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Japandi – The Minimalist Design Trend

Japandi, the minimalist design trend, gains popularity as it reflects what is happening when our lives slow down during a pandemic.

When you think about Japandi, think less is more and this pandemic has given us plenty of time to clean out some well overdo spaces.  However, less is more, is only half of the equation.  Japandi is when you put Japanese and Scandinavian design together and they make a baby.  As a result, Japandi has a very intentional approach.  It combines modern and simplistic principles fused with clean lines and a touch of formality.  So, what started as a design trend has now evolved into a philosophy and lifestyle. 

Now, if you’re intrigued and looking to purge your home to embrace Japandi, here’s what you need to know.

Photo Rachael Miklas


  • Follow The Minimalist Design Principles
    In a nutshell, remove any excess possessions and focus more on the things that really matter the most.  This may require you to do a paradigm shift.  Because the goal is to not put so much emphasis on defining your style, worth or success with the accumulations of things.  Think quality versus quantity.
  • Achieve Simple And Clean Lines
    Select pieces that are sleek and functional with smooth and crisp lines.
  • Declutter The Space
    If you’re effectively following the minimalist principles you should have disposed of any unnecessary items.  As Marie Kondo put it, “Does It Bring You You!”

Photo Peter Clarke


  • Use Natural Materials
    Because Japandi is also about a feeling, you’ll want to use natural materials that connect you to nature similar to the Biophilia concepts.  Ultimately, you want to experience a state of happiness, peace and calm.
  • Incorporate Wood
    For instance, wood is a natural material that represents strength and warmth.  Of the many wood species Light Oak, is the material often used in Japandi design.  Another popular wood to use is Bamboo. With bamboo’s added benefit of being eco-friendly and sustainable, I call this one a win, win!  (Add paneled door here)
  • Invest in Quality
    For this reason start saving your coins to purchase bespoke pieces will elevate this style.  Whether it’s a vintage, antique or new piece, the idea is to acquire pieces that display craftsmanship you love.
  • Bring in Natural Fabrics
    For example with upholstery, drapes and pillows choose natural fabrics like cotton, hemp, linen and wool which are compatible with this design trend.
  • Don’t Rule Out Texture
    Choosing fabrics with simple textures and geometric patterns can go a long way to creating a warm and cozy space.

Photo haticexinterior


  • Use Neutral Colors
    Use color that evokes emotion because Japandi is all about feeling calm.  Go for colors like Taupe, Gray, Brown, and Beige to bring that Zen like quality to your space.
  • Contrast Colors That Make Neutrals Pop
    Not only does a contrasting color draw attention to neutral tones but pairing the shades together requires intention to work.
  • Avoid Over Doing It
    Because simplicity is key.  Invest in one or two pieces that can become focal points.  The room should have balance so strive to have pieces that complement not compete with one another.
  • Lighting Is Everything
    In fact, Japandi creates balance and harmony so how you light your home is equally important.  Your goal should be to eliminate harsh and bright lighting.  This can be done with natural and diffused lighting elements, Shoji panels, paper pendant lighting or light diffusing drapes.

To sum it up, Japandi is a combination of the warm coziness found in Scandinavian design and the minimalism of Japanese design.  Add all the above elements to create a unique space of balance and harmony that you’ll never get tired of.