At first glance, Japan and Scandinavian countries appear to have little in common. However, look closer and you'll see that they surprisingly have more than a few similarities. Both Japanese and Scandinavian cultures are known to be society-focused instead of individualists. They also share a profound relationship with nature and value function and simplicity. Naturally, what society values will reflect on how people live. So it's not a surprise that you can see all these likenesses embodied in Japanese and Scandinavian interior design. They're egalitarian in that they do not call for flashy features or anything excessive; every nook has a purpose and there are touches of natural elements such as wood.
But even though their aesthetics are alike, each interior design style still brings something unique to the table. Whereas the Japanese look is sleek and simplistic, Scandinavian is much more rustic and homey. When the two are combined, they create the fusion that is called "Japandi". It's hygge meets zen! Looking to try this for your space? Ahead, tips on how you can redecorate your home Japandi style.
Paint your room in a muted colour and one accent shade
The paint of any room dictates its general vibe. For Japandi, what we're going for is serene and homey, which generally means that neutral hues such as fresh white, soft beige and grey will take centre stage. However, it doesn't mean that your space should be totally devoid of colour. Remember, the goal is to make it look and feel like your home, not a hospital or a showroom. To achieve this, pick an accent colour that will complement your chosen neutral shade to liven things up. Some favourite pairings that you can explore are beige and pastel blue, white and pink, grey and burnt orange, and white and muted yellow.
Consider changing to bamboo flooring
Changing your flooring is a bigger change than repainting, that's for sure. So if you have ceramic or marble tiles, you can skip this one. But if you have a bare concrete floor or something temporary like linoleum or carpet then you might consider switching to bamboo flooring. Claimed to be more environmentally friendly than using wood because of its fast-growing ability, bamboo is becoming a popular choice for flooring. It's sturdy and also has that rustic feel that wood flooring offers.
Now, what can you do if you have ceramic or marble tiles? An alternative would be to lay down embroidered rugs in soft neutral colours underneath your living room table or sofas to create a homey feel.
Let's talk about the furniture
Furniture design is one area where Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetic differs. While Scandinavian furniture is designed with rounded edges and has an almost sculpture-like quality to it, Japanese furniture focuses on very clean lines and a neat look. Their common denominator is the emphasis on functionality and partiality to natural materials like wood and rattan. To make it Japandi, make sure there is a balance between the two. For example, pair a sleek wooden table with chairs featuring rounded back support or soft edges.
Here are some other things you need to consider for furniture when you redecorate your home Japandi style.
Balance the storage
If you look at Japanese homes, the storage is more often than not smartly tucked away or camouflaged; this is a really good feature to have in your home so you don't end up with clutter. Balance it out by trying to incorporate some Scandinavian storage style where some of your belongings will be on display for easy access such as a clothing rack for hanging your outdoor gear like sling bags, jackets and so on.
Rearrange your furniture to make it closer to the ground
It's a small detail but an important one if you're committing to this aesthetic. In Japandi, furniture is positioned closer to the ground. You will rarely see tall cabinets or overbearing bookshelves. Instead, you have stout dressers, mini coffee tables and even the tables are quite petite in appearance. This look adds to the rustic vibe of the space.
Now, for the finishing touches
Furnishings are what will make or break your space when you redecorate Japandi style. Again, make sure that there is a balance. You don't want to go full hygge and have too many candles, pendant lamps, and lush blankets draped on every furniture but you also don't want to it to look too bare and clean. To find the sweet spot, here are some tips.
Add airy sheer curtains
Airy sheer curtains are complementary to the Japandi style but we know that blackout curtains are still needed for a good night's sleep especially if you live in a busy area. So instead of swapping it out, just add these sheer curtains on the rod and you can just push the thick curtains to the side during the day.
Keep indoor plants to a minimum
Most of us are guilty of hoarding plants during this pandemic, but whether you admit it or not, it's a bit of work to maintain all of them. So share your other plants to your friends and family, and keep only your favourites. It will keep your house looking minimal but still very personalised.
Add personal paintings
The art of wabi-sabi, a Japanese value that encourages one to embrace imperfections, combined with the Scandinavian love-affair for everything cosy is something that should be incorporated into your home when you redecorate Japandi style. Apart from adding photos, it's also good to display something you created yourself or a loved one personally made for you. It doesn't have to be flawless to be beautiful.
(Cover photo from: tutu via Unsplash)
Next, check out the top interior design colours for 2021.