The Cherry Blossom House

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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This elegant home is located in a Setagaya-ku, a green, residential district in Tokyo, Japan. The two-level wooden construction is the work of Mukoyama Architects and possesses a gentle, natural design that takes full advantage of a lovely plot of land.

It was interesting then, to discover that the owner was offered the land from relatives on the condition that any construction should have minimal impact on the land. With a beautiful large cherry blossom tree close by, we can see why they insisted!

Here at homify we think the architects were largely successful in working with the natural features of the land. Have a look at these photos and decide for yourself.

A Slate Facade

While the facade here is contemporary with uninterrupted lines of sight and minimal detail, there is plenty of visual variety to soften and warm the ambience. The pale pink flowers of the cherry blossom tree provide a bright contrast to the rest of the building. At the same time, the golden timber cladding, panels and pale grey slate work in unison to create a facade made of natural, earth tones materials. To accentuate the earthy theme even more, the red-ochre of the background buildings peeks through.

A wooden staircase

The ground floor consists of a two-car garage and a generous storage room. So it's from this external wooden staircase that we ascend to the living areas.

As with many Japanese homes, the design of this staircase exhibits the Japanese reverence for natural materials. The railing and staircase are light, unfussy and allow the natural beauty of the wood to work its magic.

An Open Living Space

Upstairs we come to the open plan living space. A small dining area and kitchen work almost like annexes to the beautiful balcony outside. Pendant lights, natural wood floors and a small skylight ensure that nature, light and air permeate throughout the area. But it's the great triangular window and balcony that really catch our attention. Let's go and explore more.

The view of the cherry blossoms

So here we have the real heart of this home. A dark wooden deck, ochre paint finish and humble wooden outdoor furniture create an understated backdrop to the full beauty of the cherry blossom tree. Full sliding glass doors and high windows ensure that this view seeps into the rest of the living area as much as possible.

A frosted bathroom

While the bathroom is designed in a minimalist style, there are plenty of lines and varying finishes. The bathroom lies adjacent to a small, alcove with an open view of the street outside. While frosted glass provides privacy within the bathroom, this unusual layout also means that the shadows of the timber cladding and natural light from the street flood the room. As with the rest of the home, here we can see similar wood finishes on the floor and bathroom cabinets.

Subtle Garage

While this may not be the most beautiful view, it's interesting because we can see how closely the home is butted up against some high density housing on the left. After a tour of the rest of the home, it's surprising to see how cleverly the designers have managed to avoid the potentially claustrophobic implications of this issue. To finish up, we should mention the garage and parking area. So many garages are eyesores, but with an earthy-ochre finish and minimal detailing, this is one garage that simply blends into the surroundings.

If you love natural wooden homes, have a look at The Peaceful Home in The Woods.

What do you think of this wooden home? We'd love to hear in the comments below!
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