Japandi - interior design aesthetics or a philosophy of life? Interview with Laila Rietbergen


Japandi is an interior design megatrend that emerged from a fusion of two seemingly different yet unexpectedly similar styles: hygge and wabi-sabi. Although the japandi fever began over 2 years ago, its popularity is only growing. And it's no wonder - the comforting blend of neutral colors, minimalist forms, and natural materials, with Japanese fascination with natural light, simplicity, and kintsugi, is as aesthetically pleasing as functional.

Japandi is a characteristic, easy-to-recognize interior design style. Typically japandi-inspired interiors are beige or warm white, spacious, bright, cozy, and well organized - with high-end wood furniture and wool, cotton, or stone accessories. Even though in japandi there are several repeating patterns, it is no doubt that this appealing fusion of hygge & wabi-sabi is much more than a set of interior design rules.

Japandi - interior design megatrend

All pictures were taken by Laila Rietbergen - @japandi.interior

According to Laila Rietbergen - the owner of the Instagram account @japandi.interior, japandi is primarily a specific philosophy of a good, harmonious life. Read on and discover the rest of the unexplored japandi faces revealed to us by our inspiring, beauty-sensitive guest!

What is japandi for you - interior aesthetic, or rather a certain philosophy of life?

For me, japandi is more than merely an interior aesthetic. It is the style that breathes craftsmanship, nature, serenity, and balance. All these elements are connected to a philosophy of life as well. When you choose craftsmanship, it's more likely that your items are there to last - which suits the philosophy of life to search for more sustainability.

Also, the connection to nature and wabi sabi, the beauty of imperfection, isn’t only related to your interior. So for me, japandi is definitely more than interior aesthetics.

Japandi - interior design megatrend

Why do you think the japandi style has become so popular? What made it more famous than e.g. hygge or wabi-sabi?

Obviously, I think the timing helped. During the pandemic, a lot of people was spending more time at home. Home became their workspace, daycare, and the place where you spend your leisure time as well. All of these factors made people more focused on their interiors.

But to be honest, I think japandi would become popular even without the pandemic. The world, the way we look at it, and the way we treat it is changing. More and more people, companies, and governments are aware of their footprint. We are attempting to eat no or less meat, use less plastic disposable items and find other ways to reduce our footprint. Japandi (life)style fits perfectly with this change.

Japandi - interior design megatrend

What textures, colors and accessories can be found in japandi-style interiors?

In the japandi style, you can find a combination of different textures, materials, and shapes. The most popular are natural materials like wood, stone, bamboo, linen, cotton, and wool. The color base is soft, raw, and monochromatic - but with occasional darker accents, such as black, brown, and terracotta.

In japandi, most accessories are functional - such as books, big houseplants, vases, and different ceramics. Also, the art fits perfectly in a japandi style interior.

What would a perfect japandi-style home office look like in your opinion?

In terms of looks I would advise the use of accessories I have already mentioned. But to keep it truly japandi you need to have your workspace always tidy and organized.

Oakywood has amazing items that can help you organize your home office. Like wooden trays or wooden laptop stands. Personally, I love the felt & cork desk mat. In my case it protects the wooden table I mainly work on. So once you are done with your work its easy to clean up.

Japandi - interior design megatrend

Japandi has been trending for some time already. How do you think this style will evolve in the coming months or years?

The style, with or without the name japandi, is there for a while and I think it is something that will stay with us. Mainly because it reflects and answers to the changes happening in our lives and in the world.

Also people are more “aware” and open about how they feel, what they want, and how all the impulses are affecting us. In my opinion our home is supposed to be a place where we can cut off lots of external stimuli, rest and recharge our batteries.

Japandi - interior design megatrend

Thank you for your time!

Thank you for having me.