PUBLISHED: 16:18 01 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:18 01 September 2020
Katarzyna Bialasiewicz Photographee.eu
Hiroko Aono-Billson, owner of the KOBO A-B Japanese store on Bridewell Alley in Norwich, introduces the concept of Japandi.
The term Japandi describes an interior design trend that marries two distinct styles: Japanese and Scandanavian. While Scandinavian design is typically built on the principles of minimalism, comfort and simplicity, Japanese aspects prioritise the passing of the seasons, expert craftsmanship and beautiful materials. The common denominator lies in their practical approach to craft and style, combined with a pure and clean aesthetic.
Nigel and Hiroko Aono-Billson are owners of KOBO A-B, a Japanese store on Bridewell Alley in Norwich that seeks to introduce Japanese heritage and culture to Norfolk via crafts, cloth, ceramics and miscellaneous objects.
“Japandi can be traced back as far as the 1950s, but the trend has recently become increasingly popular,” says Hiroko. “Japan has a long tradition with crafts and design that revolves around nature. Scandinavian design is similar – the unifying factor is the mixture of functionality and simplicity. The two combine to create a harmonious blend.”
Careful consideration of every object is a key principle at the heart of Japandi. The aesthetic can be described as subdued and style-oriented: “It is a celebration of details,” says Nigel. “In order to keep your space minimal, ensure accessories and tableware are practical and functional, while furniture should have clean lines and the space should remain uncluttered.”
Another essential aspect of Japandi is the colour scheme. Nourishing natural and neutral tones – greys, greens, blues – combined with handmade wooden furniture chosen for simplicity of form and function create an organic and tranquil environment. Introducing natural textures through wooden furniture allows you to mix the light tones of traditional Scandinavian style with the dark, contrasting woods typical of Japanese design.
“It’s easy to see how both these styles marry so well together,” says Jill Joscelyne, owner of Design House Norwich on Timberhill. “They are based on similar aesthetics and techniques that create a calm, relaxing environment.
“We stock many Scandinavian designs and brands, including String furniture, an excellent example of minimalistic design that’s extremely functional, with tactile edges and uniform lines, as well as accessories from Holmegaard, Kähler and Stelton.”
Bringing the outdoors indoors is another way to pay homage to the natural qualities of Japandi. This can be created through the careful selection and cultivation of indoor plants. To keep things simple, select deep green plants over bright, floral arrangements. This will allow more space to appreciate both the plant and the vase within the home.
“If you’re looking for contrast, Hammershøi flowerpots by Kähler are gorgeous and pristine in white and cream that pair beautifully with clean, uncomplicated spaces,” says Jill.
Creating a Japandi-style interior revolves around the idea of less is more. “Create an area where you can appreciate a few key pieces, rather than being overwhelmed by a large variety of different objects,” says Jill. “When designing your space, look for ways to incorporate both functionality and design. This allows you to create a space that is practical, as well as one you enjoy being in.
“While Japandi as an interior design trend is only recently becoming more widely known, its principles are timeless,” Jill says. “Embracing authenticity, supporting craftsmanship and realising that we can exist without so much excess are all key to ensuring we can enjoy our homes sustainably.”
For more information visit kobo-a-b.co.uk and designhousenorwich.co.uk
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