Japandi, a unique fusion of Scandinavian and Japanese style, is the interior design trend on everyones lips. A contemporary twist on the ‘hygge’ obsession, it’s all about understated, minimalist interiors. Think less log cabin, more minimalist studio apartment. They may sit on opposite sides of the globe but these two countries share a lot in common when it comes to interiors. In fact, Japanese homeowners represent the biggest market for Danish furniture after Denmark.
When it comes to interior design, both countries favour clean lines, raw materials and handmade, artisan pieces that last a lifetime. There’s no room for excess clutter here. Ornaments and unnecessary embellishments are few and far between in a Japandi home; houseplants are the main decorative element. If ornaments are included, they are likely to be hand crafted by artisan makers. Colour palettes are muted, combining dark timbers and grey tones with soft pastel and indigo accents; this is the most striking difference to traditional Scandinavian décor, which traditionally favours a light, airy palette.
Nature is at the heart of both Japanese and Danish culture. Both countries maintain a strong connection with the natural world and treat it with love and respect. Is it any surprise that plants feature heavily in both Japanese and Danish home interiors? In Denmark, despite freezing winter temperatures, most lifestyles are geared towards the outdoors and just like in Japan, people are deeply respectful of nature. Incorporating plants into indoor living spaces brings a sense of life to the home, not to mention the health benefits indoor plants produce. Traditional Japanese plants include bonsai and bamboo, but ferns and palms are just as effective. You will rarely find overly colourful arrangements in Japanese or Danish homes; instead, use pared back displays of simple, green plants to achieve the Japandi aesthetic.
Contemporary Japanese décor has long been inspired by the Zen Buddhist aesthetic, favouring minimalism over object heavy living spaces. Furniture, ornaments and unnecessary accoutrements are kept to the bare minimum. This lean towards a minimalist lifestyle is striking a chord with millennials in particular. Born into a recession and with less disposable income than their older counterparts, 18-24 year olds are becoming a generation of minimalists. Studies have found that millennials prefer to spend their money on ‘experiences’ rather than ‘objects’; a concept that is clearly translating into interior trends. Perhaps it’s a detox from the daily overload of visual stimulation, or because we require less materials goods, but one things for sure; minimalist décor is becoming more commonplace in our homes.