Today we travel to Tokyo, Japan, where we'll explore a modern one-room home with a spectacular mezzanine. By Tokyo standards, the home is quite expansive and covers a generous 110sqm. But, as commonly seen in Japanese architecture, the space has a minimalist interior that translates into a very budget friendly design. The architects Okamoto have chosen to leave the central space quite open and allow the simple features to remain dominant. So as we take our tour, you'll see that there are few internal walls. Instead, we have an interior dominated by large windows, lots of wood and of course, a great mezzanine. Let's have a look in photos…
The home is a detached urban dwelling with a black galvanised steel exterior. The site benefits from open space on either side, but this situated is likely to change so there are few side windows. Instead, we have large windows covering the upper floors and a simple terrace area. The open garage space on the lower level also lifts the living areas up and makes for a more private outlook too.
The interior has been arranged as one central space with an outward facing kitchen. This allows for the profuse amount of window light to flow unimpeded into all the living areas. Aside from a small bathroom window hidden from view here, all the natural light comes from this area.
It can get expensive to completely furnish your interior in wood, so this living room may provide inspiration for a more budget-friendly approach. The wooden trims, exposed timber ceiling beams and divisions don't use a whole lot of wood, but they give the home a very strong, modern rustic look.
The owner decided to cut down on kitchen costs by buying his own IKEA kitchen kit. The wooden finish blends perfectly in with the wooden floors and looks surprisingly sophisticated. Also, note how just a small panel of tiles has been added to the area behind the cooktop. This helps cut down on costs too.
The interior may be simple and budget friendly, but it has a sense of abundance. This comes from the judicious use of the natural elements. The architects have avoided a custom fit kitchen and internal walls. Instead, the funds have been directed towards the addition of a beautiful wooden floor. The knots and variations in the wood add a rich sense of luxury that is disproportionate to the costs.
Japanese architects traditionally approach interiors with a reverence for the organic flow between the various living areas. A room is not designed to be finished in the western sense. Instead, it is often seen as a container for the life of the home. In this regard, the home is very Japanese. There are unadorned wooden elements linking the lower and upper levels together and the home has a very cohesive, minimalist feel.
The sleeping mezzanine looks out onto a rather private view of the rooftops. Chunky wooden beams give the area a gentle geometry and the space feels quite private and sublime. Keen eyed readers may have noticed the sliding doors on either side of this area. They are shoji or rice paper walls. A simple solution for a simple home.
For more small home ideas, have a look at 9 space-maximising tricks we've learned from tiny homes.