Japandi style. What is it and how can I afford it?

Have you ever heard about the design style Japandi? I was watching one of my favorite interior designers talk about his new custom home with a Japandi design and I wondered what is that? I must learn because his home is amazing.

I did some research to discover exactly what Japandi style looks like and I found pictures to share.

Crate & Barrel Japandi Lving Room (Ojai Chair)

Japandi is a combination of Japanese design and Scandinavian style. Though they are worlds apart the design styles overlap in many ways.

Highlights of Japanese Style

The Japanese are known for having very minimalist homes. Japan is a very small country and if you live in one of the big cities space is a luxury. Japanese interiors are very uncluttered and the furniture has simple lines. Every piece has a purpose and no space is wasted.

Japanese style includes

  • Bamboo accents and natural wood tones
  • Low furniture, close to the ground
  • Neutral palette with earth tones
  • Minimalist decor
  • Interior sliding doors vs regular doors
  • Enclosed outdoor spaces that are integrated into indoor spaces
  • Black metal accents
  • Clean lines

Scandinavian style includes

  • Use of natural elements
  • Lots of natural light
  • A neutral color palette with warm white
  • Lots of texture from soft furnishings and natural fibers (think hygge)
  • Open spaces
  • Minimalist design
  • Natural wood tone furniture, often light wood
  • Incorporates nature or plants

There’s a lot of overlap between these two styles even though they are so far apart geographically. The Japandi aesthetic incorporates elements of both these styles. Since a picture is worth 1000 words I found a few examples of Japandi style rooms.

Japandi Kitchen by Nick Lewis
Japandi Bedroom by Crate & Barrel – Coronado chair

Japandi Living Room from Crate & Barrel – two

Crate & Barrel natural oak table

For more inspiration, check out the rooms in these links:

Where to Find Japandi Style on a Budget

As you look at these images you are probably thinking I can’t afford japandi furniture, or that’s what I thought. But that’s not necessarily true if you look at what makes the rooms feel like the style. You CAN find pieces like this on a budget. You can also move more toward this style by removing furniture pieces.

Two places to start looking are Crate & Barrel and IKEA. Both have simple shapes at reasonable prices.

The best way to incorporate a new style is to start with one room and one piece. If you choose your living room, look for accent chairs and coffee tables in the Japandi style that you like. Here are three accent chairs that are affordable. You could start by swapping out one chair in your living room or bedroom for something like this.

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Why just one piece? If you start with an accent piece, you can see how you like the look and feel of the style IN YOUR HOME without committing to an entire room makeover. Buying just one piece is an easy way to experiment with a new style. Then build on that one piece.

Another great way to experiment is to take away pieces of furniture to see if you like a more minimalist look.

AVOID THIS TRAP – Sometimes the rooms we love catch our eye not because of the decor elements, but really because of the architectural design which is hard to replicate. Look at the rooms you like and make sure it’s the decor and not the architecture.

Japandi Way of Life

As I started digging a little deeper I learned that Japandi is not JUST one of the many interior design trends. It’s also a philosophy that’s all about living simply with nature. That’s why you find a lot of wooden furniture and very simple designs.

Have you heard the term Wabi-Sabi? A simple definition is looking for beauty in imperfection in the passage of time. If you want to learn more about it read this article. There is a focus on natural materials that stand the test of time.

In Scandinavian Hygge is also more than a decor style too. It is all about having a warm and comfortable space and appreciating it in the moment.

I think these styles are attractive because we are looking for ways to feel more present and peaceful and less distracted by all of our notifications. If you want to make you space feel calm and peaceful, try out Japandi interior design.

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One Comment

  1. Andrea, I absolutely love this style. So very different from my current one, but I do dream about getting rid of everything and starting out with a fresh, clean palette. Great post!

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