Relaxed mountain life: an elegant Japanese home in the hills

April Kennedy April Kennedy
toki Architect design office Modern living room Wood Wood effect
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If you love the quiet elegance of minimalist architecture, but wonder how to create this kind of design in a standard family home, you'll enjoy the property we will explore today. The property is a two level home set in a semi-rural area of Japan. It is a very liveable family home and has all the standard features you might expect such as entertaining areas, hardy floors and a generous garden. But it also has some unique features, an extremely pared down interior and a very modern spirit. This property comes to us courtesy of architects Toki Ad. Let's go on a photo tour to see more…

Modest modern facade

The modern facade has the basic form of a conventional family home due to the peaked roof, two levels, front facing windows and small balcony. But it's also a home with a unique and elegant spirit. The windows are large and trimmed with fine lines that give the home a very elegant look. Note the unique entrance area that we will explore in more detail later. Also, it's interesting to note that the property is set on a corner block. This can create issues of privacy and noise in dense urban areas. But here in this semi-rural area, the architects have used this extra street frontage to create a side entrance and a garden in two parts.

Modern timber entrance

The unique entrance area has been extended and shifted to create an unusual shape. This doesn't just give the facade more shape and character. It also serves to create privacy and provide a wind-break. This is possibly an issue on a corner block like this. Finally, we love how the front steps and entrance area are set at shifting angles. This creates the sense of a welcoming embrace in the entrance area.

Bright and breezy atmosphere

The interior has a decor composed of white walls, wooden floors and lots of wooden detailing. The living room here transitions into a dining room and kitchen (out of frame). The wooden staircase on the left leads to the sleeping areas. The home is minimally furnished and has an almost monochromatic colour scheme. This all adds to the bright, breezy and elevated feel of the home.

Seamless unity of timber furniture and flooring

The wooden dining area has a beautifully unified decor. The timber table is created with the same materials as the flooring so the eye flows seamlessly up through the space. The eye rests naturally on the small window at the far end of the room. This is the perfect illustration of the power in using unbroken lines of sight.

Combined kitchen/dining room

The kitchen is so carefully integrated into the living area that it's easy to miss it! Keen-eyed readers may have noticed that the dining area we explored earlier extended to form part of the kitchen bench we see on the right here. Finally, see how the rather narrow corridor doesn't feel cramped at all due to the large floor to ceiling glass doors on the left.

Bathroom oasis

In many Japanese homes, the elements of nature are a key element in the design. This extends from the use of natural materials to the use of courtyard gardens. These can often be enjoyed from the inside of the home. As seen here in the bathroom, the bathtub has been placed to make the most of this view. Natural views like this aren't just there to create a look of luxury, they are commonly said to be installed so home dwellers can enjoy contemplating the beauty of nature.

For more natural inspiration, check out The simple wooden house with a difference.

Would you like to live in this wooden family home?

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