What is Japandi? The Interiors Trend You Need to Know About

Why we should all be embracing Japandi in our interiors this Autumn

Love Scandi chic? (who doesn’t?). Get ready for its latest iteration: Japandi. 

More Interiors Trends / More Interior Design

What is Japandi? The Interiors Trend You Need to Know About

a wood clad Japan meets Scandi interior, included in the book: Japanese Interiors

House in Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, Arbol, 2019. Image credit: Photo © Yasunori Shimomura. From Japanese Interiors, Published by Phaidon. 

What do you get when you cross the vogue for interiors influenced by Japan with the perennial popularity for all things Scandi? Japandi, of course.

Fusing principles of minimalism, neutral colours and natural materials, Japandi takes the best of both styles for an aesthetic that’s sleek, modern and bang-on-trend for 2022 after emerging last summer. Think low-profile furniture, polished wood, cloudy colour palettes, and simple, effortless spaces designed around living. Ready to bring a little Japandi style into your own home? Here’s how…

Japandi’s Key Themes

  • It’s all about minimalism. So clear the clutter.
  • Bold lines are king.
  • Think about light, expansive spaces.
  • Wood is good. You’ll often find a wood-clad interior that soothes the surroundings.
  • Biophilia is best. Let the outdoors in the space as much as possible. This can mean floor to ceiling glass statement pieces.
  • Swerve any kitschy colourways: it’s all about a subtle colour palette.

10 Beautiful Rugs for Your Living Room and Bedroom

How to tap into the Japandi trend

Photo 1 of
Original BTC Hector pendant

1. How to build a Japandi colour palette

Muted greens, watered-down greys, pale ochres and delicate eggshell tones are your friends for a Japandi colour palette.

Both Japanese and Scandi interior design favour cooler tones, so a base of pale greys or off whites make an ideal starting point for a Nordic feel. Blend in a Tokyo-apartment sense of depth by layering equally understated deeper blues, burnt oranges, and shadowy mauves and flat charcoal tones.

Photo: Original BTC. originalbtc.com

2. Mix furniture styles

Japandi furniture is all about sleek, modern silhouettes and low profiles, while Swedish hygge branches out a little more into cosy textures, chunky wool knits and bobbly finishes.

Surprisingly though, these disparate styles are a match made in heaven. Try mixing textured natural rugs and soft furnishing with fluffy fibres with sculptural, statement pieces of furniture (like a mid-century chair). To create a little intrigue with scale, add some simple, low-slung shelving.

Photos: Pooky. pooky.com

3. How to nail Japandi simplicity

While Japandi has some playful elements to it (folding paper lamps, mismatched wabi-sabi ceramics, layered art prints and books on surfaces), clean lines and understated design is key.

Scandinavian and Japanese furniture prizes craftsmanship and simple form – avoid overwhelming a room by choosing striking, structural furniture with straight lines and basic tube frames and stick to a maximum of two tones in the upholstery. When it comes to colour, use one neutral shade range for the main elements of the room (walls, rugs, floors), then weave small pops of a second shade into the foreground.

Photo: Ligne Roset. ligne-roset.com

4. Bring the outdoors in

A theme that connects both Japanese and Scandi design principles is the importance of nature, and bringing the outdoors in.

Unfortunately we don’t all live on the edge of a forest or lake – but you can still incorporate a little of this Japandi thinking into your rooms by adding pot plants and greenery. Plus, house plants help to naturally purify the air for a healthier environment, and are are thought to reduce stress and boost seratonin levels.

For the best effect, mix up the shapes, sizes and styles of your plants, and place them at different eye levels.

Photo: Annie Sloan. anniesloan.com

5. Design around sustainability

Another key principal of Japandi is sustainability and eco-conscious living.

Wabi-sabi (the acceptance of imperfection) is a Japanese principle of living that we should all be getting on board with in 2021 – by repairing broken pottery and knick-knacks, and treating furniture with respect and care.

Japandi celebrates a ‘less is more’ way of living, with a focus on curating rooms filled with pieces that will last and that have been passed down from hand to hand. All of your Japandi decorating choices should prioritise sustainability, simplicity and preservation over throwaway culture.

Photo: Brockway. brockway.co.uk

6. It’s all about soft lighting for Japandi design

Any Japandi interior should make the most of available natural light.

If you’re blessed with high ceilings and large windows – make the most of them by sticking to minimal, diaphenous blinds. Both Scandi and Japanese schemes lean towards no-fuss window treatments that soften, rather than block out the light.

Low on natural light? Strategically place contemporary round or tall mirrors to create an illusion of space and light.

Photo: Original BTC. originalbtc.com

a warm neutral palette of a japandi interior

7. Think in Warm, Neutral Tones

Swerve away from anything particularly brashy, kitschy, or maximalist if you’re after the Japandi aesthetic. Base your colour choices in muted, soft, tones, that you’d most likely find based in nature, that’ll lend warm mood.


The Guide to Sustainable Interior Design / What is Lagom? The Lifestyle Trend We All Need Right Now / The 50 Best Interior Designers

Main Image: Peninsula House, Kanto Region, Mount Fuji Architects Studio, 2018. Image credit: Photos © Kenichi Suzuki. From the book: Japanese Interiors, Published by Phaidon.