Minimalism has been a popular interior design style for quite some time, with people eager to declutter their spaces and focus on simplicity. With the minimalism trend being so popular, there is little surprise as to why the ‘Japandi’ style interior trend has taken the world by storm.

But what is ‘Japandi’ and how can it be incorporated into your office space? Read on to find out.

What is the Japandi style?

Japandi is a combination of Japanese and Scandinavian interior design styles. While Japan and Scandinavia are so far apart and have such different cultures, they both share similar core design principles, involving an appreciation for functionality and simplicity as well as a deep respect for nature and craftsmanship.

‘Japandi’ comes from the Japanese philosophy of ‘wabi sabi’ which means an appreciation of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, or incomplete. This is combined with the Scandinavian concept ‘Hygge’ meaning a feeling of cosiness, contentment, and wellbeing. Hygge is all about creating warm spaces that brings people together with neutral décor and comfortable textures such as blankets and soft pillows. Whereas ‘Wabi-sabi’ appreciates imperfection with furniture pieces that are rustic, original, or handmade, including lots of natural plants.

The reason these styles work so well together is because they are both rooted in minimalism and comfort. The Japandi style brings a cosy and simplistic look into the office space – a trend that is also on the rise ever since after the pandemic, as employees started to miss the ‘homely elements’ that they became accustomed to after working from home for so long.

The Japandi style isn’t new either! In fact, it started over 150 years ago when Japan lifted its closed border policy, and the Danish were amongst the first to visit in search of inspiration.

hug me interior

What are the main characteristics of the Japandi style?

Before jumping into incorporating the Japandi style into an office space, it’s important to understand the elements first. The key elements of the Japandi style include:

  • Warm, neutral tones
  • Minimalist accents
  • Natural, sustainable materials
  • Light spaces
  • Clean lines
  • Uncluttered décor

So, now you know the elements, how can you implement them into your office interior?

Add office furniture with natural materials to reflect the Japandi style

A deep appreciation of nature is at the heart of Japandi. Therefore, to adapt the Japandi style, you should seek out materials that reflect that connection.

Wooden furniture pieces are a must when it comes to Japandi, which is ideal for office desks, tables, and chairs. These pieces of office furniture must also feature clean lines, organic natural shapes, and materials.

Keep in mind that the Japandi style is about choosing quality over quantity and follows the ‘less is more’ approach. Some wooden furniture pieces we recommend at Haiken are:

  • Aqua: natural elements are crucial for Japandi designs, so our classic Aqua coffee table is perfect for implementing the Japandi style in a breakout space. The Aqua features clean lines and a natural wooden or marble stone top that is perfect for Japandi.
  • Oak Profile High Meeting Table: Made from solid oak wood, our Oak Meeting Table has a visual lightness and solid structure that is perfect for Japandi interior designs with the workspace.
  • Oak Bok Cowork Desk: The Oak Bok Cowork Desk is the perfect fit for a Coworking space, particularly one within a Japandi layout that creates a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere to Cowork in.
  • Aalto Table: Available in different geometric forms with square and rectangular table alternatives and various colour options, the Aalto table has an easy adaptability and offers a comfortable sitting experience that is perfect for meetings.
  • Clapp: featuring strong wooden lines with a neutral fabric or leather (we recommend white, beige or brown tones), the Clapp chair can mix well within a Japandi design.

Choose a Japandi style colour palette for your office space

Warm and neutral tones are a must for Japandi design. When choosing colours for the office interior, opt for neutral and muted tones such as beige, sand, cream, taupe, oatmeal, and stone.

Another tip: avoid anything too bright or bold in colour as it can agitate the senses. This is because a Japandi style should focus on creating a calm and harmonious atmosphere.

If you find these shades too bland for the office space, contrasting colours can be added such as soft Scandinavian shades like pale pink, blue, green, or grey. Alternatively, some richness can be implemented with darker accent colours, like black or charcoal grey for instance. Earthy hues including charcoal grey can also be used to create a calming and natural look to an office space, this can easily be brought into interiors through textiles and upholstery.

Include biophilia elements into your Japandi office interior design

We know the benefits that biophilia has within an office space. For a Japandi design, this is no different and plants are one of the most important elements to influence a calming and harmonious effect to help employees perform their best work.

Not only does biophilic elements make the office feel more welcoming, but also it softens minimalist interiors which is what the Japandi style is all about. An additional benefit is that biophilia improves air quality within the space. This has a number of psychological and physical health benefits, including improving cognitive function. To encourage the Japanese vibes even more, we suggest including a bonsai tree within the interior design.

Another great option is to implement planters such as the Zorla mobile floor screen with sound absorbing effects into your workspace. The top of the wooden box can be filled with natural or fake plants of your choice to make a decorative piece of furniture that is ideal for a polished Japandi office design.

zorla planter

Include plenty of natural light within your Japandi office design

Lighting is key to achieving a Japandi aesthetic. The colour scheme that is chosen for furniture, walls, and floors also plays a large role in the amount of natural light circulating in a space, so try to choose neutral, pale tones where possible.

According to Cision PR Newswire, “optimising the amount of natural light in an office space significantly improves health and wellness among workers, leading to gains in productivity.” The health and wellbeing of employees is crucial for Japandi design, so the layout should never be overwhelming. Instead, a Japandi space designed to perfection should be easy on the eye, simplistic, and relaxing with lots of natural lighting.

While natural light should be the main focus, soft lighting can also be used to complement natural light. For example, our Lua soft seating has an additional feature of having a lamp with lampshade added to the construction of the furniture, constituting its natural continuation. Lua also has a simple, elegant form with a warm, neutral tone paired with wooden legs that emphasise its homely look – the perfect choice when looking to implement a Japandi style into a workspace.

Just look at how inviting the Lua looks within the warm and cosy interior below… Now imagine if it were in an office space! The ‘homely’ office is a very popular trend currently, so there is no better time than now to create a Japandi look within an interior design.

lua soft seating

Implement a Japandi style into your office interior with Haiken

One of the most common Japandi art forms is ‘origami’ which helps emphasise the Japanese influence within a design. The Manta chair is inspired by the art of the paper folding Origami, so it serves as a great feature within a Japandi layout. The Manta chair can also be paired with the Manta Table to complete the collection.

As discussed, to implement a Japandi style the focus must be on simple lines, wooden elements, and neutral tones compared with natural materials and elements. The office furniture we recommend to further influence the Japandi style are as follows:

  • Bruno: one of our newest additions to our furniture collection, the Bruno has a simple rustic design and comfortable structure. Made from quality ashwood, Bruno is perfect to add that organic wooden element to a space.
  • Vaux: a deep appreciation of nature is important when it comes to Japandi, so it’s never too early to start thinking about improving your outdoor public space as well. The Vaux collection is both natural and assertive, designed carrying the reflections of the Iroko tree – a large hardwood tree found in the west coast of tropical Africa. A great choice to create a Japandi atmosphere outdoors.
  • Hug Me: a modular sofa wrapped in ultimate comfort. The Hug Me features a simple geometric form with soft lines that add to the warm, homely feel of the piece. A popular element of the Japandi style is having soft seating as close to the ground as possible – so if you like this feature, then the Hug Me is also a great choice.
  • Rosco: subtle and visually light, the Rosco features a neutral colour scheme with simple lines and subtle metal legs that will make the Rosco look closer to the ground.
Rosco soft seating

To find out more on how you can implement Japandi in an office space or to get advise from one of our furniture consultants, feel free to contact our friendly expert team today. We are more than happy to help bring your vision to life!