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A design trend gaining in popularity is Japandi--the blending of Japanese and Scandinavian styles to create a comfortable, calm home environment.

What is Japandi?

The term “Japandi” was created by combining the word “Japan” with a shortened version of the word “Scandinavia.” Although the two countries are continents apart, there is a history of trade between them. In both cultures, there is an emphasis on simplicity, comfort, and placing people at the center of choices for design elements.

At the core Japandi design is a blending of the Scandinavian concept of hygge–creating warmth and coziness in your surroundings–and the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi–finding beauty in imperfection as in patina created in a decorative item as a result of usage over time.

The end result of using these concepts in design is an uncluttered environment imbuing a sense of calm in the surroundings. In Japandi style, every piece of furniture or accessory has a purpose–no bric-a-brac or kitsch to detract from the room’s ambiance. A few high-quality statement pieces such as a sturdy, well-crafted sofa which stands the test of time can help create an appealing aesthetic in a Japandi room. Since sustainability is a hallmark of Japanese design, furnishings and accessories are chosen for their enduring qualities.

The Japandi feeling can be achieved by combining light woods common in Scandinavian design with dark woods found in Japanese décor to provide an appealing contrast to the lighter elements.

Another way to Add a Japandi feel to the surroundings is to decorate with natural materials and fabrics such as cotton and wool for upholstery, draperies and curtains. A pallet with neutral colors in shades of beige and soft white is a good choice for creating continuity and simplicity in Japandi design.

Placing bamboo and bonsai plants and hanging baskets strategically around the home can complement the Japandi emphasis on natural elements.

The stark minimalism of some Japanese design features can be mitigated by adding furnishings with softer lines and accents of cushions and throws to achieve a sense of coziness as found in Scandinavian décor. To reflect the “down to earth” philosophy of Japandi design, furnishings, including beds, should be lower to the floor.

When entering a Japandi home, there is a Zen-like quality that pervades the surroundings: The Japandi home becomes a retreat from the harsh elements of the weather outside; a place where “people” are the main consideration when making choices for creating a welcoming environment.

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