Simple & Natural Japandi Interiors

Shutterstock © Japandi living room and soft furnishings Pic: Shutterstock

Japandi is undoubtedly the interior buzzword for 2021, in a trend that effortlessly combines Scandinavian functionality with Japanese rustic minimalism. Catharina Björkman shares her tips for creating this soft mood in your own home…

Catharina Björkman, Scandi lifestyle expert at woodburning stove company, Contura, says, “While some may be surprised by the fusion of Scandinavian and Japanese design, at their core, both aesthetics focus on simplicity, natural elements and comfort.

Think clean lines and bright spaces with a focus on texture, natural materials and light, neutral colours.

“The goal is to ensure that everything in your home is both useful and timeless, however I would also advocate going that step further and reinforcing the connection with nature both through the materials used throughout the home and plant life.”

Catharina’s top tips

A peaceful palette


Japandi interior neutral and blush pink Pic: Shutterstock

Pic: Shutterstock

Colour plays an important role in interior design, creating certain moods and even evoking particular memories, experiences or sensations. Japandi interiors are underpinned by soft, neutral colour schemes, chosen to promote tranquility. Think off-white tones, soft grays, tan and blush colours, which all add a sense of serenity to a space.

If you want to add a splash of colour, opt for light blue or green shades for ultimate calm, whilst pale yellow adds a touch of warmth while bringing a pop of energy – plus it’s scientifically proven to make you feel happy!

Interior of living room, soft greens Pic: Shutterstock

Pic: Shutterstock

If you like brights, try incorporating meaningful pops of colour with scatter cushions, ornaments, artwork and fresh flowers.

Sustainable, natural materials

Wooden furniture in living room Pic: Shutterstock

Pic: Shutterstock

The counterculture to the modern preference for throwaway items, replaced each season with something shiny and new, Japandi design focuses on craftmanship. Opt for quality, timeless furniture and soft furnishings made of natural materials, that will stand the test of time.

Woods like cherry, mahogany, maple and oak all age particularly well and are worth investing in for larger items such as dressers, wardrobes, bookcases or chests of drawers.

Natural reed and seagrass baskets are the perfect option for storing everyday items such as kids’ toys that you don’t want on display, but that need to be close to hand.

Incorporate texture

Bedroom in Japandi Style Pic: Shutterstock

Pic: Shutterstock

Incorporating different textures into your home is a great way to create accents or visual weight to a room, allowing you to draw the eye to specific features or zones.

Natural materials like wood, rattan and wicker, seagrass, leather, bamboo, stone, and steel, iron or copper are ideal for adding texture and intrigue to a room. In terms of soft furnishings opt for a mix of cotton, wool and linens.

And it’s not just physical texture that’s important, but visual texture too. Re-create the feeling of natural light by incorporating a range of feature lighting options such as picture lights, under cabinet lighting and pendants. Add lamps, fairy lights and candles to light different areas of your home, too. Dimmer switches for ceiling lights are a must!

Reduce clutter

Bathroom with minimal styling Pic: Shutterstock

Pic: Shutterstock

Japandi promotes functionality and rustic minimalism with the aim of creating a more tranquil space, so clutter has no place in this style of home. Far from fostering a sense of serenity, clutter can be a visual distraction and a mental stressor.

If you’re struggling with the number of knick-knacks and items strewn around your home, simply collect everything up before choosing which items you actually use and/or are important to you. Everything that remains can either be thrown away or donated.

And if you’re having a hard time streamlining, take a slow and steady approach. Start by investing in natural reed baskets to store everyday items – you will quickly realise which items you actually use or have an emotional connection with.

Up the green factor

Japandi interior with houseplants Pic: Shutterstock

Pic: Shutterstock

Incorporating more houseplants into your home is the ideal way to boost your connection with the natural world – crucial for mental wellbeing – but instead of opting for plants that simply look good, choose plants that will also be useful.

Air purifying plants that counteract indoor air pollution are a must. Choose a toxin absorbing variety like the snake plant, money plant, English ivy or the popular weeping fig. These absorb air pollutants during the day and emits oxygen at night. Aloe Vera is another great option and can also be used to soothe any burns, scrapes or grazes.

The bedroom is the ideal place to grow a pot of lavender; the scent is proven to relax mind and body and is the perfect primer for sleep.

In the kitchen, opt for scented herbs such as mint, coriander and basil, which will not only add a pleasant aroma to the room but are handy to have on hand when cooking.

And don’t forget about how you display your plants. Terracotta pots have a rustic charm that’s ideal for any Japandi inspired space.

Allison Hay

I joined the My Weekly team ten years ago, and I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazine. I manage the digital content for the brand, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters. I also work for Your Best Ever Christmas - perfect as it's my favourite time of year!