A New and Emerging Trend: Japandi

What do you get when you combine Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian functionality? You get the relatively new, emerging trend, Japandi. It’s the perfect blend of form and function. This trend has been gaining traction in the design world. Japandi is a very common style in Los Angeles and is also popular for tea rooms. Join me as I explore this trend and its characteristics.

A Blend of Japanese and Scandinavian Design

A Japandi style living room with light colored wood and large sliding glass doors.

When you look at the two styles that make up Japandi separately, it’s easy to see why they blend together so well. Both Japanese and Scandinavian designs focus on simplicity, natural elements, and comfort. Japandi brings the “hygge” in Scandi design and “wabi-sabi” from Japanese design. “Hygge” is the philosophy of coziness and homeyness, while “wabi-sabi” is the philosophy that there is beauty in imperfection. 

Japanese design is minimal and sleek, while Scandinavian has a rustic look, typical of Nordic styles. The open spaces of Japanese design pair well with the warm textures and soft pieces of Scandinavian design. Together they create a style that’s easy-going and sophisticated.

Characteristics of Japandi Design

Bright and Neutral Spaces

A Japandi style living room with exposed windows and minimal decor.

Some characteristics that signify the Japandi style are clean lines and bright, open spaces. Like the photo above, windows are often bare or with minimal drapery. The decor is also minimal. The Japandi style uses light, muted colors. The neutral color palettes and minimal design create an ambiance that’s calm and peaceful. Pale greens are common, alluding to nature.

If brighter colors are added, it is done in a subtle and intentional way. Any rich colors are inspired by Japanese design which helps balance the crisp palettes of Scandi design. If you prefer a lot of color, this design style might not be the best choice for you. This style is best for someone who has a deep appreciation for simplicity. For more design styles, check out this post.

Emphasis on Sustainability

A Japandi style bedroom with a wooden bed frame and large house plant.

The Japandi style puts an emphasis on sustainability. Furniture is well-curated, focusing on quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Pieces are selected for their beautiful craftsmanship, often handmade. This design style avoids trendy, throwaway pieces. As more and more people are becoming eco-conscious, it’s no surprise why this trend is growing in popularity. The Japandi style makes you feel more connected to the environment.

Use of Natural Elements

Japandi also has an emphasis on nature. Using real plants is an important element of this style. The use of natural elements like unfinished woods and bamboo pieces is common.


Japandi style is clutter-free. Every item in a Japandi style place aims to serve a purpose. Everyday home accessories tend to be artful. Since the Japandi style avoids clutter, natural containers and baskets are a popular solution. It’s a look that feels very organic and serene.

Not Ideal for Staging

A Japandi style room with light colored wood and well-curated furniture.

Although I like the design aesthetic of Japandi, I would only recommend it in a home in which you are currently living. If you are trying to sell your home, the look can be too scarce. I’ve seen many examples of this style that are just too minimalistic.

Of course, minimal is better than cluttered in a staged home. But when selling a home, a more lived-in look is ideal. Plus, the real plants typical of Japandi design aren’t practical for staged homes. It is better to use fauxtanicals. There are many options available that look and feel real.

I hope you enjoyed exploring this new, emerging design trend with me. All in all, Japandi is a very intentional and aesthetically pleasing design style. It can create a very tranquil setting. However, if you are not into minimalist design, this might not be the style for you.