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Japandi living room: case study

If you are looking for japandi living room ideas, this case study is a must-read for you. We designed a japandi style living room from scratch, filled it with furniture, decor and created high-res visual renders. In this case study, we help you understand the essence of japandi style and explain how we worked on this interior to achieve the final look.

Briefly about japandi style

As an exciting combination of Japanese and Scandinavian interior styles, japandi has been ruling the interior design world in the past few years. It gives plenty of what we all need at the moment: simple and calm interiors, natural and organic looks, comfort and function maximized, no matter how small or big the room is. (Read more about the japandi style.)

About this japandi living room project

Though this project includes a fictive interior, it can be created at basically any corner of the Earth, all you need is a living room with preferably good natural light. When working on the interior, we wanted to achieve a space that is functional, yet not overcrowded, feels spacious and calming.

It was also important to think in an open-layout floor plan where multiple functions and spaces can work together well - such as the relaxing living room and the home office corner for work (read more about it in later).

japandi living room


To create a classic japandi look, we went for simple pieces that offer function and lacks unnecessary ornaments. Floating furniture, is for example a great way to save space and provide a minimalist look for the space, while it still has the authentic wood look, bringing nature inside the room. That is why we added a floating TV stand and floating home office desk, mounted close to each other, creating a floating furniture system.

The floating TV stand elegantly hides the electronics and cables for the TV and media devices, the same is true for the home office desk that has plenty of storage in its drawers. As an additional floating element, a floating shelf is mounted above the desk, made of the same oak material, to hold some books and notes for the workspace.

floating TV stand

In japandi rooms, comfort also plays an important role. The huge pouf-style chair gives plenty of it, and there is a large, low-level sofa as well that provides resting surface for up to three persons.

In original japanese homes, the furniture has typically low height. To understand its origins, we quote from another article of ours (Japandi nightstand: 3+1 must-have features):

To understand the importance of low height furniture, we need to go back to the traditional Japanese interior style. In earlier times, people in Japan had absolutely minimal furniture in their homes and they did most of their activities on the floor - such as sleeping, dining and living social life. Sitting on the floor was made convenient thanks to tatami mats (traditional Japanese mats that were placed on the floor). As people sat on the floor, they needed low height furniture for practical usage - low height table for eating, low height small tables for having a tea ceremony and to gather around as a family. Chabudai is a good example: it is a Japanese coffee table: a simple, low height furniture, usually with storage inside.

floating coffee table

With this simple floating coffee table, we used the original idea of chabudai: low level, functional piece that has a hidden storage (an open-up door on one side that melts into the mitered edge design). The floating style gives a modern touch to the traditional function.


A japandi living room usually has limited decoration - just the necessary pieces and what is most important for the owners. Each piece has its important meaning for those who live there. This is why we designed the built-in bookshelf, as the ideal place to hold such items.

Also, the coffee table offers a perfect, centered spot for the natural decoration - what else than some beautiful cherry blossoms, that is so typical in Japanese culture. Of course, it can be used only in one season, but there are plenty of other natural decor choices in other times of the year as well: think of a bonsai, an organic branch or grass decor that brings a natural feel to the japandi living room.

Color palette and materials

Japandi living rooms use a bright and muted color palette. The two colors are usually browns and greys, varying different shades like beige, light-browns and various natural wood tones, such as the color of oak, or grayed and whitened oaks. This is why the pouf chair, the rug and the curtains have similar color, even the wall has light beige color, which goes well with the natural wooden tones of the furniture.

japandi color palette


Japandi living rooms use as much natural light as possible. This room also benefits from the huge, floor-to-ceiling windows that generously let the outdoor light into the space, while also giving the calming sight of the green plants on the balcony. Of course, when it is cloudy and dark outside, or in the evening, there are plenty of artificial light options in this space.

The ceiling fixtures show a typical Japanese look with the black metal parts and the ribbed glass (or optionally rice paper, to be even more authentic) lampshades that go well with the desk lamp, having a similar design. There is also hidden lighting in this japandi living room: below the TV stand there is a LED strip that produces ambient light when watching TV, the same is true for the floating coffee table with a LED strip around its bottom, adding some dimmed light to the center of the room, emphasizing the floating effect of the table.

With these built-in, hidden lights, options are almost endless. We recommend experimenting with it and using separate smaller lights rather than one large one (this concept also comes from the Scandinavian homes, where the multiple and cozy lighting options contribute to the hígge feel while staying home, especially through the long and dark winter months).

Multi-functional space

Japanese homes have traditionally open-air layouts that can be divided flexibly using shoji screens or paravans. Modern japandi homes also prefer open floor plans with the optional possibility to separate spaces, if needed.

japandi open floor layout

This room, for example, is a living room and a home office workspace combined. The corner gives plenty of space for a desk and a small (also Japanese-styled) pouf chair for working, with an extendable, wall-mounted panel, to block the view of the TV, if someone else should be watching it. Wearing active noise canceling headphones, you can work in the corner without anything disturbing you, while the rest of the family can talk or watch TV.

The workspace is also separated visually, by the slatted wall panel. It shows that the corner area has a different function and it helps divide the space, even though there is no physical separation. If some physical separation is needed, there is an extendable screen mounted on the wall, which can block the view of the TV, when it’s turned on.

A checklist of japandi living room ideas

If you want to make the most out of our ideas, use this checklist to create a similar japandi living room for yourself:

  • Do not overcrowd the space. Make sure the furniture is functional and the decoration is limited and well selected. Remember: less is more.

  • Low-level (height) furniture better represents the original Japanese interior character.

  • Use floating furniture to keep the room spacious.

  • Have solid wood furniture and natural materials.

  • Let as much natural light inside as possible. Use multiple light sources instead of one strong light.

  • Use light and muted colors: beiges, grays and various earth tones.

  • Use natural decoration: a branch of a tree, muted color flowers, grass, bonsai etc.

  • Add Japanese-style items such as rice paper lamps, japanese art on the wall, vertical slatted surfaces, etc.

  • Think of a large open space instead of tiny spaces. Use flexible methods to separate the spaces if needed.

Want to learn more about japandi? Get inspiration from our articles on the topic below.

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