country Houses by 株式会社アートカフェ

A fairytale family home in Asia

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Fusing architectural styles from far-flung regions can provide quite the spark of life to a home design. But the eclectic variation that adds tension to a design can quite easily become a little overwhelming. After all, every design needs points of connections between the elements to create a unified look. So today, it's our pleasure to present a home where the architects have got the balance just right. At first glance, this home seems like a quintessential French country-style home. It has a peaked roof, gables and all the classic elements of an old European style home. But inside it's all Japanese chic! Let's go on a photo tour for all the details. Finally, we should mention that this project comes to us courtesy of Japanese architect Art Cafe.

Classic European-style exterior

country Houses by 株式会社アートカフェ
株式会社アートカフェ

​■ French Country Style・フレンチカントリースタイル

株式会社アートカフェ

The classic European-style exterior looks like it comes straight out of an old storybook or fairytale. It has two peaked roofs and gables that we will explore later. The exterior has little wooden shutters, a wooden entrance and lots of cosy elements. Note how the main volume has an A-frame that runs very low to the ground. It adds some variation to the exterior. Finally, the earth-toned exterior is perfectly suited to a family-style home.

Gabled roof

country Houses by 株式会社アートカフェ
株式会社アートカフェ

​■ French Country Style・フレンチカントリースタイル

株式会社アートカフェ

In this side view of the home we have a good view of the roof gables—these are the triangular spaces created where the multiple shapes of the roof meet. They are a classic feature often seen in older European-style homes. From here we also get a better sense of the golden earth tones that cover the facade. This earthy colour palette serves to soften the visual weight of such a large building mass and connect it to the natural surroundings.

Japanese decor

country Media room by 株式会社アートカフェ
株式会社アートカフェ

​■ French Country Style・フレンチカントリースタイル

株式会社アートカフェ

In the living space we get our first glimpse of the Japanese style decor. While Japanese and European style homes are widely differing in many respects, they do have a few elements in common. The chief of which is the preference for natural wood. Here we can see how the strong, contrasting element of the dark wood panelling has been used to connect the two styles. There is also barely any extraneous detailing and this hints at the minimalism so often seen in Japanese-style homes.

Wooden kitchen

country Kitchen by 株式会社アートカフェ
株式会社アートカフェ

​■ French Country Style・フレンチカントリースタイル

株式会社アートカフェ

In this close-up of the wooden kitchen, we get a sense of the quiet mix of influences. There are antique-style light fittings and these fit firmly within the European tradition. Built-in wooden cabinetry is also very common in Japanese interiors. Here however the wooden cabinets have a few more details like the glass cabinet doors and iron handles. Finally, note how the prevalence of a single material has been used to unify these varying influences.

Cosy bedroom with gable roof

country Media room by 株式会社アートカフェ
株式会社アートカフェ

​■ French Country Style・フレンチカントリースタイル

株式会社アートカフェ

Peaked roofs create the opportunity for some lovely cosy interiors. Here we have a room that would function perfectly as a bedroom. The shape of the sloping ceiling is a feature that really draws attention to itself. Here it has been dressed up with some golden wooden ceiling beams. Also, check out the unusual shape of the doorway. It has been designed to reflect the shape of the room.

Soaring balcony

 Terrace by 株式会社アートカフェ
株式会社アートカフェ

​■ French Country Style・フレンチカントリースタイ​ル

株式会社アートカフェ

This is a home set in the Japanese countryside, so the home has been designed with lovely wooden balconies to take in the surrounding views. Here we get a final glimpse of the chunky wooden railing. It gives this balcony a very solid feel. This is definitely a home with a lot of character, but most of all, it's a home with a strong, earthy and homely feel.

For more architectural inspiration, have a look at 15 beautiful window designs you'll love.

What do you think of the balance of influences in this home?
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