by 藤松建築設計室

A surprisingly spacious family home

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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There's a special kind of luxury contained within the modest bungalow we will explore today. The architects Pine Rattan Architectural Design designed it with unique modern lines, while the builders constructed it with a high degree of craftsmanship. But neither of these elements is meant to really draw our attention. Instead, the fine modern details play a supporting role to the warm and beautiful quality of the natural materials. These wooden finishes cover vast areas of the floor, walls and built-in furniture. This couches the modern lines of the design in natural terms and gives this modern home a timeless appeal. It's a natural ambiance that's perfectly suited to the rural Japanese locale. Indeed, this home would suit any sort of semi-rural location too. So let's go on a photo tour for all the details…

Modest facade

The earthy facade has been designed with a broad outer deck and lots of large windows and sliding doors. It was clearly built for those who love a strong connection with the outdoors. Although the home has two levels, the roof is set on an incline so the home appears quite low to the ground and the second level is only visible from the rear. This enhances the grounded, modest ambience of the exterior. Despite the essentially limited colour palette, there is lots of subtle variation in the natural timber tones and earth tones.

Earthy living room

The living room is very Japanese in many ways. The wooden floor and wooden ceiling are paired with soft whites and neutral colours that give the home a very warm and cosy feeling. At the same time, there are few decorative details and very minimalist furniture. This really allows the natural variations and textures of the wooden elements to remain the prime focus. Also, note the small panel window directly ahead. It reflects the simple lines of the room and makes this room feel very private when the curtains are closed.

Combined living room/dining room

On the opposite side of the living room, we can see how open this living room can feel with the curtains drawn back. The lines from the wooden floorboards are continued on the decking outside. This, together with the floor to ceiling glass doors serves to blur the boundary between interior and exterior life. It also draws the outside into the home and makes it feel far larger than it actually is. Notice how the angled ceiling has been lowered in the dining area. This serves to create a boundary between the different living zones and further adds to the cosy, homely feeling. The home would also have good passive heating and cooling features with this kind of design.

Wooden kitchen

 Kitchen by 藤松建築設計室
藤松建築設計室

キッチンカウンター

藤松建築設計室

One of our favourite features in Japanese design is the penchant for built-in wooden cabinets. They generally blend into the other wooden elements in the room and create a very soothing, unified feel to the home. Here we have a lovely wooden cabinet that has been used to separate the kitchen from the dining room. Note how it matches the wooden materials used in the dining table.

Galley-style kitchen

The galley-style kitchen has wooden floorboards that have been laid to reflect the lines of the two opposing countertops. This gives the kitchen a simple, geometric unity. In general, the kitchen also has few contrasts and quietly blends into the overall aesthetic of the home. It would be easy to overlook the supreme functionality of this kitchen. There are big sliding storage cabinets, open storage options, high storage, wall storage and a large double sink.

Wooden staircase in two parts

 Corridor, hallway & stairs  by 藤松建築設計室
藤松建築設計室

階段を利用した書斎兼書棚

藤松建築設計室

The staircase has been designed with an unusual combination of big, chunky wooden risers and a very fine, visually lightweight black bannister. This really grounds the design in an earthy context and gives the home a very solid feel. The other interesting element in this staircase design is the relatively large landing. It makes this transitional point feel like a place to linger and enjoy browsing through the joys of the large bookcase. Keen eyed readers will notice the little home study tucked away below this landing.

Wooden bathroom

The wooden bathroom has a sense of spaciousness and abundance. This has been created by again, focusing on the natural warmth of the wooden materials. But the careful symmetry of the design also plays a very powerful role. The bathroom windows and mirror have been designed to appear as one whole rectangular shape. This bathroom sink and counter are similarly designed to reflect this shape. Finally, a high panel window has been designed to run across that length above the doorway and further expand our sense of space and luxury.

If the natural beauty of this home appeals to you, check out 18 staircases with a stone and water garden—spectacular!

What do you think of the natural ambience in this home?
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