Japandi brings together the best elements of Scandinavian and Japanese minimalism in a hybrid architectural style, resulting in a simple & elegant home.

Easy going and sophisticated, Japandi is a hybrid architectural style bringing together the best features of Scandinavian functionality with Japanese minimalism. The Japandi house is dedicated to simplicity, quality, craftmanship and natural materials. The aesthetic is minimal without being cold, utilising natural materials, neutral colours and simple layouts with an emphasis on indoor/outdoor living.

Japanese and Scandinavian design styles have many complementary qualities, both characteristically minimalist in their approach whilst also prioritising comfort, the importance of tranquillity and connection to nature. Similarities extend to how both styles draw inspiration from local pioneering principles: ‘wabi-sabi’ in Japan and ‘hygge’ in Scandinavia. 

The Japanese ‘wabi-sabi’ worldview appreciates the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete beauty of the natural world and strongly emphasises humans' relationship with nature. ‘Hygge’ (pronounced hoo-ga) is an obsession in Scandinavia encompassing a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life.

Where the two approaches diverge, their differences complement each other. Where Japanese interiors are sleek, Nordic ones are rustic. The richer colours of Japanese design help to keep the stark, crisp palettes of Scandinavian homes from feeling clinical. The Japandi aesthetic is minimal without being cold, utilising natural materials, neutral colours and simple layouts with an emphasis on indoor/outdoor living. As a result, Japandi-style homes feel cosy and warm whilst also providing a sense of tranquillity and calm via the biophilic benefits of living closer to nature.

About the Trend

Design Features

Minimalist architecture: Simple structures with clean, sleek lines. Roofs can be flat, gabled, hipped or square pyramidal with deep overhangs to protect windows from rain.
Natural-look exterior: Prevalence for natural-look materials across the façade. Japanese influences leans towards darker tones and Scandi towards lighter tones.
Earthy colour palette: Colours are typically neutral and within the same tonal scheme to add warmth to the simple building form.
Indoor outdoor connection: Design features such as as shōji (moveable screens), fusuma (sliding doors) a tokonoma (recess or alcove), genken (entryway), engawa (covered outdoor corridor), and courtyards, among other elements to blur inside and outside.
Interiors: Interior style is minimal without being cold, utilising natural materials, neutral colours and simple layouts with an emphasis on indoor-outdoor connectivity.

Recommended products

Close up of 133mm Smooth Axon Panel cladding

Axon™ Panel Grooved: The sleek vertical lines evoke the fine detail of a vertical joint timber, providing a distinct Japandi look.

Brushed Concrete Sample small

Axon™ Panel Brushed Concrete: The gentle flowing lines evoke a simple yet dynamic texture and work well with Japandi homes. It can also be used for a more tactile board and batten look with Hardie™ Axent™ Trim.

325mm close up vertical

Stria™ Cladding: The deep, 15mm-wide grooves create strong, sleek lines ideal for contemporary designs that require a bold but pared-back aesthetic.

Close up of dark Hardie Flex Sheet cladding

Axon™ Panel Smooth: Perfect for creating the board and batten look, use the 45mm Hardie™ Axent™ Trim with narrow spacings to create the Japandi trend.

Options in select areas:

Hardie™ Groove Lining:  Use for feature interior walls and ceilings and externally on eaves and soffits.

Oblique™ Weatherboard

Oblique™ Weatherboard:  Interior feature walls

Why Now?

  • Japandi architecture emphasises simple spaces that can provide a sense of calm against the busyness of life, an antidote to post-Covid global stressors
  • Flexible spaces are fundamental to the Japandi style. Connection and separation throughout the home are key, allowing spaces to be used independently but can come together as needed.
  • Retractable screens and sheets are often used to divide rooms, rather than doors, creating a sense of openness but also privacy.
  • The seamless connection between indoors and outdoors creates a sense of retreat

Japandi caters for multi-purpose living and working lifestyles, allowing for cocooning and a sense of retreat and respite. Homes celebrate simplicity and can provide a sense of control, calm and order amidst the busyness of life.

Recommended paint colours


Mt Aspiring Quarter
Architects Grey
LRV 69.14
London Fog
LRV 35
Grey Ember


Sandfly Point
First Snow
LRV 80
LRV 34.41
Go Nuts
LRV 49.15
Standard greentag
Standard healthrate

Global GreenTag™ GreenRate™ Level A and Product Health Declaration™ PHD Platinum Health mean our products have passed the world's toughest standards for health, eco performance and safety.

Feature case study

Passive House Design Using Axon Panel

A low-maintenance, energy-efficient dream home using Axon™ Panel was designed to achieve NZ Passive House Certification.

Design Handbook Cover 2024

The Design Handbook


The Hardie™ Cladding Collection has a wide variety of products to select from, creating design versatility, in which It’s Possible™ to Make Modern like never before. It’s a movement that’s reshaping perceptions and changing the way New Zealand builds. This design handbook demonstrates that with great advice, support and inspiration, it’s possible to build a house you’re truly proud to come home to.







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50, Lochridge Drive, Kinloch, 3300, Waikato