Japandi bathroom ideas – 8 ways to create a nature-inspired, calming sanctuary

Turn to Japandi design principles for a bathroom that's inspired by the natural world

Japandi bathroom ideas
(Image credit: TenBooks/photographer Mariko Reed, A. Naber Design, Otto/Stephen Kent Johnson)

A Japandi-style bathroom can be one of the best ways to create a calming space. Combining the core principles of Japanese and Scandinavian design styles, Japandi is led by wellbeing through design and a focus on simplicity. 

Embracing natural materials, clean lines, and a neutral color palette, Japandi transcends design trends as a timeless style. If you're looking to create a tranquil bathroom that balances style with function, Japandi decor may just be the style for you. 

But how exactly can you create a Japandi-style bathroom? We asked interior designers and have rounded up their top design and decor ideas below to help you create a restorative, natural-world-inspired space. 

What is Japandi style? 

Japandi is an interior design style that incorporates elements of both Japanese and Scandinavian design. Since both of these styles have a common theme of simplicity in design, these styles blend together seamlessly, balancing the organic, earthy look of Japanese design with the minimalist look of Scandinavian decor

'While the Scandinavian side of the design equation leans light and bright, the Japanese side of the design equation leans more warm and earthy tones,' explains Julee Wray, founder and lead designer at Truss Interiors

'Japandi prioritizes the importance of nature and uses wood and natural materials as the predominant source of construction materials, furnishings, and decor. The key is to have the design contain clean lines, a light yet warm appearance, minimal decor, and uncluttered surfaces.'

8 ways to create a Japandi bathroom

The bathroom is a perfect space to embrace a Japandi style. A room that we want to feel calming and fuss-free for daily use, it presents the perfect opportunity to lean into this simple design style that focuses on form and function. 

Rina Patel, director at Vastu Interior Design says: 'A Japandi-style bathroom can add a true sense of zen to your home. A bathroom is a space where you can energize yourself for the day ahead, but using Japandi-style features allows you to also place emphasis on making a bathroom a place to wind down, relax, and end the day.'

Below, we've rounded up eight ideas to inspire you to create a Japandi bathroom. From bathroom color schemes to bathroom lighting, there are lots of design elements to consider to achieve a tranquil Japandi bathroom. 

1. Create a tranquil space

Japandi style bathroom with plant

(Image credit: TenBooks, photographer Mariko Reed)

When designing a Japandi bathroom, you should aim to create a calming atmosphere through every design decision. The space should be as restful as it is functional, prioritizing natural materials and well-crafted pieces. The bathroom pictured above designed by TenBooks demonstrates how effective this approach can be, resulting in a soothing, sophisticated space. Matthew Bowles, founder and principal at TenBooks discusses its standout Japandi design elements below. 

'Our objective for this room was to create a tranquil, spa-like bathroom space. The design blends the cleanliness and strict functionality of minimalism with a sense of warmth, gravitas, and playfulness. The main feature of the bathroom is a dramatic quartzite vanity constructed from leathered green quartzite. To balance its monolithic nature, it floats across the length of the bathroom, continuing into the shower as a bench. The green tones of the quartzite tie into the textured warm grey tadelakt walls, washed by sunlight by a skylight above. The floor is clad in a grid pattern of fire clay tile – it's regularity calming and providing dimensions to the space.'

2. Decorate with calming neutrals

Japandi bathroom with bath and shower area

(Image credit: Sarah Barnard Design)

Neutrals lend themselves perfectly to Japandi bathrooms, thanks to their calming quality. Since this style is all about creating spaces that feel balanced and pared-back, neutrals are the obvious choice. When decorating with neutrals, Japandi favors soft warm tones rather than cool hues such as gray. 

'Stick to a neutral color scheme consisting of earthy tones such as white and beige,' suggests Meredith Owen, founder and principal at Meredith Owen Interiors. 'These colors create a serene and calming atmosphere, typical of both Japanese and Scandinavian design.'

If you do want to go slightly more colorful with your Japandi bathroom color scheme, subtle nature-inspired hues can work well, such as green. Rina Patel explains: 'Although Japandi bathrooms are traditionally open, clean, and light, color can be introduced if soft and relaxing. Green is a prominent choice for this – a stylish choice for bathroom tiles or small accents that can reflect nature.'

3. Incorporate lots of natural materials

modern bathroom with floating wood vanity and plaster walls by A Naber Design

(Image credit: A. Naber Design)

'When designing a bathroom in Japandi style, it is key to remember that it is all about feeling relaxed and connected to the earth,' explains Rina Patel. 'Both the Japanese and Scandinavian styles are focused on nature and the positive impact this has on wellbeing.'

As Rina explains, incorporating natural materials is essential in a Japandi bathroom. This connects the space to the outdoors while placing a focus on well-crafted, enduring materials. Interior designer Sarah Barnard agrees, suggesting ways to decorate with natural materials: 'Using natural wood finishes to clad a bathroom with custom bathroom cabinets, doors, and bathroom flooring create a tangible connection to nature that evokes the serenity of Scandinavian woodlands or a natural hot spring.'

'Incorporate natural materials like wood, stone, bamboo, or handmade tiles,' adds Meredith Owen. 'Choose light-colored woods such as birch or ash for a Scandinavian touch, while Japanese design often features darker woods like cedar or hinoki.'

4. Embrace minimalist design

japandi bathroom with marble and wooden vanity and a small stool

(Image credit: Emily Lauren Interiors)

Minimalist design principles are central to both Japanese and Scandinavian styles, so they naturally form a key part of Japandi style too. In a Japandi bathroom, opt for clean lines, sleek finishes, and a general less-is-more approach to achieve an understated space, emphasizing the beauty of the natural materials. 

'Embrace clean lines and minimalist design principles to create a clutter-free and tranquil environment,' says Meredith Owen. 'Select simple, streamlined fixtures and furniture with understated elegance.'

Interior designer Luis Carmona, founder of VERDE Interior Design also recommends opting for minimalist bathroom decor in a Japandi bathroom: 'When selecting the vanity, mirror, and lighting, opt for more of a minimal design. Clean lines with a no-fuss aesthetic are the signature look when it comes to Japanese design.'

5. Maximize natural light

neutral bathroom with limestone tub, white chair and stone floor

(Image credit: Otto/ Stephen Kent Johnson)

In a Japandi scheme, bathroom lighting is key. Rather than artificial lighting, a true Japandi style maximizes natural light with large windows, further enhancing its links to the natural world.

'A strong connection to nature is seen throughout Japanese design principles, merging the indoors with the outdoors,' explains Melisssa Read, creative director at Studio Burntwood. 'This is often achieved by generously sized windows but also semi-opaque materials that allow natural light to fill the space without compromising on privacy.'

While natural light is preferred in a Japandi bathroom, you will of course still need to consider alternative lighting for the evening, or if your space doesn't benefit from enough daylight. In this case, opt for soft styles that gently diffuse light, as Sarah Barnard suggests: 'Lighting fixtures made from delicate materials such as washi paper can create warm, gentle, diffused lighting in your bathroom while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic.'

6. Minimize clutter with storage

Japandi bathroom with storage cabinets

(Image credit: Truss Interiors)

Since a minimalist look is central to a Japandi bathroom, it's important to have clever bathroom storage solutions that allow you to neatly store products and other items that can distract from the room's clean aesthetic.  

'Storage is crucial, whether through shower niches, floating vanity drawers, or hidden wall cabinets,' says Melissa Read. 'Creating an uncluttered space is paramount.'

Keeping decor items on display to a minimum is also a good idea in your Japandi bathroom, further ensuring you avoid a cluttered look. Meredith Owen adds: 'Limit accessories to a few well-chosen pieces that serve both a functional and aesthetic purpose. Incorporate simple, organic-shaped vases, ceramic or wooden trays, and minimalist storage solutions to keep the space clutter-free.'

7. Add texture with tiles

Green and yellow tile backsplash, stone bath, yellow stool

(Image credit: Christopher Horwood)

Decorating with tiles in a Japandi bathroom can be a great way to add some texture and further establish an organic look. By opting for tiles in a nature-derived color that have a handmade quality, you can add interest to the space and a tactile feel. 

Sarah Barnard explains: 'Choosing a tile with unique material qualities can introduce color and texture without disrupting the calm of a minimalist bathroom. Tiles that have handmade qualities, such as a glaze or texture that is not totally uniform, exude artisanal luxury that finds beauty in imperfection.'

8. Add warmth with soft textiles

Stone bath, grey sink, ladder

(Image credit: Christopher Sanders/Sanders Architecture)

To ensure your Japandi bathroom doesn't feel stark amid all of the clean lines and minimalist design, make sure to incorporate some soft textiles to add some warmth to the space.

'Add warmth and coziness with soft textiles such as plush bath towels, a textured bath mat, and a lightweight cotton or linen shower curtain,' suggests Meredith Owen. 'Stick to neutral colors and simple patterns to maintain a cohesive look.'

And finally, to finish off the look, incorporate some natural greenery. Plants complement the other natural materials while their vibrant green tones can help break up all of the neutral colors. 'Bring nature indoors by incorporating potted plants or small indoor gardens into the bathroom,' adds Meredith. 

Shop the Japandi bathroom edit

For a relaxing bathroom that feels connected to nature, embracing Japandi design is a fail-safe choice. With these expert ideas, you can benefit from a space that feels soothing and yet timeless to outlive interior design trends

If you're looking to add a touch of Japandi-inspired decor to your bathroom, shop our edit below. 

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.