Interior design trends to try: Japandi and Dark Academia

Interior design trends to try: Japandi and Dark Academia

Home decor trends can be a simple, fun way to change things up at home while experimenting to find your style, and the cooler months provide long evenings to make it happen. We’ll show you simple ways to incorporate a different take on minimalist style and tips to transform your pad into a maximalist’s dream, following two of the fastest rising interior design trends for 2022 according to Google searches. Move over shabby-chic and modern country, Japandi and Dark Academia are the new looks in town!


'Scandi' design brings simplicity through the lines of architecture accompanied by cosy, uncluttered decor whilst typical Japanese style is all about calming, elegant minimalism. The two marry beautifully in one of the most popular interior decor trends this year, Japandi interior design.


Online markets such as Etsy have many options when you search for a trend.

The Key Elements of Japandi are tranquillity, simplicity and harmony, which translate to:

  • Clean lines and simple organic shapes
  • Functional, minimal furniture and accessories
  • Open, bright and decluttered spaces
  • Natural materials, tones and textures
  • Neutral, warm and muted colours with pops of accent and contrast
  • Plants to bring in life

Japandi is heavily focused on simplicity, creating a peaceful and warm environment with a minimalist layout. 

The decor should be simple yet stylish and not overpowering with a neutral, calming colour palette.


Here are five ways to incorporate the Japandi aesthetic into your home.

1. For walls, choose neutral colours that better reflect daylight through space. White and shades of white, dove grey, pearl tones, sage and even apricot hues evoke feelings of peace and light.

2. When choosing furniture, look for neutral fabrics in beige, off-white or muted grey, natural wood tones and simple shapes. Utilise furniture you already own by painting it in neutral tones, or search for pre-loved furniture with simple, clean lines to upcycle with the Japandi aesthetic.

3. Nothing speaks Japandi more than wooden floors. Either light or dark tones will suit the vibe. Bring in rugs for warmth and texture.

4. Lighting sets the mood and the feeling we're going for here is peaceful. Minimal shapes with clean lines in ceiling, floor and table lights will do the trick. Natural lighting also plays a wonderful part in creating the peaceful feeling that Japandi is all about.

5. Accessories are a great way to add personality and probably the simplest way to achieve the Japandi aesthetic. Long elegant branches sprinkled with buds, wall art with simple shapes and contrasting colours, indoor plants in neutral pots, and cushions with Japanese-oriented prints can be sourced inexpensively. Mid-century design pieces can work here too. Taking it a step further, beautifully designed, functional pieces such as tableware, vases and appliances all play a part in creating the look we're after.

Dark Academia

A refined scholarly atmosphere, mystery combined with decadence, alcoves full of intrigue, flickering candles and an eclectic collection of knick-knacks are at the core of this trend. By no means a new decor style, Dark Academia is heavily inspired by architecture and history, evoking the feeling of old universities, libraries and dimly lit offices, embracing dark colours, rich textures and vintage-inspired decor. Its gothic and dark elements might seem intense but in fact, Dark Academia mostly revolves around the celebration of classic literature and a passion for knowledge.


Though it's often described as maximalist, Dark Academia features decor aspects that will always remain in style, such as antique elements, vintage detailing and loads of leather-bound books.

Here's how to incorporate the Dark Academia aesthetic into your home:

1. For colours, deep moody palettes of green and burgundy, dark moody neutrals, shades of brown, muted earth tones, off-white, dark orange and gold are ideal.

2. More than anything, the dark academia aesthetic calls for wood. Dark vintage furniture with engravings and sumptuous upholstery fits the bill perfectly. Bedrooms are easy to transform using bulky bedding with layers of sheets and cosy blankets. Big bouncy mattresses reminiscent of old dorm-style bedding - think Harry Potter and you're on the right track.

3. Anything with dramatic, moody, mysterious, studious and gothic themes such as large chandeliers, a crackling fireplace, haphazardly stacked books, sophisticated artwork, and images associated with literature and learning.

4. Reading by lamplight is at the very heart of the dark academia trend. Candles, candelabras and lanterns spilling flickering light will set the mood perfectly.


5. Fabrics are also key to the look; chunky wool throws, leather and faux fur help to emphasise dark themes, patterns and textures like tweed and houndstooth on throws and accent pillows, as well as rich tapestry textures all create the gothic vibe. Heavy velvet curtains with opulent tiebacks get extra points.

6. Once again, accessories are the simplest way to embrace the Dark Academia trend in a non-permanent way. Mystery is core to this aesthetic, so look for trinkets and accessories that have a story attached to them. Scour markets for inexpensive knick-knacks, or pull out family heirlooms from storage to create the look. 

Here are the items that speak to Dark Academia: gilded and stained mirrors, engraved trinkets, antique clocks, vintage jewellery boxes, Greek busts, ornate candle holders, vintage posters, dried flora in apothecary jars, hourglasses, telescopes, birdcages, globes, bookends, botanical prints, sketches, maps, old photos, art supplies, musical instruments and most of all, leather-bound books.

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