A Modern Home with a Traditional Touch

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宇佐美建築設計室 Classic style living room
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Art is a universal language. It appeals to everyone who has an eye for beauty. For inspirations, it also borrows heavily from everywhere, because art knows no boundaries. It is for some time now that Japan embraced modernism in architecture and interior décor. Modern conception of minimalism is actually an age old practice in Japan. A Japanese house can never put up with any clutter. Skilful organisation is key to every home in Japan and house owners willingly comply with the stringent social requirements of cleanliness and taste that every house must exhibit. 

Over the years, many ancient practices have given way to the new. Improvements of technology have made the tasks of architects and designers simpler in many ways. Yet, many parts of a home in Japan remain a diligent production of hand. Modern structures base their design ideals on the traditions of the land. This only helps them to build houses that are aesthetically pleasing yet robust enough to last for generations. Like all art in Japan, a house too is a product of love and labour. The meticulousness of Ota House only shows the efficacy of such ancient practices.


Ota House of Japan is the brain child of Usami Sekkei Architectural Design Studio who has been given the responsibility of creating a family home in suburban Ota. It stands on a picturesque spot of approximately 370 sq metres. The living area spanning 86.5 sq metres only occupy one fifth of the entire area allocated for the house. From the outside, the building possesses almost a stern ebony black look. The gable on the eastern part of the building has roofing resembling minka farmhouse roofs.


In true Japanese fashion, the interior of the house makes extensive use of wood and bamboo in ceiling, floor, furniture, doors and windows. This helps in keeping the space temperate in warmer months and balmy in winter. Broad tinted glass panelled doors guard the entrance. The living room can be found at the end of a small hall.

Living Room

Except for a sofa with somewhat of a worn out appearance, small tv cabinet mounted inside the wall and a fireplace the living room has barely any furniture or any other item. Wall mounted spotlights try to brighten up the space, but only to a small effect. While this helps in giving the room a spacious feel, but misses the cheerful presence of a couch or cushions upholstered in livelier colours, rugs and artwork. A jarful of fresh flowers and leaves can also easily transform this room into a space of much conviviality in matter of minutes.


Study consists of a long platform table before the windows. It occupies the entire wall as does the ledge above the window header. A couple of somewhat rustic and mismatching chairs grace the space. The area is partitioned off from the rest of the room. Elaborate lighting fixtures and other decorative elements are avoided. Courtesy the large windows, it proves to be a fine place to contemplate the beauty of nature as well.


The kitchen wears a chic look with wooden blanket nearly covering the entire area. Floor, cabinets, drawers, wall and ceiling only differ from each other in tone and texture. The countertop however has a metallic finish. The kitchen is also supplied with all the modern amenities that a contemporary householder may require.

Dining Room

The dining room is one of the most roomier spaces of the Ota House. The massive sliding doors with glass panels supply ample of natural light. When privacy is warranted drawing the shutters with frosty glass panes proves to be enough. Though the sofas are nothing remarkable to speak of, but the table and chairs give the space a refined edge.

Multipurpose Room

The multipurpose room can be used for a variety of purposes. With the exception of a bench it currently has barely any furniture. This will have to be upgraded depending upon the requirements. This area can serve as an entertainment room, artist’s studio or music room. For the latter the views of the surrounding will work as great sources of inspiration. A prominent painting on the wall, tatami mat and a few cosy cushions are all that are required to make this space comfortable.  

To know how to make your rooms livelier and more comfortable look no further than here.

Observe how beautifully this Japanese family home employs the spirits of minimalism to create a clutter free, harmonious environment in tune with n...

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