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The Japandi Guide to Interior Design

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

I like to think of Japandi as wabi-sabi with warmth. Japandi is a recent interior design trend stemming from the fusion of Japan & Scandi (Scandinavian) design. Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic term alluding to the beauty of imperfection or rustic elegance. Although there is a natural beauty in wabi-sabi at times it can come off as being too cold. Hence the Scandinavian fusion of warmth into this new design trend.

I have always thought that even though culturally and physically distant, Nordic and Japanese design principles were similar. This design philosophy may be the closest thing to our ShizenStyle that we have come across, although ShizenStyle aims to go beyond interior design and incorporate that natural living philosophy into various different areas of lifestyle. Here are some principles of the Japandi guide to Interior design:

Modern Rustic

An overall modern rustic theme of the interior is what we are striving for. Elements of coziness and warmth should also be taken into consideration.

Natural Wood Colors

Japandi seems to make use of more lighter, natural wood tones because they complement either a pastel colored wall or a bold solid color. Solid black or a black trim color allows the natural wood grains to lighten the room. Some people are also saying that Navy blue is the new black so you may want to play around with that color.

Functional Minimalism

There is an underlying connection of minimalism. I think that this style does allow for the placement of modern necessities a bit more. Empty Japanese tatami rooms, like tea ceremony rooms, can exemplify traditional Japanese minimalism. Although there is a natural beauty here, it is hard to justify the practical use of space when the ceremony or ritual isn’t part of your daily modern life. Therefore, Japandi, similar to ShizenStyle, aims to keep things clean and uncluttered with things but leans more towards a space with functional minimalism.


Having more hand-made items brings about the feeling of art, nature, and simplicity. In our increasingly tech driven and plastic society, having a few home décor items that were actually made by someone’s hands with an artists intent can bring about a very unique yet calming atmosphere. Natural hand-made earth toned plates, cups, and bowls can be a great form of self-expression. I would change them around seasonally instead of keeping them all on display. Remember, functional minimalism should set the tone.

Japandi Design Blend


This is one area that seems to be a bit conflicting. Japanese furniture tends to be a darker wood color but has a sleeker design with unique curves. Nordic furniture tends to stay with the lighter wood tones and earth tone upholstery. Simply put, try using a mixture of both! Finding some furniture with metal bases and wood or fabric tops could also tie in the cozy rustic theme well.

Look to some of these Japandi design trends to guide you in your hunt for the right interior design. Sometimes a pure Japanese design or Scandinavian theme won’t fit your existing home, but quite possibly this hybrid design may be the key. Fusion doesn’t always represent confusion! If you are new to this concept check out ShizenStyle to see how you can use these similar principles in other areas of your lifestyle. Here are more Tips for Creating a Modern Rustic Interior Design.

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