11 Best Japandi Style Lights

1st February 2021

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A large Japandi style paper light hangs over a round dark wood dining table in a beautiful dining room with mid-blue accents.
&Tradition’s elegant interpretation of Japandi style lights. The Formakami lamp collection, designed by Jaime Hayon.

It would be easy to take the ubiquitous paper lampshade for granted. They’re everywhere – a part of modern culture. Inspired by centuries old Chinese and Japanese ‘Chochin’ lanterns and now mass produced cheaply by brands like IKEA, they’ve been a mainstay of modern interiors for years. But it was the work of sculptor and designer Isamu Noguchi that catapulted this unassuming classic into mid-century homes.

In 1951, Noguchi was invited by the mayor of Gifu, home to the Ozeki lantern factory, to breathe new life into this ancient craft. The result was the distinctive (but often imitated) ‘Akari’ collection. Combining electricity with the traditional bamboo frame and washi paper skin, he transformed the lantern. Their soft glowing ambiance feels instantly homely and there’s something ethereal about the way the light plays with the thinness of the paper. They are functional works of art.

Glowing globe shape Japandi style lights made with pleated paper on an oak and brass base, designed by Le Klint, Danish lighting brand.
Ethereal hand-pleated paper lamps designed by Le Klint, the 75th Anniversary model 375.

Where Japan Meets Scandinavia

Our innate need to create a home that feels safe, warm and harmonious has seen the rise of a kind of soft minimalism. We seek comfort in neutral interiors in soft beige and earthy clay tones. We want our furniture not only to reflect our personality but to bring about a tactile connection with natural materials; rattan, wood, paper, linen and so on.

Trend forecasters have coined the slightly cringy phrase ‘Japanordic’ or ‘Japandi’ to describe the fusion between Japanese and Scandinavian design, but essentially, these two cultures find common ground through simple, considered design and quality materials. Nordic brands are translating the look of traditional Japanese papercraft techniques into contemporary design statements where new iterations include opaline glass.

An earthy green Danish living room decorated with a minimalist daybed and sofa at the New Works studio in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen design studio New Works imitates the ridges of a paper lantern with opaline glass for a soft, diffused glow.

A classic paper pendant in a Scandi style white dining room demonstrates how Japandi style lighting creates a simple yet calming effect at home.
A modern-rustic Scandinavian dining room with a Japanese twist – the Bidar paper pendant from House Doctor.
A grouping of &Tradition's Asian inspired paper lantern lights, the Formakami collection, hanging against a soothing green painted wall.
A contemporary approach to Asian paper lanterns – the Formakami collection by &Tradition.

Create Cosy Ambience with Japandi Style Lights.

If you’d like to incorporate this look into your own home, my edit of Japandi Style Lights picks out options across a range of budgets. From sculptural over-the-dining-table conversation starters to the more subtle bedside lamps.

Explore 11 of the best Japandi style lights and lamps inspired by Japanese paper lanterns.

1. Hashira floor lamp, Menu* | 2. Gatto table lamp, FLOS | 3. HAY rice paper lampshade | 4. Formakami JH3 Lamp, &Tradition | 5. New Works lantern globe lamp| 6. Fritz Hansen Lullaby | 7. Risbyn paper lamp, IKEA | 8. 375 table lamp, Le Klint | 9. Bidar paper lampshade, House Doctor | 10. Akari A10 floor lamp, Vitra | 11. Bamboo pendant light*, H&M Home.

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