10 Characteristics of a Japandi-Style Interior

Japandi Decor

Japandi is a combination of Japanese and Scandinavian interior design styles. You probably wonder why this combination is preferred, considering Japan and Scandinavia are miles apart. Both countries use simple designs and respect nature and craftsmanship. The Japandi style officially became popular in 2016, but the style is older than you think. According to Home Design Institute, Scandinavia introduced its style in Japan in the 1950s. After the style’s introduction, Westerners loved it and began to prefer it to Danish styles. What makes Japandi so good that the Westerners and Japanese embraced it? To understand why, we will identify some of its features. After identifying its features, you will find yourself using this style in your home. Without further ado, here are the ten characteristics of a Japandi-style interior.

Japandi Decor

10. The Style is All About Using Minimal Accessories

It is not uncommon to visit a home that is cluttered. Some people think that a decorated house entails more clutter, and they could not be any more wrong. Not only is clutter messy, but it also interferes with you psychologically. According to Web MD, clutter makes it hard for your brain to focus since there are many things competing for your attention.

Japandi, therefore, insists on zero clutter. If you are designing your home, you probably wonder which items to retain in the house. You can consider using picture frames, wall hangings, artwork, table lamps, curated mirrors, and rugs. These items do not occupy much space in a house, yet they still make the house attractive. Since the style is all about nature, you should have plants in the house. By having plants in the house, you will feel as though you are in the woods. Besides making the house attractive, the plants improve air quality. If you want a Japanese feel, we recommend the bonsai tree.

Japandi Decor

9. Japandi Relies on Neutral Colors

Some people believe that interior design should always use bright colors like red and blue. They think that these colors make the house pleasant. Though they are right, you can achieve the same pleasantness with neutral colors like white and grey. Additionally, neutral colors serve another purpose besides making the house attractive. According to 99 Designs, the colors invoke feelings of calmness. These colors are typically used on walls.

The design also achieves neutrality by relying on sunlight. To allow sufficient sunlight, Japandi uses large windows. With plenty of sunlight at home, you will not feel compelled to paint your house. That is because the light already makes the house bright. There are other benefits you enjoy from having sunlight at home. For instance, it reduces stress levels and saves you the money you would use on internal lights. Although the style heavily relies on neutral colors, it does not mean you cannot use bright colors. If you have a white couch, you can put red pillows on it. Also, you can include a picture with a red frame. Including these bright colors will reduce the boredom of a completely neutral room.

Japandi Decor

8. It Uses Wooden Flooring

For wooden floors, you can opt for those with light or dark tones. Whichever tone you choose, ensure you pair it with an object with a contrasting tone. If you pick a light tone, it would be best to pair it with a black table. On the other hand, you can pair dark wooden floors with light-colored rugs and drapes.

In terms of aesthetics, cherry and pine are the best. Unfortunately, these wooden materials are not durable. Within no time, you will notice them tearing. If you need durable wooden floors that still give off the aesthetic feel, consider maple, oak, or walnut. These durable wooden floors do not wear out due to their hardness and density. Additionally, it would be best if you avoided laminate wood floors. Although they resemble wooden floors, they are not made of wood but melamine resin. That means you would not be staying true to the Japandi design. Additionally, they are non-durable, like cherry and pine.

Japandi Decor

7. Japandi Has Particular Furniture Items

In some homes, you will find a table and a few chairs. Also, they tend to have an ordinary design. In a Japandi setting, there are endless decorative furniture items you can consider. One item you can get is the Disa lamp table. Since the table is for lamps, it is small and does not take up much space. You can use the lamp table to place items like a vase or a book.

Another furniture item to consider is the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) chair. The chair has a unique design due to its several intersections. ADA chairs have high and low backs and are stackable. Another notable feature of the chairs is the laminated shells. The shells come in several colors, but you can opt for neutral colors for the Japandi style. Lastly, you will need a round coffee table. Some people always make the mistake of choosing large coffee tables. As a result, they lack space for their legs when they sit on the couch. Not to mention that large coffee tables make a house look cluttered. Therefore, you should always choose a small one. By choosing a small table, you will also have space for other house items.

Japandi Decor

6. The Style Uses Shoji Screens

A shoji screen is a translucent folding screen that acts as a room divider. Its purpose is to diffuse light throughout the room and provide privacy. It normally consists of a wooden frame filled with paper or cloth. Also, a shoji screen can refer to permanent structures like shoji windows and shoji doors. There are different types of shoji screens. You can get the Tsuitate one, which uses a single-panel entrance screen. Also, you can consider the Fusuma, which is a sliding door. If you buy folding screens, there are endless ways you can incorporate them into the house. For instance, you can use them outside as fences. Within the fenced area, you can put some plants to mimic a garden. Do you have a room that you are not using? You can use the screens to enclose it so that it resembles a meditation room. Shoji screens thus give the room that Zen look.

Japandi Decor

5. Japandi Has Various Handcrafted Pieces Made From Rattan

Rattan is a climbing vine-like palm. It is used to make baskets, lighting, and furniture. This material is weather-resistant, which means you can store rattan furniture outside. Due to its neutral color, you can pair rattan items with various design styles. If you want a more natural feel, you can pair rattan with plants or botanical print fabrics. For an eclectic look, you can pair it with metallic accents and mid-century furniture.

Rattan is generally easy to clean and lightweight, which is why it is best used in children’s rooms. Since children love to play, there are rattan ideas you can consider. For instance, you can create a hanging rattan chair that is ideal for reading or swinging. To enhance the chair’s look, you can include a blanket and some pillows. You can enhance the rattan’s look by staining it. By staining rattan, it gives the items a new look. An example of a piece you can stain is the pendant light. If you desire to give your rattan dining table a contemporary look, you can opt for a browner shade. Ensure the brown contrasts with the white walls.

Japandi Decor

4. The Décor Style Uses Sashiko Stitching

Sashiko is a Japanese embroidery technique where you sew several layers together for reinforcement. This stitching is popular for clothes, but you can use them on rugs and furniture cloths. The stitching makes objects visually appealing due to its classic geometrical patterns. Also, you can find stitching patterns that mimic real objects like flowers, for instance. If you have a white couch, you can contrast it with a blue cloth. There are different Sashiko patterns to choose from. One pattern you can choose is the Moyazashi. Moyazashi uses running stitches that create linear designs. Another pattern you can select is Shonai sashiko which has straight lines that cross each other. Lastly, you can choose hitomezashi, which utilizes many single stitches from a grid.

Japandi Decor

3. This Design Style Promotes an Open Space for Your Home

We mentioned earlier that this style uses a few accessories. Due to the low number of accessories, the house usually has a lot of space. Another factor for the open space is the way Japanese furniture is made. Generally, the furniture remains closer to the ground. There are some benefits of having open space in a house.

First, open spaces make it easy for family members to have conversations. Since Japanese furniture is not high, you will not have to crane your neck to talk to someone opposite you. Additionally, the open space allows you to have conversations in a relaxed way. Due to the low height of the furniture, you can easily place your legs on them as you talk. Another benefit of an open space setting is the facilitation of airflow in your house. If your house has high furniture or walls, the flow of air is restricted. With the continual flow of air in a Japandi style, you will continually enjoy ambient temperatures.

Japandi Decor

2. The Style Gives the Bathroom a Spa-Like Design

The spa-like setting of bathrooms is thanks to the presence of a traditional Onsen. An Onsen refers to natural hot springs and bathing facilities that are popular throughout Japan. Besides feeling like you are in a spa, the Onsen provides Zen-like peace. It is no wonder that many Western nations are adopting the Onsen. It makes sense since that is where you would shower peacefully after a long stressful day at work. In Japandi, the bathtub is at the center of the bathroom rather than at the side. One commonly used bathtub is the Barocci bathtub. The Barocci bathtub is shaped like a whale and has clean lines. Moreover, the bathtub has a towel rack at the tapered end, which gives it an overall stunning look. If the bathtub is at the center, where is the showering area? The showering area comprises stone-like walls accompanied by plants, which give it an organic feel.

Depending on the house, you may find a bathroom using a lot of Scandinavian elements. A common Scandinavian element is the mirrored washbasin area. Other design elements to expect in the bathroom are a mix of darker wood and stone countertops. To complete the Scandinavian look, some bathrooms may have circular LED mirrors.

Japandi Decor

1. The Style Utilizes Wall Texture

In traditional Japanese interiors, the common wall texture designs are from bamboo or cedar panels. Typically, the design will comprise patterns that have been arranged vertically. Some people may find bamboo wallpapers too mainstream, so there are other designs to consider. You could get a wallpaper of a Takeda cherry blossom. This wallpaper is best placed in the corner of your house. You could sit next to the wallpaper and feel as though you are under a real Takeda cherry blossom tree.

Another good wallpaper design is the ocean spray Japanese wave. The beauty of this wallpaper is that it looks good in the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. For a more minimalistic design, green and white colors are preferred. Its minimalistic design means you can place it anywhere at home without worrying about making your house too bright. If you want to make a bold statement, you can use a wallpaper depicting a glade forest. A glade forest is a forest growing alongside grass. For a minimalistic feel, the forests could be grey to symbolize the darkness of the forest.


The beauty of the Japandi design is that you can customize it. These features are, therefore, not cast in stone. Instead, consider these features a useful guide should you aim for a Japandi feel in your home. One thing to remember is that you may not be able to include all these features in your home. You could buy Japandi furniture, but you cannot buy permanent shoji screen structures. In such a case, you could buy or rent a home with Japandi décor.

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