Serene, low-slung home designs deeply influenced by the natural world are in high demand these days. As globalization took hold and world travel became the norm, the parallels between two cultures’ interior design aesthetics became clear and began to fuse into its own identity. “Japandi” design draws from Japan’s serene elegance, Scandinavia’s devotion to functionality, and both traditions’ rootedness in simplicity and natural elements. Each culture has its own distinct yet complementary relaxed design philosophy: Scandinavian hygge, or focus on hominess and comfort in every room, and Japanese wabi-sabi, or finding beauty in imperfection. The combination yields design built on nature-made furnishings and light neutral colors with a minimalist sensibility and emphasis on beautifully crafted yet practical objects. In smaller spaces the effect is similar to the feel of a vacation cabin in the woods. It’s a look that fits throughout Northern Arizona with its closeness to the earth and evokes modern luxury with its refinement and sophistication.
BRINGING JAPANDI HOME
The critical thing to remember when bringing elements of Japandi style into your home is to keep your intentions top of mind for every choice you make. Since the aesthetic hinges on simplicity, you shouldn’t be picking up a lot of gadgets you won’t be using much and don’t contribute to the overall sense of calm.
Stay mostly with the spectrum of light neutral colors to encourage relaxation and peace within your walls, using darker neutral hues such as black, navy blue, dark brown or deep gold when you want to add contrast and a little drama to your interior spaces.
Pale wood flooring is favored in Japandi style to instill a home’s connections to nature from the ground up, but it can be laid in parquet patterns like herringbone to add visual interest to a room. Other natural materials abound in these homes including bamboo, raw woods, terra cotta, high-quality paper and even stone, to add integrity and structure.
All decorative objects are chosen carefully for their superior craftsmanship and attention to detail that promote the quietude and contentment of those who reside in and visit your sanctuary. Simple yet well-defined paintings and graphics, along with beautiful pottery and baskets that add storage as well as style, are especially prized for the Japandi home.
Indoor plants are another way to unlock the living beauty within Japandi style, the perfect decorative touch to align with the natural elements that predominate. Bonsai plants work especially well as a nod to the Asian influences on this design, but any well-tended houseplant, or house tree, looks beautiful in Japandi interiors.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
One sin Japandi design does not abide by is clutter. All spaces are kept as open and airy as possible to emulate the clean, unbothered beauty of the outdoors. You will need to curate the objects and furnishings that truly stand out for their beauty and utility to fully commit to this style.
Once you do, your home will become a showcase of your taste and restraint while encouraging simpler, more sustainable living.