Magical small space: A Japanese home less than 38m²

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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The cosy Japanese home we will explore today has just 37m2 of floor space. The small proportions have been combined with a sloping roof that gives the home a strong sense of cosiness and warmth. But once you step inside, it's hard to believe that this isn't a much larger residence.

The architects Space Buildings have installed large glass walls and lots of windows throughout the home. These windows invite copious amounts of light into the home and make it feel bright and airy. This kind of feature can often be challenging in a small home in an urban neighbourhood, as privacy is often compromised. But the architects have added a few innovative twists that totally bypass this issue. Come with us on a photo tour to learn all the details…

Sloping roof

The home has a minimalist facade and a black sloping roof. It is almost entirely constructed of wood and has a simple, straightforward entrance. The roof overhangs a small front porch area and serves to create a cosy, welcoming feel. This home may be just 37m2, but it has two levels. The second level is located within the peaked roof and has skylight windows.

Glass walls

In the main living and dining room, we can see how the large floor-to-ceiling glass walls really open the home up. The interior decor is completely furnished and clad in natural wood, so the all the vivid colours of the outdoor greenery become a dominant force in the interior design. This serves to encourage our attention outwards and makes the home feel large and expansive.

Low-set windows for privacy

This room features a traditional Japanese tatami floor and a very unusual glass wall. The wall is partially covered by a white wall. It's set at a distance from the glass and this space acts as a sort of light well. The light that does enter the living area is diffuse and gentle. But the biggest advantage here is that the occupants enjoy a vast amount of privacy. As we saw earlier, the home is set close to a neighbouring home, so this was an important issue to address.

Earthy materials

As with many Japanese homes, the design is minimalist and the colour scheme based on the hues of nature. Here we can see how the grain and textures of wood have been used to infuse the minimalist home with warmth and cosiness. Although, note the exposed wooden beams and rustic fireplace. Authenticity is a big part of the Japanese design approach and it's common to see exposed elements on display like this.

Rock garden

The white bathroom has a glass wall that faces the perimeter of the property. The architects have created another light well here with a white exterior wall and side openings. The white wall bounces around that light and offers the perfect combination of privacy and brightness. A simple Zen garden with white rocks acts as a sort of barrier and adds a nice decorative touch to the bathroom. This room is relatively small, but the designers have used a wall-mounted sink and large mirror. This reflects even more light and makes the small bathroom feel bright and luxurious.

If you like the private quality of this home, you'll love this project: The simple family home of hidden luxury.

What do you think of the innovative approach to the glass walls in this cosy Japanese home? 

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