more pared-back, relaxed aesthetic compared to Scandinavian style. Both interior design styles are champions of minimalism, clean lines, and functionality, but they each bring unique elements to the table.

Explore the fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian design in the captivating Japandi Style.
Explore the fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian design in the captivating Japandi Style.

While both styles value simplicity, functionality, and natural materials, Japandi design tends to favor bold contrasts through the use of color and materials like ceramic and woven fibers.

It incorporates more elements of traditional Japanese design and a warmer, more muted color palette. On the other hand, Scandinavian design has a lighter, cooler color palette and a more minimalist aesthetic.

Another key difference is the approach to space organization. Japandi aims for a serene, cozy environment, often featuring low-platform beds reminiscent of traditional Japanese homes or compact tea tables, wooden benches, and rigid wooden stools.

These items are strictly crafted from natural materials. In contrast, Scandinavian interiors are more open and airy, often featuring modern-style furniture and uncluttered spaces.

Materials: Both utilize light woods and natural textiles. However Japandi also weaves in rattan, washi paper, linen while rejecting ornate carvings.
Furniture and Decor: Scandinavian design has more decorative items for visual appeal. Japandi focuses solely on functional, purpose-driven furnishings down to the essentials.

If one finds it difficult to choose between these two beautiful yet distinct styles, consulting an experienced interior designer can help determine which approach better suits your needs and personal tastes. A designer can skillfully fuse components of each style into a custom vision that targets functionality, simplicity and natural imperfection in tailored proportions.

How to choose a style between Japandi and Scandinavian Style?

Choose Japandi: If seeking utter simplicity with warmth 

Japandi promotes tranquility through neutral colors and clean lines while Scandinavian style layers on comforting textures and lively hues.

Japandi favors a clean and minimalist approach to design, where less is more, and objects are carefully selected and placed in a thoughtful manner to create a harmonious balance between form and function.

A Japandi style living room with ceramic tile floors and large windows.
A Japandi style living room with ceramic tile floors and large windows.

Choose Scandi: pure minimalism and vibrance

Scandinavian design, originating from the Nordic region of Europe, is characterized by a minimalist, clean-lined approach that combines functionality with beauty. It is known for its use of light colors, natural materials like wood, leather, and wool, and its emphasis on simplicity and functionality.

The color palette is typically light, including whites, creams, and light blues or greys. Scandinavian design is more subdued and straightforward compared to Japandi, and it often features modern-style furniture and uncluttered spaces.

Japandi vs. Minimalism

The key difference between Japandi and minimalism is the level of warmth. Japandi infuses more texture and nature while minimalism has a colder, sparse look.

Japan is known for its unique approach to minimalism, which is beautifully captured in the Japandi style.
Japan is known for its unique approach to minimalism, which is beautifully captured in the Japandi style.

Warmth: Japandi utilizes natural woods, rattans and linens to inject organic warmth along with abundant plants and natural light. Minimalism embraces a stark, sleek aesthetic of whites and greys often with plastic, glass and metal materials.
Textures: Japandi layers in tactile weaves, grains and imperfections for visual interest. Minimalism opts for seamless, uniform surfaces devoid of pattern.
Connection to Nature: Japandi strives to poetically integrate indoor and outdoor through transitional rooms and walls of windows. Minimalism firmly delineates interior and exterior architecture with crisp boundaries.
Negative Space: Both styles embrace negative space and airiness. However Japandi’s spaces evoke peacefulness while minimalism conveys imposed order and chill through abundant empty areas.
Japandi aligns more with human-centered hygge principles while minimalism channels more isolated sleekness. The textural elements and ties to nature help distinguish Japandi’s flavor of minimalism from starker, colder interpretations.

How to choose a style between Japandi and Minimalism?

Neither style is inherently “better.” The choice depends on your personal preferences.

Choose Japandi if: You crave a calm and inviting space with natural textures and a touch of Japanese sophistication.

A Japandi-style drawing of a bedroom with white walls and wooden floors.
A Japandi-style drawing of a bedroom with white walls and wooden floors.

Choose Minimalism if: You prioritize clean lines, uncluttered spaces, and a focus on pure functionality.

Remember: You can also mix and match elements from both styles to create your own unique minimalist haven. Consider incorporating Japandi’s natural textures into a minimalist space or adding a touch of warmth to a Japandi room with pops of color.

Japandi vs. Contemporary Design

The primary difference between Japandi and contemporary design is that Japandi places focus on natural materials and a unified aesthetic while contemporary embraces bold, sleek refined style.

Other Differences:

Furniture: Japandi furniture tends to be simple and functional, while contemporary furniture can be more sculptural and experimental.
Decor: Japandi decor often features natural elements like plants and handcrafted objects, while contemporary decor can incorporate bold artwork, graphic prints, and unexpected pieces.
Overall Feel: Japandi aims for a calm and serene atmosphere, while contemporary design can be energetic and eclectic, reflecting the diversity of modern life.

How to choose a style between Japandi and Contemporary Design?

Choose Japandi if: You crave a calm and harmonious space that connects you to nature and celebrates fine craftsmanship.

Japandi is a blend of Japanese and Scandinavian design principles. It focuses on minimalism and functionality while maintaining warmth and comfort. The ornamentation in Japandi interiors is intentional and often functional, such as teapots, books, ceramic cups, and vases. 

The color palette leans towards neutral with darker and earthy tones like brown and green. Japandi style creates a sense of balance and harmony, and it resonates with environmental awareness and the preference for eco-friendly choices. It also incorporates more texture and natural materials, such as wood, stone, ceramics, and fabrics, which add warmth and interest to the space. Japandi promotes unity and fine craftsmanship, with each piece often being carefully chosen for its aesthetic and functional value.

A Japandi-style kitchen with a wooden table and chairs.
A Japandi-style kitchen with a wooden table and chairs.

Choose Contemporary if: You want to express your individuality through bold colors, daring material mixes, and statement pieces.

Contemporary design, on the other hand, is characterized by its sleek, industrial influences. It often features bold pops of color, contrasting with the calm, muted color scheme favored in Japandi design.

Contemporary design often incorporates more plastic and metal, giving it a more modern, industrial feel compared to the natural textures and materials highlighted in Japandi design.

Contemporary design also tends to have a more daring, less uniform look, with a greater emphasis on individual pieces standing out, as opposed to Japandi’s focus on unity and harmony.

Traditional vs. Modern Japandi

Traditional and Modern Japandi are two interpretations of the same design style that combines Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics. Both versions emphasize simplicity, functionality, and the use of natural materials, but they have distinct characteristics.

The main differences between Traditional and Modern Japandi lie in their approach to materials, color, and overall aesthetic. Traditional Japandi closely follows ancient Japanese minimalist principles with restrained, purposeful furnishings true to the original wabi-sabi and Zen influences.

It promotes unity, balance, and fine craftsmanship. Modern Japandi infuses more greenery via abundant houseplants, succulents and exuberant gardens.

This echoes how millennials and Gen Z more actively aim to fuse indoor and outdoor living through transitional spaces and biophilic design amidst contemporary open concept floorplans and may have a slightly brighter color palette.

A Japandi-style bedroom with a bed, dresser, and nightstand.
A Japandi-style bedroom with a bed, dresser, and nightstand.

Other Differences:
Furniture: Modern Japandi might feature contemporary pieces with clean lines alongside traditional elements, while traditional Japandi prioritizes handcrafted Japanese furniture.
Decor: Modern Japandi might incorporate bolder artwork and statement pieces, while traditional Japandi favors natural elements like ceramics, textiles, and handcrafted objects.
Overall Feel: Modern Japandi can feel airy and contemporary, while traditional Japandi tends towards a more grounded and earthy atmosphere.

Deeply Rooted: Draws directly from Japanese heritage, incorporating elements like shoji screens, tatami mats, and low-lying furniture.
Muted Palette: Relies on earthy tones like brown, beige, and black, often with pops of red or green for subtle contrast.
Focus on Craftsmanship: Utilizes natural materials like wood, bamboo, and paper, showcasing traditional techniques and visible textures.
Connection to Nature: Prioritizes bringing the outdoors in through plants, natural light, and open layouts.
Serene Atmosphere: Aims for a calming and contemplative space, reflecting the philosophy of wabi-sabi (embrace imperfection).

Global Influences: Incorporates contemporary elements from around the world, like mid-century modern furniture or Scandinavian lighting.
Lighter Palette: Embraces lighter neutrals like white and gray, often with pops of brighter colors like blue or green for a more playful touch.
Sustainable Materials: Prioritizes eco-friendly materials like recycled wood and bamboo, aligning with modern sustainability concerns.
Emphasis on Plants: Incorporates a wider variety of plants, creating a more lush and vibrant atmosphere compared to traditional Japandi.
Flexible Function: Adapts to modern lifestyles with multifunctional furniture and clever space-saving solutions.

How to choose a style between Modern Japandi and Traditional Japandi?

Choose Traditional Japandi if: You value authenticity, cultural immersion, and a timeless aesthetic.

Choose Modern Japandi if: You prefer a more adaptable and personal space that reflects contemporary trends and your individual style.

Both styles are beautiful and offer unique ways to embrace the Japandi philosophy. You can even mix and match elements from both to create your own personalized Japandi haven.

Japandi Style in Architecture

Japandi architectural design adheres to core principles of simplicity, functionality, natural materials and indoor/outdoor connection to create calming, balanced structures. Clean lines, ample negative space, neutral colors and natural light permeate Japandi buildings.

Key Characteristics of Japandi Architecture

Harmony with Nature: Buildings seamlessly integrate with their surroundings, incorporating natural elements like light, ventilation, and gardens. Think expansive windows, open layouts, and sustainable materials.
Minimalism with Warmth: Clean lines and uncluttered spaces reign supreme, but natural materials like wood and stone add warmth and texture. Less is definitely more, but with a touch of organic beauty.
Functional Spaces: Every element serves a purpose, maximizing livability and fostering a sense of connection between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Muted Palettes: Neutral tones like white, grey, and beige dominate, creating a calming and serene atmosphere. Pops of color, if present, are used thoughtfully and with intention.
Craftsmanship & Detailing: Attention to detail shines through in handcrafted elements, traditional joinery techniques, and subtle variations in texture and material.

Famous Architects Embracing Japandi

Kengo Kuma: Renowned for his use of natural materials like wood and light, Kuma’s buildings like the Yusuhara Wooden Art Museum and the Nezu Museum embody the Japandi spirit.
Jun Mitsui: Architect of the iconic Woodner apartment building in Washington D.C., Mitsui blends Japanese geometric patterns with American brickwork, creating a striking example of cross-cultural influence.
Nina Edwards Anker: Danish architect known for her calming and harmonious interiors, Anker incorporates elements of Japandi minimalism into her architectural projects, creating serene and functional spaces.
Norm Architects: This Danish studio’s minimalist furniture and clean lines translate beautifully into architecture, evident in their projects like the Hotel Herman K in Copenhagen.
Ryue Nishizawa: Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Nishizawa’s work like the White U and the Matsumoto House showcase a masterful blend of Japanese simplicity and contemporary functionality.
Yabu Pushelberg: New York-based design firm known for their sophisticated and serene interiors, often blending Eastern and Western influences.

Famous Interior designers using Japandi Style

Keiji Ashizawa Design: Led by Keiji Ashizawa, this design studio is known for their minimalist yet warm aesthetic. They have collaborated with Norm Architects on several projects, including a Japandi interior design for a home in Tokyo.
Daytrip: Daytrip is another design studio recognized for their work in Japandi style. Their designs often incorporate the simplicity and functionality characteristic of this style.
Room Design Studio: Room Design Studio is known for their Japandi designs, which often feature clean lines and a focus on natural materials.
Aedem Anthony: Aedem Anthony is a designer known for his work in Japandi style. His designs often incorporate the minimalist aesthetic and natural materials characteristic of this style.
Niblu Interior: Niblu Interior is another design studio recognized for their work in Japandi style. Their designs often feature the simplicity and functionality characteristic of this style.

Design Specifics of Japandi Style

Review the contract, notify the buyer, and seek legal advice if necessary.

Unique details in Japandi Style

Shoji screens: Traditional Japanese dividers made of translucent paper and wood frames.
Tatami mats: Woven straw mats used as flooring in Japan, adding a textural element.
Enso circles: Zen symbol representing imperfection and enlightenment.
Ikebana flower arrangements: Minimalist floral arrangements emphasizing negative space.

What colors are predominant in a Japandi color palette?

The predominant colors in a Japandi color palette are neutral, earthy tones like:

Light wood browns

Lighter shades of color like off-white, ivory, and light gray are favored in order to cultivate a sense of airiness and spaciousness. Darker neutrals like charcoal gray and brown provide contrast and depth.

While color is used minimally overall, there may also be occasional pops of light blue, green, tan or terracotta to introduce subtle vibrancy. These are featured thoughtfully in textiles, ceramics and artwork rather than heavily saturated walls or furniture.

What Materials are used in Japandi Interiors?

The key materials used in executing Japandi’s refined yet organic aesthetic include:

A Japandi-style framed display of various pieces of wood and fabrics
A Japandi-style framed display of various pieces of wood and fabrics

Light Woods
Materials like oak, ash, rattan and maple wood introduce warmth while maintaining an airy lightness. They are used for flooring, furniture and architectural accents. Woods range from light blondes to deeper taupes.

Natural Textiles
Textiles include linen, cotton, wool, silk and rattan that bring soft and intricately textured contrasts to the wood tones. Examples are woven throws, pillows and window treatments.

Natural stone surfaces like marble, travertine and slate add gorgeous veining, cracks and imperfections that align with Japandi’s acceptance of flaw as beauty per Wabi Sabi principles.

In addition to these core materials, other complementary elements can include paper, bamboo, jute, ceramics with reactive glazes and aged metallics. Overall the materials aesthetic remains a study of organic substance and simplicity – the very building blocks of shaping serene spaces.

Asymmetry in Japandi Interiors

Asymmetry is an important aspect of Japandi style, stemming from the traditional Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi that finds beauty in imperfection, at the same time the style thanks to its western influence has strong symmetrical side, creating the perfect balance.

Here are some ways asymmetry manifests in Japandi design, which are not rule but a choice:

Spatial Layouts
Japandi spaces often have asymmetrical layouts with rooms and areas that are irregularly shaped and lack formal symmetry. This creates a more dynamic, organic flow compared to rigidly symmetrical spaces.
Decorative Accents
Textiles like blankets or pillows may be draped or placed asymmetrically instead of being meticulously centered and aligned. Ceramics also embrace cracked glazes or handmade irregularities in form.
Furniture Arrangements
Chairs, shelves and platforms are often not placed in perfectly matched or mirrored arrangements. There is acceptance of asymmetry and flexibility in positioning around spaces.
Architectural Details
Structural components like windows, beams or exterior siding may vary slightly in shape, angle or configuration instead of being uniform. This shows appreciation of subtle unpredictability.

How to achieve Asymmetry in Japandi?

To achieve Japandi asymmetry, don’t overthink or force asymmetry! The randomness should seem organic as if items settled and shifted gradually over time. Subtlety is key in keeping with Japandi minimalism. Allowing asymmetry into Japandi spaces can make them feel more alive.

Here are some tips for thoughtfully incorporating asymmetry into Japandi interior design:

Spatial Layouts
Make room shapes irregular instead of perfect squares/rectangles.
Create off-kilter or angular alcoves and niches.
Angle furniture in relation to architecture.

Decor Accents
Hang wall scrolls or art at slightly tilting angles.
Drape blankets freely instead of folding neatly.
Let table runners and placemats skew across surfaces.

Furniture Arrangements
Flank sofas with differently shaped end tables
Mix dining chairs of varied silhouettes around the table
Float shelves at slightly varied heights for visual interest

Architectural Details
Alternate wood plank direction and width on ceilings.
Make some windows wider than others along the wall.
Add an unexpected archway or niche.

Lighting Layers
Suspend pendants at different heights in entryways.
Use asymmetric lamp bases like bamboo or agate.
Hang lanterns freely using wreaths.

Achieving asymmetrical balance doesn’t always require drastic changes in inteirors. Often, even subtle modifications can have a significant impact. For instance, simply placing a chair at an angle can create a sense of asymmetry that adds visual interest to your space.

11 Easy Steps to Transform and Decorate in Japandi Style

Declutter like a Zen Master: Imagine sweeping away the chaos. Japandi thrives on minimalism. Every item in a Japandi interior should be carefully curated to celebrate the concept of danshari, which means to retain only the items that you love. You can read how to declutter better with the Konmari Method > book

Let Nature In: Bask in the glow of natural light. Large windows and sheer curtains blur the lines between indoors and outdoors, bringing harmony and peace to your space.

Use Natural Materials: Incorporate natural materials like wood, bamboo, rattan, cane, and ceramic into your design. These materials not only add texture but also create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Opt for a Neutral Color Palette: Japandi style typically involves a neutral color palette. Soft blues, plums, and earthy colors can be used for visual richness.

Incorporate Clean Lines: Clean lines are a hallmark of Japandi design. This can be achieved through the use of furniture and decor with simple, streamlined shapes.

Bring Nature Indoors: Incorporate elements of nature into your space. This could be through the use of plants or natural materials in your décor.

Focus on Functionality: Every item in your space should serve a purpose. This aligns with the Japandi principle of functionality.

Choose Understated Wall Art: When choosing your wall art, opt for simple, understated designs in neutral color palettes.

Use Light Wisely: Japandi design favors a seamless indoor/outdoor experience, with strong ties to the natural environment. Window treatments should be kept to a minimum to allow for the circulation of natural light.

Value Craftsmanship: Japandi style places value on the beauty of materials and quality of craftsmanship. Choose items that are well-made and will stand the test of time.

The Journey is the Reward: Don’t chase perfection; celebrate the process. Experiment, have fun, and let your Japandi aesthetic evolve with you. The key is to create a space that brings you peace and inspires you to breathe deeply.

Who Buys Japandi?

The Japandi style appeals to a broad range of consumers who are drawn to its blend of Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian functionality. 

The target audience for Japandi includes:

Individuals who prioritize sustainability and eco-friendliness are attracted to Japandi’s use of natural materials and long-lasting quality. The style’s focus on craftsmanship and artisanal products supports sustainable living practices.

Those who appreciate minimalism in interior design are likely to be drawn to Japandi’s clean lines, simplicity, and decluttered spaces. The style’s minimalist approach aligns with the preferences of consumers looking for a calm and serene home environment.

Japandi is a great way to create a stylish and functional space in a small space. The focus on minimalism and functionality is well-suited for city living.
Cultural Fusion Admirers: Japandi’s unique blend of two distinct cultural aesthetics appeals to people who are fascinated by cultural fusion and the harmonious integration of different design philosophies.

Consumers who value comfort and a cozy atmosphere in their homes may be attracted to Japandi’s Scandinavian influence, which emphasizes comfort and warmth alongside minimalist design.

The incorporation of natural elements such as wood, bamboo, and plants makes Japandi appealing to those who enjoy bringing the outdoors inside and creating a connection with nature in their living spaces.

Japandi’s emphasis on fine craftsmanship and high-quality materials resonates with consumers who are willing to invest in durable and well-made furniture and décor.

As Japandi is an on-trend style, it attracts consumers who are keen on keeping up with the latest interior design trends and want to incorporate contemporary aesthetics into their homes.

Small business owners looking to create a stylish and sustainable decor for their establishments may also be interested in Japandi style, as it can create a serene and inviting atmosphere for customers.

Japandi furniture brands to buy from

Each of these brands offers unique elements that can contribute to creating a balanced and harmonious Japandi space.

A Japanese brand renowned for its minimalist and functional designs. Their products emphasize simplicity and are perfect for creating a serene, Japandi-style space.

This Danish company offers Scandi-inspired simplistic pieces. Their furniture combines modern design with practicality, embodying the Scandinavian aspect of Japandi.

Known for modern, affordable furniture that’s ideal for small spaces. Their designs are sleek and contemporary, aligning well with the minimalist aspect of Japandi.

Offers a Boho-Japandi aesthetic in many of their collections. Their pieces blend the rustic charm of Bohemian style with the clean lines and simplicity of Japandi.

A direct-to-consumer brand featuring modular, neutral offerings. Their furniture is known for its sleek lines and functionality, fitting well within the Japandi style.

Offers a range of mid-century and Japandi-inspired furnishings. Their pieces often combine rustic elements with modern design, perfect for a Japandi interior.

Specializes in Japanese-influenced organizational furniture. Their products are great for creating clean, clutter-free spaces in line with Japandi principles.

An Indonesian brand focusing on rattan and teak wood furniture. These natural materials are ideal for adding warmth and texture to a Japandi-styled home.

Known for its Scandinavian traditional and modern lines, Ikea offers a range of furniture that can be integrated into a Japandi interior due to its functionality and simplicity.

This brand provides environmentally friendly furniture with a focus on handcrafted quality and comfort, aligning well with the Japandi philosophy of sustainable and timeless design.

Offers unique lighting and furniture with an emphasis on sustainable design. Their pieces often have a sculptural quality that can add interest to a Japandi space.

This brand is known for its mid-century modern inspired furniture that also aligns with the minimalist and functional aesthetic of Japandi.

Specializes in outdoor furniture with a sustainable approach. Their designs can bring the Japandi aesthetic into outdoor spaces.

Features a collection of sophisticated, handmade furniture that blends well with the artisanal and natural elements of Japandi style.

Known for their unique, organic pieces, their furniture often combines natural materials with modern design, suitable for a Japandi aesthetic.

Offers customizable furniture with a focus on comfort and sustainability. Their clean, simple designs can be tailored to fit a Japandi-style interior.


The key to achieving a Japandi home decor is to focus on minimalism, functionality, and the use of natural tones and materials. The Japandi look has always key features not only as design elements but as funcitonal items. Choose pieces that are simple yet high-quality, and that bring a sense of calm and serenity to your space.

Can you find interior design on a budget for Japandi project?

Yes, achieving a Japandi interior design aesthetic on a budget with designer is very feasible with some creativity and strategic planning. 

Here are some tips:

  1. Invest in key signature pieces – Spend more on a few central items aligning with Japandi style like a light wood platform bed, rattan pendant light or bamboo floor screen. These make high visual impact while keeping other furnishings simple.
  2. Use a neutral, minimalist color scheme – White, light tan, black and natural wood require no expensive paint projects. Natural layers introduce warmth organically.
  3. Choose natural materials like unfinished wood furniture or woven textiles for an authentic look without high costs. Seek quality craftsmanship over luxury.
  4. Multitask with flexible furnishings – Ottomans that store blankets bring dual purpose. Backless bar stools slide under counters.
  5. Mix high/low price point items – An expensive armoire anchors a room while budget-friendly neutral bedding keeps the look cohesive.
  6. Let foliage shine – Plants of all sizes cultivate indoor/outdoor feel without draining wallets when strategically placed in Japandi’s signature negative spaces.

With compromise on non-essentials, focus on thoughtfully curating multifunctional signature pieces, and embracing empty space, Japandi style can transform living spaces on almost any budget.

Is japandi connected to Shibui Principle?

Yes, there is significant conceptual alignment between Japandi design and the traditional Japanese aesthetic of shibui. They share core minimalist principles:

Simplicity – Both styles embrace simplicity through clean lines and absence of ornamentation to allow essential peaceful forms to shine. Shibui and Japandi distill design to bare unembellished essence.

Natural Materials – Raw, tactile wood, paper, stone and textiles feature heavily in shibui and Japandi interiors to connect humans and surroundings through authentic textures rich in imperfections that reflect nature’s cycles.

Purposeful Emptiness – Generous negative space plays a key role across both aesthetics in positioning absence and airiness as the precursors to presence and mindfulness. Voids expectantly await the vital few furnishings and inhabitants.

Subtle Imperfection – The Japanese concept of wabi sabi permeating shibui also links to Japandi’s allowance for asymmetry and slight irregularities that give handcrafted items more depth, without chaotic abandon. Grace thrives alongside organic non-conformities.

So while Japandi also folds in Scandinavian elements, at its core resides the shibui-shared principles of cherishing empty space, raw more ephemeral beauty, and everyday purposefulness through precision-tuned thoughtful restraint.

Japan’s less-is-more shadow is evident.

Can japandi style be in dark tones?

Yes, the japandi design style can definitely incorporate darker elements while still staying true to its aesthetic. Here are some ways that darker colors and tones can be integrated into japandi:

  • Use dark neutral tones like charcoal, black, dark gray, or even deep blue and green as accents. These darker shades can make lighter creams and woods really pop.
  • Incorporate natural materials like wood, stone or rattan in their natural darker stained tones instead of light washes. The natural variations in dark and light create depth.
  • Use a darker color palette of neutral tones as a base, then layer in lighter linen, sheepskin, straw, or wood accent pieces to lighten and brighten.
  • Employ darker Japanese design principals like wabi-sabi (embracing natural imperfection) by intentionally weathering or waxing wood finishes.
  • Contrast Very light woods like oak or ash with black steel or iron architectural elements and hardware.
  • Layer lighter tonal textures like woods, shearling and clays against darker slate, oxide or pepper tones.

The key is to find balance with darker tones by adding brightness and natural elements elsewhere. The interplay can create a dramatic and cohesive japandi style. So don’t be afraid to incorporate deeper shades – it can add wonderful dimension.