Worldwide an appreciation for the Japanese interior design style can be found. Along with the appreciation comes a lot of imitation, although not all attempts can be considered successful.
To help us replicate this beautifully minimalistic style, known as Japandi, interior designer Ikuhiro Yamagata shares some of the key characteristics that define this style. “This style is a mixture of highly functional Scandinavian style and Japanese style of Zen spirit. My home was one of the first to adopt the Japandi style and uses a lot of natural materials such as wood. And I express it as simply as possible. I hope that there will be more opportunities for people from overseas to adopt the Japanese style that I was born in.”
Fusion of Styles
The fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian styles gave birth to a wonderfully deliberate style that is both aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. A plethora of natural materials, clean lines, muted colours and minimal furnishings defines the Japandi style.
Beautiful craftsmanship with a focus on quality and handmade pieces take precedence over cheap options. “We have a collection of designer furniture, including Eames chairs, with a simple design with extra decorations removed. It is also my belief to use good quality products for a long time.” Mr. Yamagata explained.
Neutral colours are selected to compliment furniture and accessories. Calming, tranquil palettes are typically preferred. Brighter colours are used meaningfully and subtly.
How Japanese and Scandinavian Blends
For those familiar with Scandi design the concept of “Hygge” would not be unfamiliar. This concept refers to an overall feeling of comfort in the home. When the concept of “Hygge” blended with the Japanese notion of “Wabi-Sabi”, something truly remarkable came to the fore.
Japanese and Scandinavian styles are both rooted in minimalism and comfort. These shared aesthetics blend together in a contemporary and sophisticated style, but they do more than enforce the strengths of each other. Where the two approaches diverce, their differences complement each other remarkably well. Nordic interior designs are rustic whereas Japanese interior design is characterized by sleekness. The warm, neutral colours present in Japanese interior designs helps to keep the stark, crisp palettes of Scandinavian homes from becoming clinical and cold.
Decorating in Japandi Style
Fans of minimalism and “Hygge” have most likely experimented with the Japandi style without even knowing it. To successfully achieve this look it is best to focus on natural materials like unfinished wood or bamboo pieces and use muted colours. Bring greenery into your home through plants and reduce clutter. Bear in mind that clean lines and open spaces are paramount to achieving the Japandi style. Of course “faux minimalism” with natural containers and storage space to hide excess items can be a solution for active households who struggle to achieve a minimalist look. These excess items can be stored out of sight to help achieve the clean, minimalistic look of this style. Keep in mind that bold, distracting colours and unnatural materials can detract from the design aesthetic. Therefore storage containers should be selected with care.
The real beauty in this design choice is the flexibility that goes along with it. Draw on the coziness of Scandinavian interior design with warm textures and soft pieces, while maintaining the elegance that characterize Japanese decor. The successful fusion will maintain a utilitarian focus, but will impart a sense of calm and sophistication in your space.
An Antidote to Throwaway Culture
The Japandi style values craftsmanship. Therefore, to successfully imitate this style it is best to look for high quality furniture pieces that will stand the test of time. Simple, high-quality pieces will work with your decor for years to come. Mr. Yamagata explains: “It can be said that the keyword of this interior is genuine. I think that the idea of using good furniture for a long time has not changed in the past, now and in the future.”
Sustainable and eco-friendly options are the perfect counter to the throwaway culture embraced by so many Westerners. Sustainability lies at the core of the Japandi style and the prevalence of natural materials and simple designs make it a great and timeless decor choice for the eco-friendly minded among us.