The dream renovation of a Japanese apartment

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一色玲児 建築設計事務所 / ISSHIKI REIJI ARCHITECTS Scandinavian style walls & floors
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Isshiki Reiji Architects are the masters of renovation and are known for their minimalistic but brilliant ideas. Renovation 104 is the complete transformation of a dark and dank house into a dream apartment, one which can now perfectly accommodate a comfortable and cheerful lifestyle. The makeover introduced cosy textures, aesthetic materials, and clever designs which utilise the available space to the fullest. Here is how they approached the project…

Before: a dull and dreary living space

Seen here is the main living area of the house, as it was before the renovation. The shabby appearance of the large space is quite conspicuous. The dull wallpapering, the lacklustre floor and the sorry-looking light fittings had created a depressing ambiance. You can also catch a sneak peek of the uninviting kitchen and bedroom entrance from here. The absence of sufficient illumination also contributed to the ennui evident in this space.

After: light, bright and homely

It’s quite unbelievable that this is the very same drab room that we saw in the previous image! Notice the light-coloured wooden flooring and feature wall which houses the sleek television. This design hack has made this room one large space apt for both living and entertaining. The uncluttered feel in the room adds to its spaciousness too. The simple yet plush couch, the soothing lampshades, and a few other accessories complete the classic look of the living area. The kitchen which previously had a traditional entrance, now flaunts a stylish open look. You can catch your favourite show on the TV even while you are preparing a meal. Or, your guests can chat with you while you are busy putting together a tasty treat!

Here comes the sun

Here's a look at the renovated living room during the day. The wooden panelling on the wall continues to exude a soft and warm appeal, just like in the evenings. The large glass windows let in oodles of sunshine, while a potted plant adds a dash of nature to the area. This room is ideal for unwinding after a hard day’s work, with the television placed at the right angle, and a quirky rug near the feet.

Before: a washed-out space

This part of the living area offers a better view of the previously dark and forbidding rooms of the house. Through the large sliding door, a cupboard or shelf is visible, and it indicates that ample storage space is available in this residence. An old-fashioned chandelier used to hang from the ceiling, but it was no longer appealing.

After: a cheery dining area

The extended part of the living room we saw just now has been converted into a bright and airy dining space. Clean white walls lend a feeling of openness and spaciousness. Sun streams in through the large windows, which were previously not used efficiently. A cosy wooden and wrought iron table takes up the centre stage here, with overhead pendant lamps casting a balmy glow. A sleek niche in the white wall at the far end houses a potted creeper and a couple of knick-knacks.

Clever design dominates

Visible in the earlier pictures was a dark clothes shelf peeping from behind sliding doors. This has been now transformed into a simple clothes rack with a rod and hangers. The simplicity of this arrangement is practical, efficient and space-saving.

A simple, chic bathroom

The renovated bathroom has the last word in simplicity, style and complete practicality. The wooden panelling infuses this compact space with warmth and cosiness. In fact, the back of the panelling features quirky lighting to brighten up the toilet with a soft glow. A slim compact shelf juts out of the wall, and is well-suited for keeping toilet accessories or even a mobile phone. What more can one ask for!

‘Renovation 104’ is a feather in the cap of architects Isshiki Reiji for its clever designs and smart aesthetic touches. Renovation is essentially recreating, and in this apartment, the architects have recreated the perfect house for a small family or a couple who love contemporary decor. Check out another before and after story for more ideas: Before and after: a sleek home makeover.

What do you think of this transformation? Let us know in the comments!

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