inspiration5 min read

Interior trends: what is the Japandi interior style?

Kitchen decorated in a Japandi style
Japandi Kitchen table

WordsFrankie Marqueé


Japandi — a made-up, merged word that describes the complementary blend of Japanese and Scandinavian interiors: Japandi style is essentially the new modern. With plenty of points in common – minimalism, natural materials and neutral color palettes to name a few – where did this meeting of minds come from? Why now? And the main musing of all – how will it work in my home?

What is Japandi?

Japandi is a blend of Japanese and Scandinavian design. Japandi interiors take hold of the best bits of two different, but in-perfect-harmony influences. Combining them into one modern, mellow trend that’s taking the interiors world by storm, one home at a time.

Remember when the cozy, comforting, restorative Danish concept of hygge first gripped the nation – sheepskin rugs, cashmere socks, log piles and all? And then later, we all became obsessed with the laid back, let-things-be Japanese notion of Wabi-Sabi (not to be confused with wasabi) that taught us to appreciate the beauty found in imperfection, accepting natural materials for what they are and the individuality of artisanship. Channel Japandi and your home will be imbued with both of those concepts in equal balance.

The philosophy behind the interior style ‘Japandi'

So what is it about the Japandi ethos that’s striking a chord with us all?

Embracing imperfections

First up, who wouldn’t want their home to have areas that are so snug and secure that you feel all the better for being there? That’s what our homes are for after all. The idea of embracing that it’s fine for things to be less than perfect (and instantly the atmosphere feels lighter and more chilled out). What’s not to love?

Interior trends Japandi kitchen
Living Room decorated in a Japandi style by @japandi_design

Decluttering spaces

Another key concept in Japandi thinking is about decluttering. Rooms will have a distinct less-is-more vibe going on so you’ll find them cleaner, calmer and less intense to live with (read how to Feng Shui your bedroom and living room here). That doesn’t mean you can’t have stuff, but as decluttering queen Marie Kondo would say, it’s about asking yourself whether that object really does spark joy. If it doesn’t, rid yourself of it and your home will feel a weight lifted. 

Interior inspiration Japandi kitchen
Japandi style living room colour palette Lick paint

Appreciating Mother Nature

Japandi decor is typically more eco-conscious too because of its love of natural, sustainable materials. It's also about having and holding onto pieces as they age, as you’ll embrace their change in character rather than wanting to replace it with something shiny and new. Choosing craftsmanship over fast furniture means you can play the long game too, and you won’t obsess over a cookie-cutter crockery collection, because hand thrown ceramics won’t ever be an exact replica of one another. What they will be is authentic, individual, possibly made locally and most definitely cherished. 

That appreciation of Mother Nature is typically reflected in a Japandi color palette too. You’ll find yourself gravitating towards paints that are muted and earthy Beige 03, light Beige 02 and Green 01. Crack open the lid, take hold of a brush, and you’ll be left with a room that feels soothing and stabilizing.