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While a clean and uncluttered Scandinavian style was all the rage for the past several years, a new hybrid way of decorating has emerged, and it’s called Japandi. Japandi is the perfect union of two design styles: Scandinavian and Japanese. “While they are from two very different cultures, they both carry similar design aesthetics that are simple, minimalist, and inspired by nature,” said Tiina Vahtola, interior designer and founder of Talo Studios. “Both are warm and welcoming, and pay close attention to function and good, solid craftsmanship.”

Materials play a big role in conveying true Japandi style. “Furniture and accessories have simple and straightforward shapes and are made of natural materials such as wood, stone, and fabric,” explained Sophie Ohayon, marketing director for Mobilia. “Soft, cool pastel colours such as pink, mint green and blue-grey contrast with the predominance of white. And there are always touches of nature indoors.”
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“Furniture, at its core, has sleek, clean lines and can be contemporary in feel but minimal in shape,” added Niki Panagiotopoulos, owner of Wish Décor. “Furniture needs to be well balanced in proportions and light – lines are clean, and nothing is ornate.” There are many different natural materials to choose from: rattan, homemade ceramics, paper lamps, timber stools and linens, all of which are focused on nature, comfort and wellbeing at home.

For those who want to infuse their own spaces with Japandi style elements, Vahtola said there are three steps to take: de-cluttering, creating a neutral background, and incorporating wood and natural materials into your furniture, walls, or decor. “Getting rid of things you don’t need allows a space to breathe,” she said. “This doesn’t mean you need to become a total minimalist – the idea is to remove any visual clutter that provides a space for light to filter in against that neutral backdrop.” Think soft white walls and furniture with natural materials like linen or wool. “Applying wood through a slatted feature wall, a statement chair, or even a wooden bowl can incorporate a Japandi feel into the home.”

 Scandinavian design uses a lot of light woods, such as ash, whitewashed pine and white oak. If a warmer wood is preferred, there are slightly darker and warmer Japanese wood tones. “Finish it off with some plants or dried branches and flowers, and you’ll be bringing in that touch of the outdoors.”

Every space needs lighting and with Japandi décor, fixtures should be simple. “Lighting is minimal in shape, organic in feel, and adds contrast to the space without overpowering it,” Panagiotopoulos said. “I like using simple task lighting with a round shape.”

The main thing to keep in mind when working within Japandi design ideals is that everything is chosen with purpose. “You can have pops of colour but tread carefully – its colours are used intentionally in this interior style. Everything is intentional,” Panagiotopoulos said. “[It’s all about] grounding and bringing focus to the space. It also has a calming effect that brings the design to the next level.”

By following Japandi aesthetics, a space can be both stylish and calming. “Japandi can transform your living space into an environment that invites zenitude and well-being,” Ohayon said. “It is a warm and elegant aesthetic that seeks simplicity and authenticity in everyday life. It is also timeless, being a combination of styles that have existed for years.”

Vahtola agreed. “Japandi might be a trendy word, but both styles creating this fusion are timeless and simple. The environment that is created is calm, clean, and inviting, which creates a peaceful space to unwind and relax… something I think we can all use more of!”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division.

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