The Simple and Elegant Elements of Japandi Design

Learn more about this new design style.
bright, airy Japandi Style Apartment
Photo: Getty Images

When simplicity, natural elements and comfort marry, Japandi design is born. Japandi is the combination of Scandinavian functionality and Japanese rustic minimalism to “create a feeling of art, nature and simplicity,” shares Reiko Lewis of Ventus Design.  

What is Japandi?

Japanese and Scandinavian design have a lot of similarities, making this a natural blend. Each culture’s aesthetics focus on simplicity and comfort. “It’s no surprise that we’re seeing more and more designers combine the two looks together and calling it Japandi,” says Lewis. “Though a relatively new trend, expect to see Japandi pop up in trade magazines.” 

With people spending more time at home due to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that those homes be as functional as they are comfortable. The design style is also popular in the spa and wellness field, and for people who are seeking tranquility and peace of mind, adds Lewis.  

Lewis’ cultural background is Japanese and she is also a tea ceremony practitioner — and a natural at applying Japandi in design.  

Japandi is a simple style  and one done with intention. Some elements of the style include handmade pieces and neutral tones with some bright colors incorporated. Additionally, there’s a focus on sustainability with an emphasis on natural materials and simplistic design — making it ideal for an eco-centric individual. 

What is Wabi-sabi?

Japandi also draws on Wabi-sabi, another Japanese design style. “To me, Wabi-sabi is more like the way of life or philosophy,” says Lewis. “Japandi is more like expression of the lifestyle.” 

Wabi translates to rustic simplicity or understated elegance, which “means that less is more and there is beauty in simplicity,” says Lewis. “It highlights how we can feel free from stress and anxiety when we own less material wealth.” Sabi, on the other hand, translates to appreciating the old and faded. “This means that sabi invites us to take pleasure in imperfection and understand that everything grows old, gets damaged and fades away,” explains Lewis. “It accepts the natural cycle of life and death.”  

Together, Wabi-sabi creates a beautiful symbol of humility, simplicity and gratitude. “Wabi-sabi in design is celebrating empty spaces,” adds Lewis. “Indeed, creating minimalist designs with plenty of empty spaces and only a few items is a way of presenting art powerfully.”  


Categories: Digital Exclusive, Interior Design, Trends