If you’re like me and need help picking your jaw off of the floor I already sent for help. When I was pitched this home I immediately said YES. Is anyone surprised? This year has more or less been a celebration of color, pattern, and curated maximalism (it’s what we needed in this year of dread). But when a home like this pops up, we are quickly reminded why neutral minimalism has held on for so long and will always have a place in our hearts. This home both calms the brain and excites the soul. I got to ask Shanty Wijaya, the designer and founder of Allprace who might remember from this home tour and this post, a few questions about this 8 month (over 2 years) renovation. So this will be part interview, part me pointing out all of the wonderful details that she explored within the JAPANDI style. Let’s dive in!
What initially struck me in the pitch was the term “JAPANDI”. I obviously got the idea pretty quickly but was dying to know more. So what better way to do that than get the info from the designer herself…
How would you define JAPANDI style and what are the key elements for someone who loves it and wants to incorporate it into their home?
The theme of this house is JAPANDI – Japanese Scandinavian in nature.
JAPANDI design blends Japanese artistic elements with Scandinavian comfort (Hygge). Both Japanese and Scandinavian design aesthetics are focused on simplicity, natural elements, comfort, and sustainability. The key elements for Japandi design are muted colors, clean lines, natural light, greenery inside and outside the home, eco-friendly materials, uncluttered spaces, and a celebration of the indoor/outdoor lifestyle. For anyone interested in incorporating JAPANDI design into their home, I suggest using lots of natural light through oversized windows, bringing in nature by using potted hanging plants, creating warmth by selecting furniture with bespoke craftsmanship in natural elements (e.g., wood, stone), and valuing imperfection (Wabi-Sabi).
I noticed that this home has a lot of straight lines and right angles (ie the exterior, paneling, doorways, windows, etc.) Would you say that’s a key feature of Japandi design or just an aesthetic you really love?
Both! Japandi design is a marriage between Scandinavian modernism with traditional Japanese elements, and the home is heavily inspired by both cultures. The home was originally built in the 1920s, and was boxy when we purchased it. We decided to keep the original shape and created a new facade around the original design that had Japanese and Scandinavian influences. We sourced Accoya wood, a high-performing, sustainably sourced and eco-friendly treated wood that evoked Scandinavian design. We milled and cut this wood one by one in a few different shapes and sizes for application around the home including the fence, gate, and roof, creating dimension, depth, and a sense of unity. The vertical wooden slats on the roof continue all the way to the ground and are inspired by traditional Japanese home architecture, while instilling a Scandinavian modern feel at the same time.
FUN FACT: Accoya wood was Shanty’s must-have element in the home. She said that she’s been wanting to use it for a while now and I think it’s safe to say she used to exquisitely.
What drew to this design aesthetic?
I’ve always loved both the Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetic and lifestyle.
To me, these design styles both supported a healthy, meaningful lifestyle, which focuses on a connectedness to nature. The Covid lockdown also inspired me to further incorporate JAPANDI design in the home both inside and outside. I was inspired to create a home that instills a sense of balance and happiness.
Well that she did. This home is quiet but beautifully textured with tons of different materials and muted pops of color.
As the queen of ADUs, was there a structure already in the backyard, or did you create one to give you more space (and a place to getaway).
The ADU is a completely new structure, there was nothing in its place beforehand. This space is perfect for a yoga studio, office space, or separate entertaining area. I felt that with everyone at home for the foreseeable future, there was no better time to add a bonus detached space that can be used for a variety of purposes. For the ADU, we used the same Accoya wood that was used on the exterior of the home, adding a sense of cohesiveness to the property. The ADU also features its own alfresco dining area with hanging daybed under the mature old tree. The entire home was designed for the homeowner to work, live, and play.
SO pretty. Well, let’s head inside for a while before we finish off with the rest of the landscaping.
I feel like this shot of the entry and kitchen shows the perfect juxtaposition of Scandinavian and Japanese design. The entry with its vertical paneling and bentwood hooks has Scandi written all over it. While the kitchen has flat paneled cabinets and a sleek facet which feels much more like Japanese design to me. But both areas incorporate the other aesthetic like with the footstool in the entry and the barstools and pendant in the kitchen.
Can you handle those beautiful display shelves and the light wood dowel??
Here’s what Shanty had to say about that stunning kitchen island:
For this project, we repurposed a beautiful rough-hewn reclaimed solid French oak wood that was dark-stained for the kitchen countertop. The imperfections in the countertops speak to the age of the wood and tell a story. The wood will age beautifully and will continue to change over time as it interacts with the environment. To create depth and visual interest, use different colors of stained wood.
As Shanty said, she used a few different types of wood like sustainably sourced Accoya, white oak, and pine. We get asked all of the time if you can mix wood tones and hopefully, this house shows you it’s a big yes. However, you want to make sure you use them intentionally and it helps if they have a similar finish (most of these are matte and natural which is why they all work so well).
My favorite floor transition is the wood floor into those beautiful black and white check marble floor tiles. If I ever own a house this will be happening.
If you haven’t already noticed windows are a huge feature in this home and picture windows specifically. They are such a beautiful way to connect you to the outdoors. Emily used them in the mountain house and could not love them more. They honestly feel like a piece of art in and of themselves.
Talk to me about your living room fireplace.
Originally, this home did not have a fireplace. I love fireplaces because it really creates a focal point to the living room and instills a warmth, cozy, feeling known as Hygge. We designed and built the fireplace with solid concrete and used a herringbone pattern with a rustic thin brick inside. The fireplace is a Bio-Ethanol fireplace, which uses bio-ethanol instead of wood and it’s also smokeless and ventless, and an eco-friendly alternative to the traditional wood burning fireplace. Another bonus is that it’s much easier to install than a traditional fireplace.
I really love the unexpected quirk in the decor. The lamp is both very trendy and yet vintage looking, the waved of the rattan magazine holder and Cindy Zell rope wall hanging gives a ton of movement to the space, and in the shelving unit below the monkey lamp is so random, yet perfect and so fun. It makes what could be a very intimidating home, totally inviting. I think A 1000x Better who styled the space gets the credit for this:)
This kind of exterior isn’t for everyone but regardless it’s so unbelievable striking and makes what could be a rather boring box house SO much personality. Also, I just had to show you the view of that sunroom from this angle:)
Now let’s head to the bedrooms.
I think everyone is about to fall in love with that arched headboard. It was custom-made by the Allprace team, but with a jigsaw, a staple gun, and the right materials you could also make this yourself. It’s so darn beautiful!
Also, notice the intentional use of shiplap on certain walls and the ceiling. I have mixed feelings about “the single accent wall” but am pretty into “half room accent walls”. I don’t think that’s a real term.
I love all of the flooring choices! But can you go into why you chose to put hardwood in the majority of the home and then what looks like concrete tiles in one of the bedrooms?
I wanted to create different looks for each room. We installed the oversized concrete tile in the junior suite because it’s the only bedroom that is on a separate level from the rest of the house. I wanted to create a different design interest for this room, which has a predominately Japanese design. The oversized concrete tile adds a natural, raw feeling, which is balanced with the quarter sawn white oak ceiling beams and the fusuma styled with hand painted closet doors.
We also used the same concrete tile in the sunroom and in the exterior entrance of the house, which keeps the design cohesive and balanced.
I think this is such a great thing to think about if you are designing from scratch or just replacing your floors. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and/or step out of the flooring box.
What is also different but still cohesive with the rest of the house is the ceiling. In this room, you have the white panels with the natural beam while in the room before it’s all white. Then in the common rooms, there are both plain ceilings and ceilings with just natural beams. Remember that is an option when designing too!
I’m just going to leave this beautiful bathtub right here. Sorry, we don’t know the source.
Ok, now let’s move on to one of my favorite rooms… the detached office.
I’ve been seeing the diamond painted wood flooring a lot more recently. Do you think it’s going to be a big 2021 trend? What made you decide to incorporate it?
I think this trend has been around for a while, but it’s been getting a lot of attention recently because it’s easy to do and makes for the perfect DIY project and instantly elevates the look of your floors. Rather than installing black and white tiles in a diamond pattern, it’s much easier to paint the pattern right onto your existing wood flooring. You can also be creative with color options. This look adds a timeless, classic, and sophisticated feel to the room and creates visual interest when you have a simple design on the eye-level. I love this look for the office studio – it offers something different and unexpected from the rest of the house. We installed a new unfinished white oak floor and hand painted each diamond one by one. This pattern continues into the mudroom and in the adjacent room as well.
Well, I 100% agree. The painted design looks so cool and SO elevated. I also stand by the fact that 2021 is going to see A LOT more diamond painted wood floors. Emily might have already pinned some similar floor inspo for a future project:)
I also can’t get over how cool that orange lamp looks. Another unexpected element that adds so much personality without taking over the whole space. I think I know need an orange lamp.
Shanty also kept the diamond theme going outside. So much cohesion but in a perfectly subtle way.
For the grand finally here is the whole backyard. I know it’s A TOTAL oasis!
The landscaping is stunning! How did the Japandi style influence your plant choices?
Thank you! We put our blood, sweat and tears into the landscaping. The vibe I wanted to create was a Japanese-Californian-inspired peaceful, tranquil, and laid back outdoor retreat that has it all. We used many different types of Japanese garden plants and rocks including varied bamboo, Japanese maples, Bonsai, pine, and many more. We sourced the rocks and arranged them to look like mountains, which is typically seen in a Japanese rock garden. We also added a Koi pond, which is surrounded by Japanese-influenced rocks, plants, and shrubs. My goal for the landscaping was to create a sense of oneness with nature and emphasize the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. I designed the landscaping throughout the COVID lockdown, and being in lockdown had a tremendous impact on how I wanted the landscaping to look.
Well, there you go. A little break from the holiday madness with a truly special piece of design artwork.
What’s your favorite part? Are any of your renovating and might want to use some of these ideas? Let’s talk!
Love you, mean it.