WTF is Japandi, and How Do I Get It?

I don’t know what it is, but I want it.

Image Source - Habitat Presto

Ok, I must admit, the first time I heard of Japandi back in 2017 my first thought was that it must have something to do with acquiring a giant stuffed panda to cuddle with while watching movies in the privacy of your own home. It turns out, (much to my chagrin) that’s not it at all!

Image Source - Stylist UK

So, what is it exactly? While it may not actually have anything to do with giant pandas, it is a fun interior design aesthetic that blends the best of Wabi-Sabi and Scandi design. And just as Scandinavian and Japanese design is eternally beautiful, Japandi is sure to be around for the long haul.

Now you’re probably wondering what you need to look for in order to successfully incorporate this look into your abode. Anything that has an organic or handmade feel to it is certain to get you on the right track. Think hand-thrown pottery. Thick chunky weaves. Stripped back blonde or raw timbers. And beautiful imperfections for days. All of these qualities help to create the perfect marriage of Japandi.

Image Source - Ply Room

Image Source - Habitat Presto

Not ready to go hog wild with this trend? That’s totally fine because it pairs so well with nearly all aesthetics. One of my most steadfast rules of styling is to make sure to incorporate at least one vintage piece into each space. I also don’t love a lot of colour. (The phrase “pop of colour”? Like nails on a chalkboard, even if sometimes it is a necessary evil!) Japandi works magic on both fronts.

Image Source - Virginia Sin via Buzzfeed

Image Source- Indecora

Hey, sometimes a girl needs a "pop of colour"!

Keeping a neutral palette does not mean boring, it means you have to incorporate texture, depth, and patina (the process that changes colour and texture over time, demonstrating natural elements like stone, timber and metal have had a life). Without these qualities, a room tends to fall flat or trend out really quickly.

Image Source | Designer: Jake Arnold, Photography: @spiffycliffy

Even if Japandi blends two of the oldest design powerhouses, with its organic curves and rustic coziness, it is playful by nature. That is important to keep in mind when designing with this aesthetic, so don’t take it too seriously and have a little fun with it, lack of giant stuffed pandas notwithstanding.

Krista Collard Interiors is a full service design-build firm focusing on creating timeless spaces that honour sustainability and functionality across the Greater Sydney area.

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