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A Traditional House with a Contemporary Refurbishment

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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As a 163 year old dwelling that has accommodated four generations of the same family, this house is an unbelievable residence rich in history and intrigue. Recently updated by the team at Yoshida Architects Design Office, the home embraces tradition and heritage, while incorporating modern amenities for comfortable 21st century living. With areas of the home rebuilt with seismic reinforcement, the abode is structurally sound, and built to last at least another century. 

The home itself is a gorgeous and elegant fusion of tradition and modernity. The design takes advantage of the rustic embellishments, and exudes a sense of nostalgia, with warmth and a hospitable nature. Throughout the interior cedar and cypress timber is prevalent, contributing age-defiant charm and character. 

Energy-saving measures have been implemented and employed to reduce the ecological footprint of the home, ensuring the dwelling remains functionally relevant for years to come. If you would like to take a tour of this interesting and unique residence, check out the images below, and journey back in time with this notable and historically significant property. 

Old meets new

As a longstanding and history-rich residence, this home embodies many of the truly delightful features that many houses today have lost. The façade itself communicates a story, and presents a gorgeous sense of tradition, with other more contemporary elements. The style and design of the existing house is still very much an eye-catcher, while the roof, portico, and timber elements have been either replaced or restored.

The garden is bright, lively, and as characterful as the house itself, offering a sense of heritage, and charm. Soulful, and oozing charisma, this understated minimalist house is impressive in its simplicity.

A welcoming entry

As we approach the home, and get a little closer to the front door, we are able to see the beautiful use of timber cladding, and the historic façade in more detail. The dark timber combined with the lighter timber latticework doors present a beautiful contrast, and add a huge amount of elegance to the residence.

Additionally, we catch a glimpse of the amazingly traditional Japanese garden, which presents a gorgeous historic style of pruning plants. This bonsai-esque plant frames the entrance to the dwelling and ensures a sense of heritage throughout the property.

Minimalist dining

This minimalist room comes replete with a built-in table that acts as a stylish and practical gathering point for the whole family. The room is large and free from any adornments that might render it restful or peaceful. The shoji walls bring light into the space, which is then doubled with the mood enhancing light fitting.

Timber tones are the predominant colour within the earthy and neutral dwelling, and within this room, the dark timber ceiling looks superb.

Large, sleek, and sophisticated

The interior area are large, spacious and fabulously designed for comfortable living and also entertaining. Here within this gorgeous reception room we see the tatami mats that sit upon the floor, as well as the sliding doors. Although an old design, the house is particularly age-defiant, with an open plan and airy interior. Japanese style inherently includes open, or ‘openable’ spaces, which make it an ideal style to include in new or contemporary homes.

The dark timber ceiling is stunning against the white panelled walls, and when aired with the statement light fitting, is truly an unforgettable room.

21st century amenities

Moving into the kitchen, and we get a vision of one of the more contemporary additions within the home. The bespoke joinery has been designed to act in a minimal and unobtrusive manner, with fitting-free cabinetry adding a sleek aesthetic.

However, the most noticeable feature within this room are the huge timber trusses and beams that contrast the neutral coloured interior. They are a web of different geometric shapes, intersecting timber jutting out to support other beams.

Preservation of heritage features

Although this residence has seen a fair share of new updates and inclusions, it is the small original adornments that really shine and standout. The dark timber door frames contain carvings that captivate and enthral the visitor. Additionally, they help to preserve the originality of the house, ensuring its history and heritage remain well-documented for the enjoyment of future generations.

Here we see the adorably carved flower shape within the dark timber interior frame. This is just one example of the intricacies of this dwelling, and the wonderfully history-rich décor.

Shoji walls

Throughout the dwelling traditional shoji walls have been used to bring light and illumination into the interior spaces. Uniquely Japanese and unbelievably stylish, these timber framed walls feature rice paper that exudes a fresh and liveable aesthetic. The use of this highly functional, yet stylish material adds to the high quality and attention to detail seen throughout the home.

Great use of compact space

Within the bathroom area we are able to see the way the designers have utilised the compact space to include a vanity and sink. The long and linear room again comes replete with the dark timber, and contrasting light birch veneer, adding to the cohesive interior design and plan.

Imposing curb appeal

From the street this dwelling oozes an impressive sense of
drama. It is traditional, rich in heritage features, and evocative to a time that has long passed. However, the home also feels modern. It has been revamped, refreshed, and given an important update to bring it into the 21st century. The structure has been improved to handle seismic shifts and earthquakes, while the finishes include new and contemporary materials to promote longevity and low maintenance.

The garden is a real highlight. Boasting Japanese plants, and a traditional design, the area is gorgeously replete with bright green hues that add life and vivacity to the home.

If you liked this home, check out another here: The Bold House With A Surprise Interior

What do you think of Japanese traditional minimalism? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
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