Are Japanese interiors the new Scandi?

Step aside, Scandi purists - as it turns out, there’s more to minimalism than the design ethos that’s come to define the last decade. If – dare we say it – your whitewashed walls are starting to look a tad tired, some Japanese styling tips might be just the thing. Not convinced? Japandi is your favourite new portmanteau, championing the very best of both. Here’s why you’ll love it.



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A PARED-BACK PALETTE

You don’t have to be a serious Scandi devotee to know that bold colour doesn’t tend to make the cut. Although splashes of mustard, forest green and dusky pink often pop up in retro-tinged Scandi design, it’s largely an exercise in restraint, with a focus on fifty shades of grey (at the very least). Where colour is missing, warmth is layered in with hygge-friendly textures and rustic finishes.


“There’s no denying grey as a new neutral – we love these chalky shades.”

- Jakki Pay, Design Director Fashion & Home



Japanese style has far more in common with Scandi noir - the moodier cousin of white walls and bleached woods - championing richer, pigmented shades of charcoal grey, matte black and pale stone. Put down the high gloss paint - contemporary chalky finishes add a subtle warmth which will help to balance the simple colour scheme. If you’re up for a bit of an investment, concrete walls are top of our wish list.


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CLEAN, STRUCTURAL SHAPES

If there’s one key design ethos that underpins both Japanese and Scandinavian style, it’s a commitment to clean lines. Nordic interiors often nod to the balance of form and function, finding clever solutions to small spaces, making the most of simple natural materials and maximising limited light on the Northern Hemisphere’s shortest winter days. With such a penchant for the practical, simplicity is the name of the game.


“Look out for super sleek, almost architectural lines. Airy loft apartment optional.”

- Jakki Pay, Design Director Fashion & Home



Japanese design is still firmly no-fuss, although curvier shapes are more common – our Janna floor lamp has them in all the right places. Materials like marble, stone and glass are just as key, with darker, stained wood alongside pale beech and ash tones. When it comes to furniture, it’s worth taking it all down a notch - lower coffee tables, futons and low-slung chairs keep it feeling a little more casual and nod to Japan’s design heritage.


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UNDERSTATED DETAILS

The truly Nordic home requires a practical dose of cosiness to cope with colder weather, and you can see this in textural details - the ubiquitous cream sheepskin rug has achieved a level of Scandi status not seen since ABBA. Beyond the iconic wide stripe, prints often nod to nature, with hand-drawn leaves and flowers influenced by classic '60s and '70s pattern. Ceramics are often gloriously artisanal, and anything that’s hand-crafted, hand-fired or hand-finished gets top marks.


“It’s a beautiful balance of form and function – restful but with an industrial edge.”

- Jakki Pay, Design Director Fashion & Home



Japanese interiors might be seriously sleek, but that’s not a byword for clinical – after all, the Japanese trend of ‘wabi sabi’ is a celebration of the beauty in imperfection. But forget the sheepskin rug – it’s all about hand-etched ceramics and delicately embellished fabrics that nod to traditional Japanese print and pattern. Get started with monochrome geo prints and simple linear designs – our Buda vase is just the ticket.


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