The story behind - Dark Japandi

At first glance it might seem like a peculiar arrangement, combining Japanese and Scandinavian interior aesthetics. Geographically two worlds apart, but once you look closer, the palpability of the similarities is too hard to ignore. We can now say what was first labeled a trend with certainty is here to stay.

Let us present Dark Japandi, the second take on our iconic Japandi collection. With a heavy focus on craftsmanship, inspired by techniques such as clay art and woodcarving, this is where materials such as ceramic, wood, and fabric meet to capture the beautiful rawness of the materials used in the craft.

The Japandi aesthetic is known for its simplicity and proximity to the natural elements. And in the spirit of capturing the beautiful imperfections of the materials found in nature, we decided to preserve the resemblance by sticking to the harmonious earthy tones they represent. This offers up a wide-ranging colour palette with soft neutral tones such as warm beige, accompanied by contrasts of darker hues of black and brown.The somewhat minimalistic and conservative colour setting is a well-known characteristic attributed to the Japandi aesthetic. It’s deliberately used to leave room for contemplation, still the senses, and bring forth soothing feelings found in nature. Traits that also can be accredited to the Japanese culture.

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This collection mainly draws its inspiration from the handicraft technique used when carving clay. A highly creative procedure with a bundle of different tools used to carve out lines, make shapes, and mash different colours of clay together to create organic patterns and interesting colour shifts. During the design process, we had the advantage of picking the brain of the talented ceramicist, Fanny, who had a huge inspirational impact on how the collection turned out. You can read more about our collaboration our magazine here.

Even though the majority of the inspiration for this collection came from the art of ceramics and clay carving, there are a few other exciting crafttechniques we felt deserved a few rays of the limelight. One of which is the ancient Japanese coloring method Shibori, dating as far back as 238 CE. This tie-dyeing technique recently had a resurrection within the fashion industry and is now making its way into interior design. The pleasure of seeing the imperfect patterns emerge is just immense and makes you embrace the whole wabi-sabi mentality. And last but certainly not least, the amazing craft of woodcarving. There’s something existential about it. To see different shapes, lines, and patterns being carved into the stern surface, knowing that since the beginning of time, man’s been taming the elements presented in nature as a way to communicate and express themselves through art.

This collection is meant to be the second chapter of our Japandi interpretation, one that really takes the clay art to the next level. Instead of digitally producing the patterns, all the designs in this collection are made by hand using the different techniques mentioned above. This brings out the geometrical asymmetry, further embracing the trademark of the wabi-sabi worldview, where acceptance and beauty are found in the imperfect.

The Japandi aesthetic is all about finding the balance when combining various elements. This is effortlessly achieved by mimicking the plethora of materials with neutral colours found in nature. A lot could be said about this, but a good rule of thumb is to just keep it simple. Focus on clean lines, light colours, and organic materials.

To summarize, keep the colour scheme soft and neutral, then successively add contrasts of darker colours to not make the setting dull. A Japandi wall mural could be the perfect springboard to get started and gives an interesting backdrop to expand upon. Add furniture in organic materials without excessive embellishments and declutter the surroundings to give the space some breathing room to really convey the simplicity of the true japandi aesthetic. This is a collection close to our hearts.

We at belartestudio have a predilection for minimalistic interior design and the art of handicrafts alike. We hope you enjoy these wall murals just as much as we loved making them. If you would like to see the entire collection, head over to the Dark Japandi collection tab to see more.