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What is Japandi Design and Why Do We Love It?

Japanese Zen meets Scandinavian simplicity – this is Japandi. It’s the marriage of minimalism and clean sophistication and it’s an amazing match!

Ever since Marie Kondo astounded the world with her ruthless decluttering practices, we’ve followed the allure of living a more liberated existence around the home, free of those pesky ‘stuff’ drawers, nooks and crannies that collect life’s debris. And then came Japandi, which wraps a way of life and a design style into one.

Often in design less is more, and that’s certainly the case for interiors created to reflect the emerging trend of Japandi design. While combining the two very culturally different styles of Japanese and Scandinavian design might seem an unlikely success story, it’s anything but.  It produces a harmonious mix of clean lines, neutral colours, and natural materials that deliver a Zen-like vibe to any space; no doubt a welcome reprieve from the madness of today, with research showing clear psychological benefits from having a clean home.

I recently created this  Japandi design for a 1970 duplex home. The earthy neutral tones are reminiscent of the home’s 70s heritage, but the end result was a very contemporary and practical design that offers functionality as well as aesthetics.

In keeping with the themes of pared-back simplicity we created bespoke cabinetry to conceal the appliances and shelves in the kitchen. A simple yet opulent marble table serves as a centrepiece for the room and complements the large custom marble island bench. Your attention is drawn to the dining table and designer lights which create a warmth to the space, however there is no clutter or visual distractions from any additional furniture, which would likely become a resting place for clutter when the home is occupied.

One key principle of maintaining minimalism, is to limit the variation of colours and textures as well as the number of items in each space. In the living room, I carried through the same marble used in the kitchen to create a beautiful sideboard with arched details. The cream from the dining table is mirrored in the sofa, and an enclosed fireplace creates an inviting mood in the space.  The patterns in the marble and the floor rug breathe life into the space without disrupting the serenity as they maintain the colour palette from the rest of the house.

In the bedroom, I opted for the bare minimum of furniture and utilised wall panels to give the room an inviting cosy feel despite the absence of furniture you might typically find in sleeping quarters.

The beauty of Japandi is that you can still be fun with the design while respecting its minimalist principles. Because there are not a lot of visual distractions in Japandi inspired spaces, you can afford to have centrepiece items in each room. Both Scandinavian and Japanese interior designs embrace a mix of natural materials, especially wood. You can also incorporate textiles, ceramics, and greenery to create a more inviting feel within a space. The main thing to remember is that the space should be welcoming but also clean and fresh.

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living room with artwork, glass window and view