Sophisticated Minimalism: A Fusion Of Japanese And Scandinavian Aesthetics

When I was at university one of my first assignments was to read a book called ‘In Praise Of Shadows’ by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki.

It is an essay on Japanese aesthetics and taste and is wonderfully observed. Tanizaki muses on life softened by shadows, savouring everyday pleasures like finding beauty in candlelight on lacquerware. He made a case for mindfulness before it was a ‘thing’.

I read a lot of books at university, the vast majority of which I have now completely forgotten. Except this one. It has really stayed in my mind and I’ve reason to recall it recently.

Over the past two years there has been an increasing trend in interiors to combine the Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetic, fusing all their clean, sophisticated minimalism and modern rustic elements.

These spaces are always incredibly considered. In these interiors there is a strong focus on craftsmanship and perfect imperfection. Within a room you’ll see a handful of statement pieces with contrasting dark and light woods, stone, marble and layers of textured linen and ceramics.

Some interior enthusiasts are terming it ‘Japandi’ (eww, as in Brangelina or Bennifer LOL). Let’s agree not to call it that.

Instead it’s ‘In Praise Of Shadows’ in practice. Fusing these two styles creates rooms that feel serene, clean and uncluttered but never sterile. And it makes for the most welcoming home.

Above Image Santa Clara 1728

Photo Tom Blachford

Photo by Osam Tahir

Photo by Andrey Avdeenko

Photo by Laziz Hamani

Image via –

Tete Cream Pebble Teapot, £49

Takashi Endo Clay Glazed Jug, £85

Fog linen Work Natural Coated Linen Trays, from £25

Wakako Senda Mug, £25.91

Bredemeijer Cast Iron Teapot, £34.99

To.ast Denim Crossover Apron, £69



Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!