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Trend Alert: Meet Japandi, The Latest Trend Taking The Design World By Storm

Are you drawn to interior design with plenty of organic elements, but with a more minimalist spin? Then it might be worth checking out Japandi—a design style that’s been around for decades but that’s experiencing a surge in popularity! Read on to learn more about this soothing, zen design trend.

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What is Japandi design and where did it come from?

Japandi is an interior design style that celebrates the harmony between minimalism and organic modernism, with a good dose of comfort mixed in. Stylistically, it incorporates elements from Japanese and Scandinavian design. Japanese style is earthy, warm, and uncluttered. There’s an elegant simplicity, warmth, and ease to this style. It also brings in the tenants of the wabi-sabi worldview, which is all about embracing transience and imperfection. Scandinavian design is a branch of Mid-Century style, featuring clean lines and minimalism in a cozy, informal, and inviting setting.

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As a style, Japandi was born by combining Japanese minimalism and Scandinavian modernism. It was a natural combination, as these two styles already have great harmony and synergy. At its core, it’s a style that’s all about relaxation and using tactile and visual elements to create soothing sensations. The feeling this design style evokes is similar to that you get when going to a spa. Think of it: the fluffy robes, the essential oil-filled air, the tactile sensation of relaxation. That’s the vibe this style brings to life.

Want to learn more about the history of Mid-Century Modern design and where Scandinavian and Japanese design fit into this style? Listen to episode 3 of our podcast!

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What are the key elements of the Japandi style?

Practically speaking, Japandi interior design comes to life through textures, finishes, and styling. You’ll see a lot of natural elements in Japandi spaces, like raw, live-edge woods and leathers that feature a relaxed patina. Other natural materials are also big here—like jute, cane, and even iron and other metals. The use of earth tones helps promote that warm and zen vibe, helping promote a feeling of calm when you enter a Japandi space.

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And, since this is a more minimalist style, you’ll notice plenty of clean and elegant lines in furniture and decor. Function and ease of use are very important when bringing this style to life, so an uncluttered space with simple, minimal styling is essential. With that, artwork tends to be abstract, and if there are patterns, they tend to be fluid and repetitive, so as to not take over the space or make too bold of a statement.

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Why is Japandi design trending right now?

Japandi style is all about creating a serene, elegant, and relaxing space that’s filled with ease. We’re seeing a lot of decor trends right now that are more about ornamental detail and flash. (Think: Cottagecore, Grandmillenial, and even Regencycore, thanks to the Netflix show Bridgerton!) These styles are all a bit more loud, bright, and busy. Japandi style is on the complete opposite end of the style spectrum—and it’s our belief that this style is rising in popularity almost as a reaction to those brighter trends, as well as the uncertainty of this last year. We’re seeing a surge in people looking for more calm and serene interiors.

It’s worth noting that this style is nothing new—it’s simply experiencing a resurgence in popularity. As a style, it’s been around since the mid-century, but today’s version is being remixed into the trend sphere with new elements, like cane, which is very popular right now, as well as more organic approaches to mid-century design.

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In general, calming styles are always more popular during times of chaos or strife—so, it makes sense that now is the moment that Japandi style came back onto the trend scene, considering the social, political, and economic environment we’re in right now. There’s a lot of chaos and uncertainty in the world, and people are looking to create pockets of calm in their homes.

How to Get the Japandi Look

Want to try out Japandi design and create a calming, soothing atmosphere in your home? Here are our tips on how to get the look, as well as some great minimalist design ideas.

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1. Start with a Neutral Base

Since Japandi design is all about creating a sense of peace and calm in your home, we recommend starting with a neutral color base—from furniture to wall color. In a Japandi space, Swiss Coffee from Benjamin Moore is our favorite neutral wall color, since it’s a warm and inviting tone that’s not as crisp and cold as a bright white. But that doesn’t mean you have to go for all light neutrals. You can switch it up with darker earth tones on walls or upholstery as a way to add more visual warmth to your space.

From there, think in color layers. Layering in multiple shades of one color, like we did in this living room, will help create depth and contrast in a neutral space. You can also accent your neutrals with natural wood tones and pops of charcoal or black in your accent decor. This can show up in an iron end table, darker upholstery on your bed linens, or even in your rugs or wall art.

2. Bring in Natural Wood Tones

Natural wood tones help bring warmth into a Japandi space. When picking out furniture, like tables and chairs, as well as accent decor, look for warm or light wood tones. You can even consider mixing wood tones to bring additional depth to your space.

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3. Layer in Cozy Natural Textures

Natural materials are a great way to bring visual texture and depth to your space when decorating with Japandi style. Layering in natural textures such as a jute pouf or woven wool blankets and throws will help bring in some coziness to your space!

4. Go for Low-Profile Furniture

Lower profile furniture will help your space feel larger, airier, and brighter—which helps give the illusion of a more minimalist space. So, choose beds, sofas, and chairs with simple, clean lines. You could also consider beds and sofas that have legs and are lifted slightly off the ground to further drive home that light and airy vibe.

5. Invest in Cozy, Plush Materials

When it comes to furniture in a Japandi space, prioritize comfort. Imagine your home as a retreat and choose furniture pieces to reflect that. You want furniture that you can sink into and get really comfortable—furniture that you can curl up on at the end of a long day and recenter yourself and relax.

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6. Reduce Clutter

In Japandi design, you want to pare back your shelves and furniture surfaces to reduce visual clutter. Keep decor like picture frames, trinkets, or nonessential items to a minimum. But just remember—this doesn’t mean you’ll have a boring space! Quite the opposite, in fact. Rather than using objects as ornamentation in your space, you can think of materials as ornamentation—like the texture a cane chair brings to a space or the organic texture and shape of a floral arrangement.

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7. Add in Natural Pops of Greenery

We all know that plants make us happier (and up the quality of oxygen in our homes). So it makes sense that incorporating plant life into a Japandi space is an absolute must for a style that’s all about calm and relaxation. Would a spa be complete without some pops of natural greenery? No—and neither would a Japandi space! Plus, plants are a great way to add texture, color, and a bit of ornamentation without adding more “stuff” to your space.

Want help bringing Japandi style to life in your own home?

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scandinavian interior design

Scandi Style: This Home is a Perfect Specimen of Scandinavian Interior Design Style

If you love a minimalist aesthetic but want something that’s a little more warm and organic, then Scandinavian design might be just the thing.

What is Scandinavian Design?

Scandinavian design is an interior design and furniture style hallmarked by clean lines, minimalist features, and warm, light woods contrasted with darker-toned woods or metals such as iron. A mix of mid-century forms with minimalist, curated styling, Scandinavian design is definitely a less-is-more style. It’s all about a clean and minimal aesthetic with an organized and styled vibe. Functionality is also key in Scandinavian design. This no-frills style, while it tends to have a beautiful aesthetic, values function over form. So, in a Scandinavian home, everything should have a purpose—even the decor!

In terms of color palettes, Scandinavian interiors tend to have a black and white color scheme. They feature a neutral base, with a lot of whites and creams. But there’s almost always some dark contrast in a Scandinavian space, which—combined with the use of natural materials—helps keep the look from feeling sterile. Scandi design also celebrates the use of natural light whenever possible. Fabric curtains and layered lighting keep the look cozy at night, but during the day a Scandinavian space should be bathed in sunlight!

scandinavian interior designThe Origins of Scandinavian Design

As the name suggests, this look has its roots in Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. So, it’s no surprise that this interior design style celebrates nature—which is embraced in all its forms in Scandinavia. This is done by bringing natural-toned and raw-edge woods indoors, giving the look a more organic vibe.

Scandinavian design as an interior design style hit the scene in the mid-1950s, around the same time as Mid-Century Modern design began to rise in popularity. While there are a ton of similarities between these two styles, there are some distinct differences, especially in the materials used.

Learn more about the differences between Mid-Century and Scandinavian design styles on our podcast episode that’s all about Mid-Century Modern design!

scandinavian interior designThe Popularity of Scandinavian Design

Today, this Nordic style continues to grow in popularity for its calming nature and aesthetic appeal. People are drawn to the clean lines, simple storage solutions (see: IKEA), and the appeal of neutral base furniture crafted in light woods and whites. Nothing about this style is too “in your face,” which means it can be personalized in terms of colors, patterns, and decorative accessories.

We’re seeing Scandi styles being reimagined across the design world today. You’ll see a lot of Scandinavian-inspired design elements in the popular Hygge design style—which makes sense since hygge is a Danish concept! In fact, it’s really a mix of the coziness and approachability of rustic interior design ideas with the minimal forms and organic materials of Scandinavian design. And then there’s “Japandi” style, which is a mix of design influences from Japan-inspired rustic minimalism and furniture forms, but with a focus on that Scandi functionality. There are so many ways to personalize this design style, whether you go for straight-up Scandinavian design or mix it with other design styles.

Want to see this look brought to life? Keep reading for a room-by-room tour of a home designed with a Scandinavian interior design style.

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Scandinavian Entryway

This entryway is all about minimalist function. There is no clutter and no unnecessary objects in this space. It’s all about optimizing functionality—but doing so with beautiful furniture. This bench is a lovely combination of Scandinavian-inspired materials, with its warm wood finish and iron base.

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The Key Elements:

Embrace minimalist styling. When it comes to a Scandinavian-inspired entryway, you don’t need much to complete the look. Take a no-frills approach with your Scandinavian decor and just include the basics—some hooks to hang your coat, a place to set your shoes, and perhaps a surface for your wallet, purse, or keys.

Opt for function over form. While this entryway is beautiful, it’s functional above all else. The bench gives you a place to sit down as you come and go from the house, gather your belongings, and put your shoes on or take them off. The hooks give you an easy place to hang your coat, with a mirror right beneath to check your look before heading out the door!

Incorporate moments of warmth. A minimalist space can easily feel cold. But, as the welcoming space of your home, you want this area to feel inviting! So, we made sure to incorporate some visual warmth through the warm wood of the bench, the layered sheepskin rug (giving your feet a soft place to land when you take off your shoes!), and the textural pampas grass.scandinavian interior design

Scandinavian Living Room

Warm, cozy, and welcoming, this Scandinavian living room is both functional and relaxing. Everything in this room has a place and function—which helps it from feeling overcrowded or overwhelming. Yet it also feels like a space you can easily unwind and relax in.

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The Key Elements:

Look for minimalist-inspired furniture. In this living room, Scandi style comes alive through the accent furniture. The chair has a spindle design which is very common in trendy Scandinavian styles. The minimal design of the cabinet and the no-frills sofa keep the overall look simple and streamlined.

Layer in comfortable accents. The textiles in this space—from the plush rugs to the pillows and throw blankets—are what make this living room feel extra inviting. They all add touches of warmth and contrasting textures throughout this neutral space.

Add in high-contrast elements. Dark accents, such as the pendant, accent chair, and cabinet, offer a nice contrast to this neutral space. These high-contrast elements help offset the neutral base and add visual interest to the room.scandinavian interior design

Scandinavian Dining Room

This sleek, organized, and minimal dining room is discerningly styled. Even so, the vibe in this space is warm and welcoming because of the wood tones and textures that are used. Scandinavian design style shows up in this space particularly in the furniture itself. The dining set is a classic Scandi design with streamlined, minimalist legs that have a slight taper to them—though not enough to be classified as super Mid-Century.

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The Key Elements:

Embrace warmer wood tones. In your base furniture—the dining table, chairs, and a credenza or sideboard—look for wood pieces with warmer finishes. You could also go for a light natural finish which is still very Scandinavian but would give your space a slightly different vibe! For a Scandi dining room, you’ll also want to look for furniture with softly tapered legs—but nothing that’s too loud or mid-century modern.

Layer in touches of contrast. In this space, the accent decor, light fixture, and sheepskin rug bring some visual contrast to the space. Without these darker elements, the space would just be light neutrals and wood tones, which would make it lose that inviting warmth. Speaking of which…

Bring in elements of textural warmth as well. Unexpected textiles like the layered rugs, along with the fabric drapes, help offset the visual monotony that can come from wood-on-wood styling.

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Scandinavian Bedroom

Can you say cozy?? This space is all about softness and plush textures with a refined and relaxed vibe. Natural textures like cane, jute, and rattan mix together with warm wood tones to create an inviting warmth in the space. The Scandi vibe comes alive in this space through the furniture shapes, the metal finish of the light sconce, and the visual contrast in the decorative accents.

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The Key Elements:

Start with a plush base. A Scandinavian-inspired bedroom is all about comfort. An upholstered bed offers an element of warmth and comfort to the base layer furniture, which is complemented by a plush rug and cozy Scandinavian-inspired bedding. (Of course, you could also go with a minimal light wood bed frame and just add a couple extra pillows for added comfort!)

Use natural materials to bring in texture. The wood nightstands, dresser, and bench contrast nicely with the plush bed and rug. This helps incorporate that organic element to the space, with the clean-lined furniture supporting the Scandi vibe. Natural textures like pampas grass and a woven pendant light add visual warmth to the space, which adds to the feeling of coziness.

Incorporate subtle pops of color. To give this space a little more personality, we added small pops of earthy blue through the throw and Scandinavian decor on the nightstand. Since there’s less contrast in this room than other spaces of this home, the pops of blue help bring a little more life to the space!

Feeling inspired? Check out more of our home tours series on the blog, or browse our interior design ideas feed!

Want to bring some minimal and functional Scandinavian style into your home?

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Modsy Collections: The Mod Collector





Introducing Collections!

We are excited to introduce our new Collection Series! In this series we will be presenting a variety of styled collections carefully curated for you to discover new products, makers, and styles you’ll love. Look out for the new collections here on the blog or sign up to have design inspiration delivered directly to your inbox.

If you find an item you love (or are taken by the entire collection) but aren’t quite sure how it could work in your home, Modsy is here for you! When you purchase a Modsy design package you can see exactly how any of our featured collections would translate into your own space. Just imagine the possibilities!


Our first featured collection is based on one of our most popular style guide categories, the Mod Collector. The Mod Collector blends together a mix of classic mid-century modern pieces with accessories that showcase unique personality and taste.

This collection presents the Mod Collector sensibility, but with a Minimalist styling. Inspired by a modern Scandinavian feel, the pieces are characterized by a pared down palette of neutral blacks, whites, and creams with accents of natural wood and leather to add a bit of warmth and depth to the space. There is a lovely simplicity and brightness to the collection, managing to strike that tricky balance between a living space that is both sophisticated and inviting.

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Design Within Reach

 
West Elm

Artfully Walls

BoConcept

Scandinavian Designs

Trying to visualize how this collection would look in your home? Let us do it for you! Get started today!