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A Minimalist Bungalow Bathed in Light

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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The unique light in this minimalist Japanese home addresses one of the most common issues facing many a builder. The home is set in a densely built-up urban block and there is almost no space between the walls and the bordering fence. The surrounding homes are also a little higher and privacy is a natural concern. It's a familiar problem that is commonly addressed with shrubbery and careful window dressings. Needless to say, the architects Miyuki Design did something a little different in this home.

All we will say for now is that there's nothing predictable about the interior. From the outside, it looks like a flat-roofed, simple home. But inside it's a different place altogether. Come with us on a photo tour to explore more.

Minimalist exterior

The home has a minimalist and streamlined exterior. As is common in many contemporary Japanese homes, there is a prevalent use of wood and colour scheme is subtle and natural. The grey roof slopes gently to peak at a skylight that we will explore a little later. What's interesting is that the main entrance leads directly into the central living area. It's an unusual choice that will make sense in a moment. Finally, note the higher neighbouring buildings and the lack of space on either side.

Entrance and living area

In the main living area, we have our first glimpse of the central skylight. The white walls and pale timber finishes help this natural illumination bounce around the space. Every room in the house is arranged around this room. So with the help of a series of interior openings, this light then peeks its way into every corner of the home.

Unique ceiling feature

If we turn back to look at the entrance, we get a better sense of the angle of the unique ceiling feature and skylight. It's much higher and more impressive than one might guess from the exterior. This is certainly a living room to make one feel uplifted and inspired. Finally, the pale, Scandinavian-style chairs and glass dining table add to the minimalist, light and elevated feel to the space.

Timber kitchen

The timber kitchen faces this central living area. This, of course, allows for natural and open communication between the two areas. It's really important to create a focus in any design, and here we get a feel for how the central skylight may impact on the way the occupants live and interact with each other. Also, we love how seamlessly the pale timber finishes work within every part of this home. Timber is a very adaptable material that can hold a decor together with minimal decoration.

A bright timber bedroom

The unfurnished bedroom has the same bright, open feel as the rest of the home. The bedroom can be closed off from the main living area, but the wall does not completely meet the ceiling. See how the slope of the ceiling meets the central supporting beam here. It feeds a very graceful flow of light into the room.

Bright, windowless bathroom

The minimalist bathroom has a bright, modern ambience. Wall-to-wall mirrors reflect light from a glass door and the overhead opening allows lots of natural light to stream into the space. High set windows like this are a very attractive way to infuse a windowless bathroom with a bright, airy feeling. Of course, this is one home that takes that concept so much further!

We hope you enjoyed the tour. If you're interested in similar designs, have a peek at A White Home in Japan with a Beautiful Sense of Flow

What do you think of the unique skylight in this home? We would love to hear in the comments below!
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