The Japanese abode we will explore today has a design sure to appeal to lovers of solid, earthy homes and a relaxed style of living. It's a two-level home built from wood and is designed to meet the highest standards in earthquake resistant terms. It also has a moderately-sized front garden that wraps around the L-shaped design. This arrangement really infuses the interior with a natural beauty. The Japanese architects H Architecture have also designed the home with a modern appearance and fine attention to detail. Come with us on a photo tour for all the details…
The home is set in a new residential area surrounded by nature. Accordingly, it has lots of wooden panels and trimmed finishes that give the home a very natural, earthy ambience. The area is also relatively quiet and the architects have the designed the facade to be quite open. There are lots of street facing windows, although most of them are set behind the garden to afford some privacy. Note the low-set panel window on the far right. This is an increasingly popular choice in window design because it strikes a careful balance between privacy and light.
From this angle, we can see how the L-shaped layout of the garden sort of embraces the main building. This creates a sense of unity between the indoor and outdoor areas. It also serves to create a buffer between the interior life of the home and the world outside. Here we also get a glimpse of the protruding planes that run either side of the entrance. It's small details like this that provide subtle variation and interest in this facade. On a side note, the building site is 220sqm and the home itself is 132sqm spread over two levels.
The main living area is composed of an L-shaped kitchen/dining room that leads towards the living room before us. A series of sliding glass doors make for a seamless flow of light and life between this area and the front garden or terrace area. This area is also designed so parents can keep a watchful eye on young children playing both inside and outside the home. Finally, note the lack of ornamentation. This is a home where the quiet infusion of nature and the beauty of the space are allowed to remain dominant.
The owners requested a wide kitchen with enough space for both parents to cook their favourite dishes. They also wanted a full kitchen island with lots of functional storage space. What strikes us about this kitchen is the combination of chunky wooden elements and fine contemporary details such as the solid wooden staircase and fine silver pendant lights. It's a combination we have seen time and time again in modern Japanese family homes and one that creates a good balance of modern ease and earthy comfort.
The transitional spaces such as the hallway or corridor are clearly influenced by contemporary Japanese design. The design is minimalist and the colour scheme is subdued. There is a lot of variation in the lines of sight, but it's quite subtle. The step up is a common feature used to help draw attention to the action of moving from one space to another. Another common feature is the emphasis on nature. The architects have used natural materials throughout the home and here we can see slate tiles and wooden floors. We can also see a simple bamboo plant and a few small ornaments of nostalgic value.
The tatami room is one of the more traditional elements in the home. It opens up to the courtyard and has a bright, relaxing ambience. A tatami room is often very sparsely furnished. Here however we have a wooden storage cupboard. It has been raised off the ground and this gives the room an elevated quality. It also creates space for the low-set panel window we saw from the front.
If you are thinking of building a new home, you'll need to read 8 beautiful houses that were very cheap to build.