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Forget stark interiors, it’s time to embrace Japandi


Fusion of Scandinavian and Japanese styles is the interior look for 2021


Japandi. Admit it, you’ve no idea what it is. But it’s been on the rise for a while and 2021 will be the year when we take the principles to our hearts. Apparently.

Japandi combines Scandinavian aesthetics with Japanese minimalism, with the ambition of harmoniously blending furniture, lighting and ornaments to forge simplified and calming interiors

Put simply, it is “tidy room, tidy mind”: declutter and invest in simple, quality pieces. And there’s probably no better time to start than the start of the year when the Christmas decorations are back in the loft.

While minimalist tends to suggest cold, stark interiors, brutal lines with harsh, white lighting, Japandi embraces muted, earthy tones with the emphasis on comfort and warmth.

Indeed, the image-sharing search engine Pinterest reported a three-fold increase in searches for such colour palettes and it is perhaps not insignificant that Pantone’s colours of the year are the Ultimate Grey – described as “practical and rock solid, but at the same time warming and optimistic” – and Illuminating, a “bright and cheerful yellow that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly”.

Such colours are an ideal fit for the Japandi philosophy of creating pools of light rather than swamping a room with glare from a fixed, central point, the overall desire being to bring a room inward to generate a warm, intimate space. Although strategically-positioned lamps are the obvious solution, candles will also fashion the same effect, as will lights with dimmer switches.

As for furniture, Japan is famed for functionality and craftsmanship, so look for warm, wood tones while a comfortable sofa, dressed in muted shades, will fashion a harmonious atmosphere instead of one overpowered by bright, contrasting colours.

Similarly, contemporary art works, or even vases and plants, can be a great way to introduce colour and sophistication around the home. For example, a minimalist poster with a thin, black frame; a polished glass vase with a vibrant arrangement of dried flowers; or a sculptured palm or languid fern can provide sophistication without being intrusive and overbearing.

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