Combining Japanese and Scandi design, Japandi encompasses serenity and cohesion in the home
Even if you're not sure what Japandi is, it feels familiar: a little bit Ikea, a little bit your favourite sushi restaurant. That's because Japandi is a portmanteau of the words "Japanese" and "Scandi". This style blends the clean, minimal concepts from Japanese Zen Buddhism with the warm, functional elements from Nordic hygge. Both styles share many similar aesthetic qualities: simplicity, sculptural lines, use of organic materials and a neutral colour palette. The overall effect is one of serenity and cohesion.
While this style sounds like it could be cold and utilitarian, it's actually quite the opposite. There's a certain lived-in aspect that grounds this style in reality. The Japanese concept of wabi sabi loosely translates to "perfectly imperfect" and is at the heart of Japandi. It values the notion that nothing is ever complete, that everything is in a constant state of evolution; there is beauty in never being "done".
Organic materials such as wood, ceramic and linen are favoured. Colours are generally very dark or very light, using shades of each to create depth and shadows. Lines are generally clean, whether they're straight or curved; there is little ornamentation.
Here are some ways to introduce Japandi elements into your home...
1. Abikso Sofa by Article, $1,669
ArticleYour sofa establishes the tone in your home. Having a lofty, modern, white sofa like this one makes it easy to build a Japandi aesthetic around it. Lean into the oversized nature of this sofa and layer more shades of white and off-white to create texture without sacrificing cohesion. For those who are tempted to place a colourful cushion or throw here, understand that while bright colours can be energizing, they're also visually exhausting. The goal here is to allow your senses to relax by not having your pieces compete with one another for attention.
2. Glass Plant Pot by H&M Home, $19.99
H&M HomeEven your plants deserve a stylish Japandi home. This opal-esque glass plant pot has the perfectly soft hues and rounded edges, allowing your leafy favourites be the centre of attention.
3. Bergshult/Pershult Shelf System by Ikea, $25
IkeaJust because Japandi emphasizes a non-cluttered aesthetic doesn't mean it's void of any accessories. Using a simple yet practical shelf can help organize your belongings. This shelf—so clean in design—can easily fit in any room to hold mugs next to the coffee maker or books beside the bed or skincare in the bathroom. It's also a very affordable and takes design cues from the iconic Scandinavian string shelf.
4. Yukon Dining Table by Crate and Barrel, starting at $1,949
Crate and BarrelThis table features raw-edge, solid acacia wood that proudly displays its unique grains, knots and fissures. The organic nature of the tabletop is balanced by the sleek, angled u-shape metal legs. It's a statement piece on its own, but in a Japandi setting with simple, neutral dishware, this is the perfect backdrop to make every meal a beautiful photo op.
5. Verve Table Lamp by EQ3, $199.99
EQ3This lamp combines mid-century aesthetics with references to sculptural Japanese paper lanterns. The natural oak base and opal glass shade offer a very calm and cozy light that work well both on a table or on the floor to warm up any dark corner.
6. Easton Buffet by Mobilia, $899
MobiliaThe commanding nature of a black sideboard is considerably lightened here by the elegantly rounded ends and minimal legs, which bring softness and levity. One of the tenets of Japandi style is the use of contrasting elements, while still remaining within a neutral palette. Placed in a room with white walls, this makes for a striking yet balanced presence. Also, use of openwork tambouring on the left side door literally brings light into the piece, furthering the play of light against shadow.
7. 100 Percent Flax Linen Bedding Set by Bed Threads, starting at $340
Bed ThreadsThese inky, charcoal grey sheets made from French flax linen balance drama with softness. Linen's organic texture and drape-y lines are perfectly in tune with Japandi's fluid style. The deep, earthy colour makes for an especially sophisticated focal point when set against lighter hued furniture.