Japandi – The Scandi Meets Japanese Design Trend

Japandi – The Scandi Meets Japanese Design Trend

They may be separated by oceans, language barriers and vastly different cultures, but Japan and Scandinavia have way more in common than meets the eye. Side by side, these two cultural giants not only count raw fish in their everyday diets, but they also share some fundamental design and style beliefs. Combine their penchants for simplicity, appreciation of expert craftsmanship and love of neutral tones, and you’ve got the design trend we’ve all been waiting on the edge of our (minimalist) seats for – Japandi. 

Brosa JAPANDI Mood Board

What is Japandi? 

Japandi is, simply put, an interior design style that fuses Japanese and Scandinavian elements, creating a functional, minimalist look that values a calming atmosphere above all. Of course, Japandi style doesn’t compromise on beauty – wood tones, clean lines, neutral colours and gorgeous craftsmanship define this trend, making it an ideal choice for anyone who wants to blend form and functionality with ease. 

Which elements of Japanese and Scandinavian styles are highlighted in Japandi? 

Japandi unites the very best of two incredibly iconic styles to create something that’s cohesive, adaptable and undeniably beautiful. Japanese design is characterised by rustic, artsy elements with an overall simplicity that plays into the country’s anti-consumerist leanings. Clutter is a rare sight in Japanese design, and it instead leans towards spare surfaces and furniture that serves an explicit purpose. 

Similarly, Scandinavian style trends towards the minimal, with a focus on comfort and ‘Hygge’ (the Norwegian concept of thinking of your home as a cosy sanctuary). This translates into light wood furniture pieces, clean design and shades of white, cream, grey and black. 

When the two are paired together, there are a few overall trends that stand out as undoubtedly Japandi. Furniture pieces like tables, chairs and bed frames should be wooden in shades of light or medium brown, with simple lines and no glossy finishes or flashy embellishments. Sofas are minimal and neutral – think soft, relaxed materials and a single colour scheme of white or cream. Finally, when trying to introduce Japandi, it’s important that everything has its place. Opt for simple boxes in wood or canvas that can be tucked away along with any excess clutter. Every surface should be free of too many trinkets – edit your space down to the utmost simplicity, just keeping a few key design elements like lamps, vases and plants in every room. 

7 tips for achieving Japandi in your home 

If Japandi sounds like the style pairing you’ve been waiting for, introducing it into your home is – like the trend itself – super simple. Here are 7 tips to help you cultivate the perfect Japandi-influenced sanctuary. 

  • Coordinate wood tones

Wooden pieces are indicative of Japandi style – it really wouldn’t be the Japandi without a few expertly-crafted wooden pieces in your space of choice. Scandinavian homes have a clean, airy feel with light wood, whereas Japanese design often blends wooden elements across the colour spectrum. We recommend keeping things neutral, but playing with shades to create visual interest – think light wood pieces with darker accents. 

Our picks: Kaneko Compact Dining Table, Olsen Nest of Tables, Mokuzai Set of 2 Dining Chairs

Brosa Olsen Dining Table In Scandinavian Style Dining Room

Olsen Dining Table | Kaneko Sideboard 

  • Think soft, relaxed and simple 

When it comes to seats, beds and soft furnishings, the KISS method never fails, especially when Japandi is your end goal. Keep things super simple by staying within a neutral colour palette of whites, creams, browns, greys and tans. Don’t go crazy with the material, either. Velvet and leather have very little place in this design trend; instead, opt for soft cottons and durable yet simple fabrics like BROSA’s Signature Premium. Finally, when it comes to decorating, ensure everything feels light and breezy, and remember that less is more. 

Our picks: Slumber 3 Seater Sofa Bed, Mia Set of 2 Dining Chairs, Frank 3 Seater Sofa

Brosa Como Motion Modular Sofa in Scandinavian Style Living Room

Como Motion Modular Sofa

  • Create excitement with curves 

A staple of Japanese style in particular is curved elements, and these can be seamlessly introduced into a Japandi-influenced home, within reason, of course. Include some curvature in pieces like armchairs, dining tables and decor without going too overboard – one curvy element is more than enough! If you can’t get enough of this facet of the Japandi trend, find accents like vases and bowls to play it up in a simplistic way. 

Our picks: Saffron Armchair, Romulus Dining Table, Molly Armchair, Anais Sofa.

Brosa Anais Sofa in Scandinavian Living Room Anai Seating Collection

  • When in doubt, zen it up 

The thing that Japanese and Scandinavian styles have most in common is their minimalist leanings, and in particular, the ‘why’ behind them. Both of these cultures think of home as a calming space to unwind and shed the mental load accrued throughout a busy work day. As a result, it’s important to inject a little ‘zen’ into your Japandi style, whether that’s through tranquil colour palettes or furniture arrangements that prioritise easy use and make the room feel inviting and calm. 

  • Mix it up with varying textures 

A whole lot of neutral furnishings in a close-knit colour scheme might start to feel a little same-same, so it’s important to add visual interest back into your space using texture. In addition to wood, focus on subtle textures like linen, pure wool, simple tufting, glass, resin, concrete and wicker. These play into the neutral colour palette well and will create dimension without straying from the essence of Japandi. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that Japandi is all about simplicity, so exercise your restraint here – heavy furnishings and materials like velvet, marble, bouclé or metal are too overwhelming for this soothing trend. 

Our picks: Olsen Glass Top Dining Table, Mokuzai Dining Bench, Palermo Armchair

Brosa Olsen Glass Dining Table in Scandinavian Style Dining Room

Olsen Glass Dining Table | Ingrid Dining Chair

  • Accent with black 

Although it’s crucial that your Japandi home feels calming and serene, that doesn’t mean you have to stray away from using deeper colours like black or dark brown. Always keeping minimalism in mind, use these shades as accents throughout the space, in both your furniture and decor. For instance, a dark glass vase may complement the chill vibes of your new Japandi room, or dark brown legs on a white or cream sofa could tie things all together. As long as these pops of depth are subtle and restrained, there’s absolutely no harm in incorporating them.

Our picks: Ingrid Modern Danish Dining Chair, John 3 Seater Sofa, Frank Ottoman

  • Bring colour into the space with plants 

Finally, if you’re feeling like the Japandi aesthetic could be for you, but you’re worried about a lack of colour, don’t fear – that’s where plants come in! They’re the perfect elements when trying to create a welcoming space that sustains your day-to-day calm and happiness. Both cultures rely heavily on plants as a mood-booster in a space, and it doesn’t hurt that they add gorgeous green shades to a simple colour palette. Opt for plants that clean the air, easy-to-manage plants and anything that will add texture and excitement. 

Achieve Japandi style with BROSA 

So, is Japandi sounding right up your ultra-chill alley? If you’re excited to incorporate this relaxed, minimalistic style into your home, be sure to keep our seven top tips in mind. For those still looking for a little inspiration, the Mokuzai and Kaneko collections are great places to start. 

BROSA offers Australia-wide shipping, so no matter where you’re located, a total room (or home!) makeover is right within your grasp. Not sure whether a piece will look right in situ at your place? Access BROSA’s range of virtual styling services, or stop by one of our studio spaces, located in Sydney and Melbourne.