What do you get when eastern style meets western design? Why, the Japandi look, of course… In our latest “Get the Look” style guide, we show you how to achieve the next big interior design trend in your bathroom.
Whilst they may be half a world away from each other, both Scandinavia and Japan have had major influences on interior design around the globe, and not least when it comes to bathrooms.
With many homeowners looking to create their own home-spa, inspiration has been drawn from the traditional Onsen (natural hot springs and bathing facilities found throughout Japan). Offering zen-like peace and tranquillity, Japanese-influenced bathrooms are now much sought after in the western world.
Almost simultaneously, Scandinavian (AKA “Scandi”) style interiors, with their sleek, minimalist yet functional furnishings, became the next must-have look, popularised by gritty crime dramas and a large home retailer (who we won’t name here!).
And, despite the obvious differences between these 2 distinct regions of the world, both interior styles have plenty in common. With a shared focus on skill, simplicity and functionality, Japanese and Scandi styles both make use of organic materials and textures—something which lends them perfectly to contemporary décor. So, it’s hardly surprising that East has finally met West in a fusion that is set to take the interior world by storm.
In our latest "Get the Look” style guide, we’ll explain what Japandi style is and how you can achieve the look in your own bathroom.
What is Japandi style?
Japandi style has been on our radar for a few years now, with a BBC futures article from 2019 predicting its rise. To fully appreciate this fusion of styles, we first need to understand 3 concepts, which you may already be familiar with.
The first is hygge. A Danish/Norwegian word which a simple English translation wouldn’t do justice—but let’s try… Hygge is that feeling you get when you are comfortable, cosy and content—especially in your own home. Imagine resting on a soft sofa in front of a roaring fire, with a mug of hot chocolate in one hand and your faithful hound dozing peacefully beside you, whilst a snowstorm rages outside…that’s hygge.
Hygge is the very bedrock of Scandi style. In a region of the world where the weather can be far from inviting, it’s important that your home promotes a real sense of happiness and wellbeing.
The second concept is wabi-sabi, a Japanese term which roughly translates as “finding the beauty in imperfection”. Whilst this isn’t always easy to understand, you can find imperfect beauty in natural forms like rocks and wood. It is, in fact, the opposite to many interior design trends, which promote symmetry, perfect geometric shapes and neat order. It is also an acceptance that things will change over time.
And the third concept we need to understand is lagom, which comes from the Swedish proverb “Lagom är bäst”. This translates as “just enough”…similar to the English phrase “less is more”. This means ensuring your living spaces aren’t cluttered with possessions or drowned out by excessive colours or embellishments. Why not find out more about Lagom style bathrooms?
Whilst these may be looked upon as differences, both cultures place great value on skilled workmanship, producing items that are highly treasured and admired. Furniture is simple, minimalist yet highly functional—providing genuine solutions to everyday issues. Organic materials also feature prominently in the Japandi style, with a neutral colour palette favoured over anything bold.
Another feature of Japandi style is sustainability. Instead of being discarded after just a few years, items should be built to last, with careful, considered craftsmanship at their very core.
Above all, Japandi style promotes a sense of relaxation and harmony, allowing you to disconnect and de-stress after a long, hard day—exactly what you need in your bathroom.
How to achieve a Japandi style bathroom
Now you know how this fusion of culture and ideas works as a concept, let’s see how it can be achieved in your bathroom.
Get the Look with our Japandi bathroom mood board
We’ve listed just some of the main things to look out for when designing a Japandi style bathroom:
- Organic (or faux organic) materials
- Soft, neutral shades
- Simple, unfussy, pared-back design
- Clean lines
- Minimal, thoughtfully-chosen accessories
- Low key lighting
- Plants to promote a natural feel
Next, let’s take a look at the different elements which make up our Japandi bathroom.
Japandi bathing and showering
First and foremost, the bath is at the very centre of the room, the focal point for your bathing experience. We’ve picked out the Barocci solid surface bath, with its clean lines and its graceful almost whale-like shape. As with all highly simple yet functional Japandi designs, this one features a handy towel rack at the tapered end. Simply stunning.
Secondly, if the bath is the centrepiece, what do we make of the showering area? This exemplifies the concept of finding beauty in imperfection. The rough, stone-like walls give this shower area a stunning, organic feel, complete with plants and a Japanese style submersion tub. The skylight allows natural light to flood in, while the black-framed shower screens and shower keep with the darker theme.
The Japandi suite, walls and floors
As this is a fusion style, we’ve drawn inspiration from Scandinavian elements when it comes to the mirrored washbasin areas. Featuring a mix of darker woods and stone countertops, you'll find them adorned with the Ellis countertop basin and Tate black wall mounted mixer taps. The circular LED mirrors and towel rails continue the black theme, adding additional, yet low key lighting to the room.
For pure minimalist style, we’ve gone with a wall hung toilet with black flush plate and matching bidet—commonly used in Japan (you may have heard of the electronic Japanese toilet which contains a water jet, amongst other convenient and futuristic features!).
The walls and floors are just great, aren’t they? We love the way the light wood effect flooring contrasts with the dark patina effect tiles on the walls.
Japandi accessories and heating
Following the Scandi concept of Lagom, accessories are kept to a minimum. Plants feature heavily throughout the bathroom, but are carefully chosen, whilst the heated towel rail is a thing of beauty, in a brushed brass finish that looks simply stunning.
But where will all those toiletries, towels and essentials go? Well, we've provided one bit of additional storage in the form of the tall wall cabinet, giving ample space for those larger items. Plus, featuring a lighter wood colour, it fits well with the simple, organic theme.
Additional accessories are kept very much in the Japandi style; handcrafted items mix with natural style materials, like rocks and slate style soap dispensers. Small, minimalist tables provide the perfect placement for further pot plants.
Get the Japandi Look
Below, you’ll find the full list of beautiful Victoria Plum products we used in our Japandi bathroom, so you can Get the Look yourself.
Bath & tap
- Mode Spencer round thermostatic twin valve matt black shower set
- Orchard 6mm black framed wet room glass panel
Toilet and bidet
- Mode Ellis short projection wall hung toilet with soft close seat and wall mounting frame with push plate cistern
- Mode Ellis floorstanding bidet
- Mode Tate black wall mounted basin mixer tap
- Mode Ellis countertop basin 460mm
- Mode Mandrelli round black LED illuminated mirror 600mm with demister & leather strap
- Terma Alex brass heated towel rail
- Accents Bora Bora grey ceramic soap dispenser
- Accents Bora Bora grey ceramic tumbler
- Mode Spencer black towel rail
Walls and floors
- Alicura grey stone effect matt wall and floor tile 600mm x 600mm
- Cosmic black lappato textured wall and floor tile 600mm x 600mm
- Melville caramel oak chevron water resistant laminate flooring 8mm
The Japandi look in a small bathroom
I know what you’re thinking… “my bathroom isn’t as big as that one”. Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out our guide to achieving the Japandi look in a small bathroom.
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Get the Look
What are your views on the Japandi look? Perhaps you’ve got another look in mind? Whatever your style, you’ll find the look you love with our huge range of bathroom style guides, covering themes from Soft Industrial to Vintage Chic. Simply click on the image below to discover all our “Get the Look” style guides.