How to combine fabrics, textures, and colours for a peaceful Japandi style

In this second part of a Japandi special, we stroll into the world of upholstery textiles, providing you with practical tips and ideas on how to make the best upholstery choices for this style. We also look at the Japandi colour rainbow (that we came up with ourselves) and how to combine colours with fabric textures.

In the first part of this spotlight on Japandi, we looked at two case studies that both use FibreGuard fabrics. Check it out here if you haven’t already!


The natural tactility of textured upholstery is perfect for Japandi interiors

Japandi style embraces natural-feel textures that add a visual warmth to a space. The thoughtful use of textural fabrics adds towards creating this atmosphere.

Touch and texture are like the secret ingredients that, when combined, make interior spaces outstanding. It's like a special invite for our senses to join the party and connect with the space and the current moment. - The sensory delight of velvet upholstery

What kinds of fabrics do we recommend? Well:

Flatwoven upholstery fabrics, for example, are great at bringing an earthy feel to a room. Their nubby, irregular surface provides visual interest and appeals to our sense of touch.

Subtly textured upholstery also boosts the relaxed appeal of Japandi, adding a very light tactile quality that won’t overpower the warm minimalist aesthetic.

Add some understated cushions with organic hand-feel textures like linen, cotton and wool. Accent with sage greens, creamy whites, warm neutrals and black.

Can you use velvet upholstery in Japandi interiors?

Velvet and other smooth-feeling fabrics can add an element of subtle luxury to Japandi style interiors. The key here is to keep things understated. Go for a matte velvet in a neutral tone like cream or light grey rather than a brightly coloured or heavily patterned velvet.

When it comes to brown sofas – a hot trend this year – velvet is the perfect choice because the fabric’s luxurious sheen takes the colour from dowdy to glamorous. The ultimate guide to velvet upholstery: durability, cleaning and colours

Maintaining the beauty of your FibreGuard velvet upholstery fabrics is simple, thanks to our Stain Free Technology, protecting them from spills and stains that can occur in busy spaces.


Filter natural light with our drapery ideas

One of the hallmarks of Japandi style is its use of natural light. Sheers and dimouts work beautiful together to both diffuse the light in a space but also add some privacy and acoustic control.

  • Sheer curtains allow light to diffuse into a space thanks to their lightweight composition. Choose sheers in lighter hues like white, linen-look or even a soft grey to enhance the airy feel.
  • Dimouts take filtering light a step further by giving you control over how much sunlight enters.
  • Consider layering sheers behind dimouts and you can adjust them based on the time of day and your lighting needs.

Looking for more curtain and drapery inspiration? Check out our sister brand, FR-One, and start here: Maximize your interior design with triple the fabrics


Key Japandi upholstery colours

Gentle, earthy colour palettes are a hallmark of Japandi design, especially in shades of browns, and beiges. Here are our top picks for upholstery fabrics this season in our very own Japandi colour rainbow:

White, off-white and eggshell upholstery

White and ecru upholstery are a perfect foundation to build on. The key is choosing a white with just a hint of cream or yellow to take the edge off and give it a soothing warmth.

Creamy white upholstery can provide a blank canvas look that lets other decorative elements shine. It also pairs effortlessly well with wood tones, black accents, and nature-inspired colours like greens and blues.

Neutrals from beige to greige

Neutral colours create a calm, grounded feel. Hues like greys, beiges, and warm browns echo elements found in the natural world: a very important aspect of Japandi interiors. But it’s such a wide spectrum: how do you choose?

Beige is a warm neutral tone that sits between grey and brown. It has various gradients, some leaning yellowish while others have pink undertones. Beige works well as both an accent or main wall colour in interior design projects due to its ability to blend with other colours without creating too much contrast.

Almond: A light, buttery colour with a subtle hint of pale pink or beige. It's reminiscent of the colour of almond nuts and is lighter than tan.

Bisque: A pale orange with a slight undertone of beige or cream, resembling traditional bisque pottery. It's a soft, warming colour.

Cosmic Latte: A very pale, off-white colour with a hint of yellow or cream. It represents the average colour of the universe (as proven by scientists!) and combines well with other neutrals.

Desert Sand: A warm, earthy colour resembling the hue of sand found in arid desert regions.

Camel: Inspired by the fur of camels, this light brown shade leans towards tan or beige.

Greige: A sophisticated greyish beige or beige-grey, sitting between the coolness of grey and the warmth of beige. It combines neutrality and maturity with simplicity and comfort. Learn more about the design potential of greige in a great article over on The Spruce: What Is Greige? How to Use This Versatile Neutral Colour.

Bring in the sage green and grounding black

The Japanese affinity for nature is everywhere in Japandi style furnishings and fabrics. We’re talking greens in shades of sage, moss, olive and fern. Using these soft greens here and there in your Japandi space can add a whisper of colour, whether it’s through decorative accessories, pillows, or upholstery.

Consider using this sage green in small doses on accent upholstery pieces to provide a hint of colour against creamy neutrals.

Looking for even more green? Read Grey & green living room ideas from FibreGuard

Black is an important accent in Japandi style interiors. Go for softer blacks to create more nuance that feels grounded and echoes the dark colours found in nature, such as black walnut wood or black slate. Try incorporating it through textural elements like woven baskets, ceramic tableware, rattan pendant lights, or solid blackout curtains.

Last words on upholstery and Japandi style

The bottom line is that the right fabrics can boost the chilled-out atmosphere of a Japandi interior. Elements like textural upholstery, dimming sheers, and touches of black add warmth and depth. When selecting an upholstery colour palette, look to creamy whites, soft greys, warm browns, and sage greens to cultivate a sense of calm.

Before we go, check out more of our FibreGuard Japandi-inspired content and visit our Pinterest board.

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