The whimsical Japanese home we will explore today has the feel of a big interior courtyard. It is composed of one double-volume space that features open-air passageways and mezzanines. There is a profusion of light and a prevalent use of white. These features all work together to draw the eye upwards and give this home a very uplifting feel. So it's no surprise to discover that the architects Alts Design Office, wanted to create a home that resembled the feel of being in a woodland setting. Of course, they have teamed this design with pale wood finishes and lots of leafy houseplants. Let's go on a photo tour to explore the very natural essence of this big Japanese family home…
The home has a total floor space of 132m2. Rather than create one big and impressive living room, the architects have subtly subdivided the home into a series of smaller living areas. The extra space is used to create Zen-style rock gardens and build up the transition points, mezzanines and passageways in the home. This gives one the feel of a very organic, harmonious and well balanced design. It also gives the home a quiet sense of intimacy, humility and peace.
The concrete floors, wooden steps and wooden furniture all work together in subtle harmony. Each of these materials gives the space a different raw texture and variety of linework that adds an earthy feel to the home. Note the combination of straight and curved lines on display here. Organic lines tend to help one feel calm and at peace in a home.
The various living areas have been separated with a series of very tall white curtains. These run across the two levels of the home, visually connecting them and giving the home an informal, breezy feel. Japanese homes are often conceived of as a single volume separated by flexible sliding doors and partitions, so this has some links to traditional style Japanese architecture.
The home has been extremely minimally furnished. The small furnishings we do see on display are made from wood and tend to be quietly unified with the architecture features such as the wooden ceiling here. A few humble houseplants have been used to define the doorway entrance on one side. This is a home with an incredibly light aesthetic.
The upper level has a peaked roof that exhibits a skylight. This is hardly necessary in a home with such a bright feel, but it just goes to show the importance of the natural elements in the concept of this home. Here, the wooden ceilings have been abandoned for white. The all-white interior works with the flood of light to create a bedroom with an intensely illuminating feel.
The white bathroom has a fresh appeal. The wash-basin is mounted on a light, wooden frame that barely takes up any visual weight in the room. There are few accessories and just a couple of fresh green houseplants for decoration. This home presents the perfect unity of natural wood, light and the power of white.
If this home has inspired you to freshen up your home, check out 7 ways to keep your Singapore home fresh.