15 Japan Interior Design Ideas (with Pictures) | House Grail (2024)

Japanese and Scandinavian cultures may not seem similar, but Japandi design proves how cohesive they can be in the home. Japandi combines the Scandinavian concept of hygge (warmth and coziness) with wabi-sabi, the Japanese acceptance of imperfection. In stressful and uncertain times, the style brings gentle calm and serenity to any indoor space.

Japandi highlights a common focus on simplicity, function, and honoring nature. Let’s look at 15 Japandi interior design ideas to get your decor moving in the right direction.

15 Japan Interior Design Ideas (with Pictures) | House Grail (1)

The Top 15 Japandi Interior Design Ideas

1. Simplicity

Scandinavian and Japanese styles work so well together due to a shared simplicity. You’ll find clean lines and basic geometric and organic shapes in balanced blends. It’s minimalist but not specifically modern, though Scandinavian style often integrates mid-century principles.

Japandi doesn’t take a “less is more” approach directed towards the art of minimalism. Instead, it puts people at the center of the design, focusing more on function and less on frills and ornamentation. Eclectic will work, but you should curate high-quality pieces with a purposeful perspective.

2. Functionality

Japanese and Scandinavian styles value functionality as much as simplicity. Foldable, modular furniture or stowaway beds are excellent Japandi interior design ideas. It doesn’t have to be showy. In fact, the fewer frills, the better, but every inch of every piece needs a physical or spiritual point and purpose. Look for flexible items that let you get the most out of your space.

3. Warm White Walls

Japandi design shirks moodiness and drama, opting instead for practicality and warmth. Free-flowing, open, and inviting spaces are a hallmark of the style, and you can get started in the right direction by painting your walls white.

Japanese and Scandinavian styles use bright wall colors that allow light to bounce around and warm the room. The flat color also creates a versatile backdrop for contrasting furniture pieces.

Surrounding pieces won’t have to be too showy to steal attention when the walls are light, neutral, and subdued. Choose a subtle off-white, preferably with beige or cream tones, to avoid a sterile, uninspired layout.

4. Warm, Neutral Colors

When you create your Japandi space, remember that all shades of brown are acceptable. You can use dull gray undertones and even stark black accents. But the primary focus should be various shades of beige, brown, chocolate, and cream to complement the warm wall color.

5. Contrast

Japanese and Scandinavian styles happily diverge when it comes to neutral colors. Scandinavian designs present light colors, natural wood tones, and comfy neutrality. You’ll commonly find hints of pastel greens, pinks, and blues. Japanese styles offer bold, dark hues.

The warm white walls serve as a sound foundation to create contrast with a varied furniture palette. You can flip the concept on its head as well. Use a darker charcoal background with light wood Scandinavian-inspired furniture for a bold edge. Don’t forget to include your ceiling and floor in a layout of contrasting tones and textures.

Create contrast with shapes as well. For instance, you can pair a square co*cktail table with a round overhead light or adorn clean-lined shelves with organic-shaped accessories.

6. Wood Furniture

Wood factors heavily into both Scandinavian and Japanese styles. The former prioritizes crafting with solid wood in simple yet functional and flexible designs, while the latter celebrates nature in its use of wood and other organic materials.

Create an eclectic mix of wood tones and textures with different types of light and dark stains. Because both styles feature light woods, you can benefit from the unique accompaniments you’ll find in both cultures. Leathers and linens of Scandinavian design work seamlessly alongside the rattan, bamboo, and seagrass that come from the Japanese influence.

7. Textured Walls

Clean, light fields are a staple in the Japandi style, but there’s plenty of room to incorporate an accent wall among the airy openness of white.

You can achieve a point of interest in a few ways. Wallpaper with a brushed or grayed wood grain print adds subtle elegance here. Use a slatted wall of bamboo or wood to create depth and texture for a distinctly Japanese installation. Even a piece of plywood can become a fashionable separator in these spaces.

8. Low-Sitting Furniture

Low-sitting furniture is specific to the Japanese style and a quintessential element of Japandi interior design. Japanese culture values being closer to the earth, as it brings peace and tranquility to the home. From a design standpoint, low furniture adds the illusion of space and casts fewer shadows, thus lightening the room.

Simple, low-sitting furniture can show up anywhere, but the bedroom is one of the best places to start. A low platform bed is a typical Japandi element. In the living room, look at your co*cktail table and sofa for opportunities.

Keep the design as simple and modular as possible. But feel free to add taller Scandinavian accent pieces around a low-sitting centerpiece. A Scandinavian chair or toned-down barrel chair with leather upholstery can create the compatible contrast that defines the Japandi style.

9. Careful Color Pops

Color is not a typical feature of many Japandi spaces, but if you consider neutrality on a spectrum, some hues toe the line between stark coloration and muted versatility.

Subtle shades of greens and teals complement the natural aesthetic, especially when you bring greenery into the fold. Potted plants are the first addition to make when you want to inject color into the scheme. Navy and dull, cool shades also create eye-catching pops of color while maintaining the soothing mellow atmosphere.

10. Purposeful Accessories

Minimalism avoids the showiness of knick-knacks, but accessorizing with a few careful statements will bring life to the otherwise neutral elements of the room.

Scandinavian and Japanese styles consider the purpose of an accent piece. On the Scandinavian side, there is an emphasis on soft, soothing comfort, which you can incorporate in a plush throw pillow or soft wool throw. To add Japanese flair, look for handcrafted functional curios for the shelf, such as a bamboo vase or terracotta bowl.

11. Natural Decor and Sustainability

Japandi design concentrates heavily on a connection to nature and commitment to sustainability. Various wood pieces and installations are critical, but bamboo, wicker, cotton, linen, wool, and other natural materials and fabrics can all have their place. Plants play a vital role. A bonsai tree, bamboo planter, or hanging vine plant works well to bring the outside to the great indoors.

Sustainability is a crucial component of the environmental focus. Repurposed and eco-friendly materials in high-quality furniture are essential to an enduring aesthetic. Create intrigue with raw materials or offbeat items that contribute contrasting colors and textures, such as a cork coffee table.

12. Diffuse Lighting

Japandi design demands light. Large windows that supply natural illumination are ideal, with white walls reflecting and enhancing the light to fill the room.

Light volume isn’t the only concern. Unless it’s functional, sharp lighting has little place in Japandi spaces. White walls work well to spread sunlight and soften the incoming harshness, but the general, accessory, and functional lighting should also be diffuse. Shoji lamps or pendant lights with bulbous paper or woven shades are classic starting points for your Japandi lighting arrangement.

13. Wood Flooring

On the walls or overhead, there’s no place wood can’t go in a Japandi style. But while many wood applications might be optional, wood floors are crucial if you want a complete look.

Scandinavian rooms typically use lighter, pale wood floors. It helps to open the space and reflect light, but dark woods can work just as well in a contrasting scheme. Wide planks or herringbone patterns are excellent choices in a Japandi design. And don’t forget a natural fiber area rug to bring it all together.

14. Craftsmanship

Minimalism doesn’t necessarily mean simple. Sometimes, it just takes a deeper look to appreciate the creativity and precision behind a comfortable, toned-down form.

Japandi interior design takes the concept to furniture by blending the intricate joinery and luxurious artisanal construction of handcrafted Japanese pieces with the comfortable, serene forms of Scandinavian design.

The concepts work in perfect harmony. Results draw on the simplicity of both styles, taking forms focused on being cozy, functional, and authentic. Look for bespoke pieces that exude quality and cleanliness.

15. Clutter-Free Spaces

Clutter is the enemy of Japandi interiors. A goal of the style is to create a sense of zen, a free-flowing oneness with your space, and clutter is nothing more than a spiritual obstruction. Find storage opportunities to keep items out of the way when you don’t use them. Outfit your home only with pieces that bring joy, meaning, and utility.

15 Japan Interior Design Ideas (with Pictures) | House Grail (2)


Japandi brings together many timeless elements of traditional cultures to create a uniquely modern style. Through quality design, it injects warmth and purpose into living spaces. It de-clutters and brings you closer to nature, restoring a placid, relaxing atmosphere of idyllic comfort.

  • See also: 8 Different Types of Engineered Wood Flooring (With Pictures)

Featured Image Credit: V1ktoria, Shutterstock


15 Japan Interior Design Ideas (with Pictures) | House Grail (2024)


What is traditional Japanese style interior design? ›

Generally, Japandi interior design makes use of neutral colors, high-quality and natural materials, and an emphasis on greenery and nature. “In both Japan and Scandinavia, people love to spend time in nature and bring nature into their home,” Rietbergen says.

What is the typical house design in Japan? ›

The typical Japanese house features traditional tatami flooring, sliding paper doors called shoji, and a distinct minimalist design aesthetic that showcases harmony with nature.

What is wabi-sabi style? ›

The core idea of wabi-sabi is to embrace imperfection and impermanence. You can apply this concept to interior design by prioritizing simplicity, using earthy tones and colors, keeping your home clutter-free, adding lots of texture, and celebrating the every day through imperfect and aged items.

What is a Japanese style room called? ›

A wash*tsu (和室), meaning "Japanese-style room(s)", and frequently called a "tatami room" in English, is a Japanese room with traditional tatami flooring.

What do most houses in Japan look like? ›

Traditional Japanese homes are made of wood and supported by wooden pillars, but today's homes usually have Western-style rooms with wooden flooring and are often constructed with steel pillars.

What did Japanese houses look like? ›

In ancient Japan, there were essentially two different types of houses. The first was what is known as a pit-dwelling house, in which columns are inserted into a big hole dug in the ground and then surrounded by grass. The second was built with the floor raised above the ground.

What do modern Japanese homes look like? ›

A key hallmark of modern Japanese homes is their utilization of natural and organic materials to construct the inner and outer sections. Elements such as concrete and wood in diverse shades and textures are deftly employed in crafting various home components.

What makes a Japanese interior? ›

Japanese style interior design also places a strong emphasis on the natural world, with materials like wood, bamboo, and paper used extensively. These materials are often left in their natural state, with their texture and grain used to create visual interest in the space.

Why are Japanese houses so cheap? ›

The Concept of Housing: A Consumer Good, Not an Investment 🛒💰 In Japan, a house is not an investment you grow over time. It's a consumer good that depreciates rapidly, much like a car or a refrigerator. Within 30 years, the value of a typical Japanese home drops to almost zero.

How to decorate a Japanese room? ›

Consider incorporating elements of nature, such as natural materials and colors. Bamboo plants, wooden furniture like minimalist bed frames, headboards, nightstands, etc., and soft textiles can create a sense of harmony in the space. Additionally, lighting is an essential aspect of Feng Shui in Japanese bedroom decor.

What is Zen in interior design? ›

Zen interior design is all about creating a space that promotes peace and relaxation. The goal is to create a haven from the hustle and bustle of daily life, where you can unwind and recharge. To achieve this, Zen-inspired spaces typically feature clean lines, natural materials, and neutral colors.

What is Zen vs wabi-sabi? ›

There are many Japanese words and concepts that I live by. One of them is the concept of Wabi Sabi, the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Zen is an attitude or way of life and through meditation, one can empty the mind of past and future thoughts and live in the present moment.

What are the interior colors for wabi-sabi? ›

For a Wabi Sabi living room, choose natural materials such as linen or cotton for upholstery and curtains. Opt for furniture with clean lines and minimal ornamentation. Use muted earth tones such as beige, taupe, and gray to create a calming atmosphere.

What is the characteristic of Japanese style of interior? ›

Clean lines, natural palettes and minimum style are a few features that define the Japanese Interior Design Style. Rooted firmly in its culture and traditions, this style of design is often found in association with the Scandinavian design style which is due to their extreme similarities.

What is Japanese traditional architecture style? ›

Although known to be simple, dignified, and beautiful with a wooden frame and vertical columns, horizontal beams, and diagonal braces, Traditional Japanese Architecture stands out because of its wooden structures that are elevated slightly off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs and sliding doors, also known as ...

What does a traditional Japanese room look like? ›

Before Western-style houses became common, the Japanese room was partitioned with sliding, paper-screens called shoji or fusuma instead of doors and windows. During the daytime the traditional Japanese room serves as a living and dining room, and at night, it can be used as a bedroom by laying out the futon.

What is a Japanese traditional pattern called? ›

Traditional Japanese designs, or "Wagara", are traditional Japanese patterns. They are history designs, each with a specific meaning, originally created for decorating traditional garments.


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