Are you sure?

You still have in your basket

If you continue to our gift website, these items will not be present in your new Utility Gift basket.s in your basket won't carry over to the gift site.

However, your Utility Design shopping basket will be saved here for 30 days should you wish to return to it.

Sign Up To The Utility Newsletter For 10% OFF Your First Order

  1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. Japandi | Exploring The Hybrid Fusion Trend

Japandi | Exploring The Hybrid Fusion Trend

What is Japandi?

As the name suggests, Japandi is a hybrid trend that combines aspects of Scandinavian design with Japanese style. As you know, here at Utility we’re not big fans of the word “trend” but Japandi goes deeper than face value and is much more timeless than it is a seasonal affection. Let’s explore it a little further…

Despite the geographical distance between Japan and Scandinavia, they have a lot in common when it comes to design. Known for the calm and harmonious styles, both value functionality, simplicity and a love of natural materials and expert craftsmanship. Japandi sees a fusion of the timeless elegance of the Japanese aesthetic with the clean modernity we associate with contemporary Scandinavian style.

Photo by Erik Lefvander

Hygge Meets Wabi-Sabi

Scandinavian and Japan share more than compatible tastes in design aesthetic - the two also share philosophies for living that compliment each other. Hygge, the Nordic notion of feeling cosy and content harmonises with the Japanese ideology of finding beauty in imperfection, known commonly as Wabi-Sabi. Together, the two ideas combine to create a relaxing, stress-free atmosphere and when applied to interior design create a space that the user enjoys being in.

What Does Japandi Look Like?

Japandi is not new - people have been creating the look for years without ever putting a name on it and without consciously drawing a connection between Japanese and Scandinavian design. In recent years there has been a trend towards what some call “soft minimalism” which has seen interior designers combine clean lines and neutral palettes with warm, natural stoneware and soft furnishings to create an altogether more comfortable living space.

This is in many ways what Japandi represents. The overly sleek minimalism of Japandi spaces combined with the somewhat rustic, softness found in Nordic style create an inviting space while the introduction of Japan’s rich colour palette edges away from the stark neutrality of some Scandi spaces.

How To Bring Japandi Into Your Home

One of the main reasons we’re fans of the “trend” is that it encourages us to think longer term. It isn’t a simple matter of painting a statement colour wall or adding impractical embellishments, but rather a decision to invest in a future-proof space. To embrace Japandi is to buy into the concept and live with it.

Focus on quality and sustainability

The bedrock of any room is the furniture and we’re big advocates of choosing pieces that are simple enough in their elegance that they can adapt to many interiors. By taking a leaf out of the Japanese and Scandi design philosophies and investing in quality, well-crafted items you’re going to build a collection of furniture pieces that will last you a lifetime.

By buying authentic originals (which is all you’ll find at Utility) you’re ensuring designers can keep on designing, workers are paid fairly and waste is kept at a minimum.

Photos by Denise Braki -Styling by Jonathan Fleming

Combine furniture from both styles

As a hybrid aesthetic, Japandi requires mixing elements of Scandinavian and Japanese furniture. To achieve the desired style, think about incorporating pieces with clean lines and calm colour palettes, and give them space to breathe in your space.

Furniture and lighting designs from the mid-century play a big part in the Scandinavian style we see today (designs from Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner and Charles & Ray Eames are synonymous of the style) and they’re a great foundation for Japandi style. In fact, some of those designers took influence from Japanese furniture at the time, and likewise, designers like Isamu Noguchi took inspiration from them.

Elements of nature

Both Japanese and Scandinavian styles pay homage to nature and so a great way to achieve a Japandi interior is to embrace the use of indoor house plants. Avoid colourful flower arrangements and instead, opt for simple greenery in a stunning vase or planter.

Not sure where to start with indoor plants? Check out this great guide by Danish design favourites Ferm living.

Introduce contrasting materials

Don’t be afraid to mix wood tones. Scandi style interiors lean heavily towards light woods such as ash and oak while traditional Japanese design often includes darker woods or wood stains. When combined correctly - like a dark wooden dining set against a light wooden wall - the tonal contrast can add depth to a room. Similarly, a functional accent piece like the walnut Butterfly Stool against a neutral coloured sofa or lounge chair looks incredible.

Paper lampshades such as the &Tradition Formakami, Vitra Akari and Nelson Bubble series are great for adding contrast and natural softness to white, minimal interiors as does the introduction of ceramic pots, vases, sculptures, bowls or dishes.

Choose functional accessories

Japanese design encourages careful consideration to every item in the home and while there may be room for the odd trinket here and there Japandi calls for beauty to be combined with practicality. When searching for decorative pieces to aid your Japandi style, look out for multifunctional items such as ceramic bowls / trays and cosy throws / pillows.

By now it'll be no secret that we’re fans of the Japandi style but we’re keen to encourage you to be yourself and not feel pressure to conform to any trend. If there are elements of Japandi that are to your taste aesthetically or philosophically, then, by all means, take them into your home but don’t feel as though you must to adhere strictly to our idea of what Japandi is, or what the magazines tell you either. 

Your home is your home. Let it represent you.

Time for more? Sculptural Minimalism with Kristina Dam | An Easy Chair For Contemporary Living | Best Lounge Chairs For The Modern Home

Next Working Day Delivery

View UK delivery options

Delivering to 150 Countries

View delivery options

Thank You Messages

I have rarely experienced such excellent quality advice, support and reliability. Your staff communicate effectively and helpfully. I am a truly satisfied customer. I love my String Shelving and I will not hesitate to return to Utility for my next purchase. Thank you!

Oct 24th 2019 | Sarah

Your customer service has been fantastic. I'm seriously impressed. Really pleased to be able to place the bigger order and make your time worthwhile. I think I need to send you a medal!

May 19th 2019 | Jason

I just wanted to express my thanks again for your great customer service. I ordered my items less than 24 hours ago and I’ve amended my order- yet I still have my order here with me now. You went out of your way to deliver my order and I’m very grateful. I wish more places had people like you :-)

May 14th 2019 | Louise

Thanks so much for your extraordinary service. -

Jun 19th 2019 | Maria (US)

Thanks again for such amazing customer service - I have honestly been so impressed by everything! Thank you for doing such a wonderful job

Jun 19th 2019 | Amber

Excellent customer service and immediate response to enquiry (live chat). Very happy every time used Utility both online and on high street.

Jun 28th 2019 | Jo

I couldn't be happier with the custom made sofa bought through the online store. It is perfect and made all the more enjoyable by buying it through the guys at utility. Ben and Paul who delivered the sofa were amazing, kind and really helpful in a difficult situation (of course the lift broke when I was getting something delivered). Would highly recommend!

Aug 13th 2019 | Holly

Just wanted to message and say that I'm a big fan of the Utility Stores and the types of products you guys sell. I work close by to the Manchester store at University Green, so I'm popping in a fair bit generally for cards, gifts, etc. I just nipped in again this afternoon about one product I'd bought earlier and the staff were super helpful and attentive. It made it really easy, and I was in and out in no time.

Aug 13th 2019 | Richard

Just wanted to drop you guys a quick note to say how happy I am with the service I have had. Especially the two guys who delivered/carried into an awkward space/built/then took away the packaging, not to mention then gave me a lift into town. Thank you. Plus the sofa looks amazing. I will definitely be using you guys more in the future and will highly recommend you to anyone who will listen.

Sep 13th 2019 | Luke

Thank you for all your help and customer service, the Eames Lounge Chair arrived yesterday and I love it.

Nov 1st 2019 | Ross

Comment: I just wanted to say that Esther on the checkout in the L1 store made my day today she was so friendly

Dec 9th 2019 | Katy