Japandi-Style Paint Colors for a Calming Home

The burgeoning Japandi aesthetic, which combines Scandinavian and Japanese designs, is here to stay. Encourage relaxation and comfort in your home with these expert-recommended paint colors.

Rooted in simplicity, comfort, and minimalism, Japandi style combines the cozy hygge elements of Scandinavian interiors with the Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy. And it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. "The pandemic has heightened our stress and anxiety, so there's a greater desire to create spaces that help us feel safe and relaxed," says designer Emma Beryl. Many crave peace at home after a year of chaos and uncertainty.

And when it comes to color, Japandi-inspired shades are growing in popularity, too. "Our best-selling colors are those that align with the serene, neutral essence of the Japandi design trend," says Amy Donato, senior color marketing manager for PPG Paints.

To capture the look, Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, suggests prioritizing natural materials and muted colors like whites, grays, and beiges. "Homeowners want to create sanctuary spaces in their homes where they can retreat after a long day and feel secure, and relaxing neutrals and natural materials bring that sense of security and restoration," she says.

If you're looking to design a restful environment at home, consider using top Japandi paint colors for your next design project. Read on for a list of expert-recommended shades.

Airy Neutrals

minimalist neutral Scandinavian Japandi-style living room
Paint Color: Gray Cloud 2126-60 by Benjamin Moore. Seth Caplan

Gray Cloud and Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore's Gray Cloud is a trusted choice for Beryl—one she's recently used on the walls of a client's zen living room. She also recommends Swiss Coffee as a go-to off-white. "The Japandi color palette is calming and rooted in warm neutrals," she says. "Swiss Coffee is a wonderful warm white that feels clean without being stark or sterile. I love that it's warm without reading too yellow."

Related: 27 Expert-Approved Neutral Paint Colors (and How to Use Them)

neutral Scandinavian Japandi-style minimalist banquette corner white walls
Paint Color: Moonlight by Backdrop. Courtesy of Backdrop

Supermoon and Moonlight, Backdrop

Natalie Ebel, co-founder of Backdrop, recommends Supermoon and Moonlight to readers looking to capture the spirit of Japandi style. "Fostering a relaxing environment can be as simple as surrounding ourselves with warm neutrals," she says. "Moonlight is a warm off-white that strikes a balance between a crisp, Scandinavian neutral and an earthy Japanese tone."

Related: Calming Color Schemes to Evoke Relaxation in Every Room

ppg japandi cottontail master bath
Paint Color: Cotton Tail by PPG Paints. Courtesy of PPG Paints

Cotton Tail, PPG Paints

"The brightness of Cotton Tail can help open up a space to create the peaceful, calmness of a zen environment," says Donato. "Pairing this clean white with a nature-inspired, lush green like Moss Point Green and comforting grays such as City Street help to balance the crispness of the color with relaxing, cozy tones." To complete the look, Donato suggests pairing it with a Light Oak wood floor stain to "provide the refined Scandinavian-inspired look of blonde wood."

Related: 6 Ways to Incorporate Blonde Wood Into Your Home

gray mist bedroom swiss coffee trim benjamin moore
Wall Color: Gray Mist; Ceiling Color: Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore. Courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Ballet White and Gray Mist, Benjamin Moore

Light, airy shades are Japandi classics because they are clean and crisp but also welcoming, says Nivara Xaykao, color marketing and development associate manager at Benjamin Moore. "Soft off-whites and warm neutrals that have an organic feel are most representative of this synergy between Scandinavian and Japanese design," she says. "Some hues we love for this style include Ballet White, Muslin, Jute, and Sail Cloth."

This clean-lined bedroom features Gray Mist on the walls with Swiss Coffee for the ceiling and trim.

Contrasting Shades

Japandi-style house exterior back patio black exterior Backdrop Home After Hours paint
Exterior Paint Color: After Hours by Backdrop. Carlos Naude

After Hours, Backdrop

Ebel loves the richness of Backdrop's After Hours for an exterior, which she describes as a soft, charcoal black. "Friends of ours at Working Holiday Spaces just completed a project on their home in all Backdrop colors," Ebel says. "Painted in After Hours, their facade is evocative of the traditional Japanese siding technique, shou sugi ban."

Related: 18 Essential Elements of Authentic Japanese Garden Design

tar painted door farrow and ball
Door Paint Color: Tar No.CC1 by Farrow & Ball. Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

Tar, Farrow & Ball

"For a deep contrasting color, I would use Farrow & Ball's Tar, which is a soft off-black that still reads sunny and warm despite its depth," Beryl says. She notes that Japandi colors, such as Tar, lend themselves to creating a warm, cozy environment that's rooted in nature. "By incorporating these colors in your home, you're setting the backdrop for a calming atmosphere," she says.

For small accents, Xaykao suggests a dark slate-like color, such as Benjamin Moore's Granite, or a Japanese indigo-inspired hue like Stunning.

Soothing Gray-Greens

living room cascade green walls dover white ceiling
Paint Color: SW 0066 Cascade Green by Sherwin-Williams. Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Cascade Green, Sherwin-Williams

For a Japandi-inspired shade with a bit more color, try a gray-green. "Cascade Green is a beautiful option for a powder room or main bathroom," Wadden says. "When paired with plants or wood, it will feel like an at-home spa."

Related: How to Set Up the Most Relaxing Zen Den Imaginable

pigeon room farrow and ball lemons on wood cutting board
Paint Color: Pigeon by Farrow & Ball. Courtesy of Farrow & Ball

Pigeon, Farrow & Ball

A classic, Farrow & Ball's Pigeon works with both contemporary and traditional design elements and lends a relaxing energy to a space. "To lean into the earth-toned palette of Japanese design, I would choose Farrow & Ball's Pigeon," she says, which she describes as "a cozy color that lives at the intersection of blue, gray, and green."

jojoba behr living room
Paint Color: Jojoba N390-3 by Behr. Courtesy of Behr

Jojoba, Behr

For a dusty, blue-green option, consider Behr's Jojoba, which Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services for Behr, calls "natural and rejuvenating." Backdrop's Road To Todos Santos, and Sherwin-Williams' Filmy Green or Create, are great soothing green paint colors, too.

Earth Tones

breakfast nook Behr Canyon Dusk S210-4 walls
Paint Color: Canyon Dusk S210-4 by Behr. Courtesy of Behr

Canyon Dusk, Behr

"Behr's 2021 Color of the Year, Canyon Dusk, resonates well with consumers looking to adapt the Japandi style trend, as it's an earthy terra-cotta evoking the harmonious atmosphere that we all continue to crave," says Woelfel. "The landscape-inspired hue, part of Behr's Color Trends 2021 palette, delivers on what everyone truly needs this year: elevated comfort."

sherwin williams worris grey room
Paint Color: SW 0037 Morris Room Grey by Sherwin-Williams. Courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

Morris Room Grey, Sherwin-Williams

Looking for an earthy shade that works with natural tones and textures? Wadden suggests Bona Fide Beige and Morris Room Grey for a deeper neutral—both are ideal for a home office or living room. Morris Room Grey is warm while also reading contemporary, lending itself well to the Japandi style.

Related: 9 Ways to Decorate with Rattan for Gorgeous Natural Texture in Every Room

London Clay and California Sand, Farrow & Ball

"This is the next paint color I'm planning to use; to me, it's very Axel Vervoordt," says designer Megan Grehl of Farrow & Ball's London Clay.

She also has California Sand dog-eared. "It reminds me of warm, dry, sunny summer days, and what is more relaxing than the beach?"

minimalist Japandi neutral bedroom Backdrop Home Mojave Gathering paint
Paint color: Mojave Gathering by Backdrop. Courtesy of Backdrop

Mojave Gathering and Interior Motives, Backdrop

Ebel recommends neutral gray-beiges by Backdrop called Mojave Gathering and Interior Motives, which were used on the interior of this home. "They made Japandi design shine and set up the space for a thoroughly-zen experience," she says.

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