Top tips from the team of professional declutterers and organisers at Declutter on Demand
What is Japandi?
A blend of Japanese aesthetics and Scandinavian design, Japandi is an interior style focused on simplicity and minimalism. It uses natural textures and materials like wood to bring a warmer feel to your home. The neutral tones seamlessly mix together and get lifted by soft feminine touches like blossom branches, which become focal points. It helps to create a more relaxing and peaceful home akin with practices like feng shui.
How to incorporate Japandi in your home
- Less is more
An essential part of creating Japandi style, is clearing away clutter. Start by decluttering your living space as much as possible so that it is cleaner and calmer. Look at rooms afresh and ask yourself whether you really love and need the things around you. Japandi style doesn’t mean you can’t have stuff – it’s really about focusing on keeping items which enhance your home and life. If something doesn’t do this, then rid yourself of it by donating, selling or recycling. You and your home will feel like a weight has been lifted.
2. Take it one room at a time
If you decide to tackle your whole home at once it can be overwhelming to know where to start. The best approach is to break your Japandi project down by room and then by area and take it from there. It is helpful to make a note of any “pain-points” in your home which are disorganised or cluttered to zone in on which areas need attention first. For example, in the living room you could start by identifying what is an eyesore or is on display that you want to tuck away and see if anything can be removed completely.
3. Start with the easiest category
To motivate yourself to keep going, start with an area in which you can make quick, simple decisions on what to keep and what to let go of. Perhaps that pile of old magazines in the study is an easy win or that pile of coats which has built up in your hallway. It can be helpful to work through one category of items at a time when you are going through a space so that you can compare similar items with each other. Once you are in the swing of things, you will be able to be a little more ruthless in the areas you might struggle with,such as, sentimental items and be better able to make bigger decisions.
4. Functional furniture
Once you have decluttered smaller items, move on to deciding which furniture in your home is surplus to requirements. Think about the flow through each room. Rooms should be easy to move around and should not be overfilled. This also means those items you do make space for can be appreciated to their fullest.
Any furniture you no longer need can be sold or donated (e.g. the Yorkshire Children’s Centre offer free collections for furniture donations). In Japandi interior design schemes, furniture leads with functionality. There are fewer pieces in the room, but they need to serve a purpose (ideally more than one!). For example, having shoe storage in a hallway which doubles up as a seat, shoe storage and space for accessories.
5. Leave buying things until last
As tempting as it is to buy a few pieces that you have your heart set on, wait until you have sorted everything you already have out. Japandi embraces holding onto pieces as they age, encouraging you to enjoy their change in character rather than wanting to replace it with new, shiny objects. You may find that you uncover items that can be repurposed and upcycled for your look. For example, a painted chair could be stripped and sanded.
Waiting until you have sorted everything out will also mean that you know whether you need to buy any smaller storage products at this stage. If you do, focus on products made of natural materials such as bamboo boxes and willow baskets. If possible, buy from local craftspeople. As well as keeping your space uncluttered, these materials and finely crafted items are a key part of the Japandi trend.
6. Decorate with nature
Japandi decor derives much of its look from natural, sustainable materials. The appreciation of nature is typically reflected in a Japandi colour palette with neutral, earthy hues. Decorative items include house plants and dried flowers such as cotton stems. These bring back the warmth into your home, keeping it pared back and simple but not starkly minimalist. Have fun browsing Instagram and Pinterest for extra inspiration and create mood boards to perfect the last decorative Japandi touches to your home.