A quiet two-storey family home in Japan

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Japanese homes traditionally have a strong natural theme. This comes through in the natural colour schemes, copious use of wood and of course, the creative approach to the relationship between the home and its surroundings. So it's not surprising that the home we will explore today is designed around the site's lovely gnarled camellia and pyrocanthus trees.

Tapo architects have created a home that will really inspire those looking to create a different sort of balcony design. The property is located in Tokyo, so it shows that there are no limits to creating a natural home—even in a big city!

Large windows

The home has a gabled roof with two levels providing a total of nearly 150 square metres of floor space. The ground floor houses the living room, kitchen and a master bedroom. The second floor has an additional two bedrooms and an interesting semi-exposed balcony. Most of the light comes from this side of the home and the large sliding glass doors and windows make for a fairly bright interior. Let's have a look inside…

Semi-outdoor balcony

The windows and balcony have a unique angled shape that follows the line of the peaked roof. This creates a very minimalist and streamlined look to the facade. The architects have also made the most of the tree-view by building an extra balcony that protrudes from the second bedroom. This almost acts as an embrace around the tree and makes it feel like a very integral part of the interior aesthetic.

Interior mezzanine

The home has a mezzanine and a ceiling height of 2.5metres. This gives the interior the lofty, airy feel that might just remind some people of a forest dwelling. Small panel windows allow additional light into the home, and exposed ceiling beams finish the natural look.

Timber kitchen

The single line dark timber kitchen blends in with the wooden floors and wooden ceiling beams. It also helps make the open plan design feel cohesive. This is particularly clean as you move throughout the home and see similar dark wooden accents in the living room, dining and bedroom. This is a common aesthetic in many modern Japanese homes.

Internal windows

Panel window designs are increasingly popular these days. If they are strategically placed, then can increase light within the room without sacrificing privacy. Here, this panel window overlooks the living room at such height, that privacy is assured. Here we can also see that tell-tale sign of a Japanese home—that is—the step up towards the outdoor balcony.

Cosy yet spacious bathroom

The bathroom is modestly sized and has a soothing, neutral aesthetic. A big part of this is due to the simplicity of design and the natural elements on display. The top mounted ceramic basin sits on a wooden cabinet and the mirrored cabinet reflects lots of natural light.

For more architectural ideas, have a look at 11 truly tiny homes that prove size doesn't matter.

What do you think of the balcony design?

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