by seets一級建築士事務所

From gloomy to dazzling: a Japanese home shines again

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We are in bright and ever-busy Tokyo today, and the Japanese capital has taken our breath away with its cherry trees, temples, skyscrapers and anime shops. And as far as Japanese homes are concerned, one can’t help noting that tranquility and simplicity are the most prominent themes they feature. So for House A, too, expect minimalist design principles, an open layout, abundant use of white and the immense charm of natural lighting. It was formerly a dark, dingy and extremely dated abode which lacked basic aesthetics, style and even freshness. But thanks to the efforts of the architects at Seets, the residence now sparkles with spotless surfaces, cheery walls, modern furnishings and oodles of pristine charm. Intrigued? Let's take a closer look…

Before: a nightmarish laundry zone

The dingy and dank laundry nook with its ageing walls and drab floor was a veritable horror story. An old-fashioned wash basin stood on the left with a shabby storage unit underneath, while the unsightly cables of the washing machine lay exposed. Neglect and disrepair showed in every corner.

After: a dazzling white space

Can you even recognise that this is the same laundry room we saw above? The new space is compact, intelligently planned, with white dominating every nook and cranny. In fact, it is the colour white that has added the sparkle to this area and makes it appear more spacious and airy than before. The partitioning of the washbasin area from the washing machine with a folding door has made the place more appealing. The sleek storage unit below the washbasin is a neat collection of drawers and shelves, and has given the space an organised appearance. The addition of the mirror makes the place look brighter still, unlike the previous space. The contemporary basin completes the look, of course.

Before: a dining room of fusty gloom

The dining area was initially extremely old fashioned with cumbersome furniture jostling for space. The four-seater dining table along with the mahogany-finish bookcase seemed like relics from times gone by. The space lacked sufficient lighting and the dirty walls heightened the depressing tone of the ambiance.

After: snow white and cheery

Now, the stunning revamped dining space overlooks the open kitchen, regaling our senses with its bright and pristine goodness. The lavish use of white has enhanced the open and airy feel of this area, and it spontaneously reflects the sunlight which floods this space. The bright blue frame of the chairs adds a pop of colour and pizzazz though. The dining area has been delicately separated yet connected with the living room as well as the kitchen. Also note how the side of the kitchen counter facing the dining table has been equipped with shelves and cabinets, to enable easy access to crockery, cutlery and more. The industrially-inspired chic white pendant lamps, along with the steely gleam of modern kitchen appliances, add a generous dose of style too.

After: a smart and functional kitchen

Just like all the other spaces of the home, it's the colour white that takes the lead in the kitchen. The new cooking area is a highly functional one with adequate cabinets for storage. The sink is strategically located and there is a window through which ample natural light floods in. Neat white counters and a sleek embedded cook top add to the stylish aura of this space.

After: an enchanting view

Who wouldn’t want to step inside this beautiful kitchen and dining area, when they catch a glimpse of it from outside? Remember the massive wooden cabinet that took up a lot of space in the dining area before? It's been replaced with a tall and sleek cabinet in white, which offers storage without hampering the spacious and cheerful appeal of the room. From this vantage point, you can also see how a window just beside the dining arrangement helps to fill the room with sunlight. This complete view is charming indeed!

The change that has come about in this Japanese home is a true reflection of what thoughtful design, the right hues and clever planning can do to even the smallest and most drab-looking space. The transformed home that we witness looks more spacious, well-ventilated, bright and comfortable. Here's another makeover story to inspire you further: Before and after: a drab home shows its true colours.

What do you think of this stunning white interior? Let us know in the comments below!
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