The Modern Japanese House of Levels

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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Today on homify we are travelling to Japan to visit a fabulous home bursting with style and sophistication. Japanese design has long been associated with elegance and refinement, and this impressive dwelling is no exception. Planned, designed and undertaken by the adept team of Yokohama-based architects at Studio R1, this residence is the ultimate in split-level living. With a friendly open plan layout to suit a family, this two-storey 102 square metre dwelling is uncompromisingly cool. 

Due to the busy surroundings in Sengawa Town where the house is situated, it was important for the property to boost privacy as well as create noise protection. To counteract the hustle and bustle of this suburban locale, the architects set about producing a residence that is replete with a number of angled spaces and privacy walls. Comfortable, quiet and surprisingly spacious, this is definitely one contemporary home that is sure to gracefully. If you would like to take a peek inside this dwelling, check out the images below and gain a few tips and tricks for your next domestic renovation project.

The house of angular architecture

A standout in this particular streetscape, today’s home is a gorgeously individual and unique dwelling. Angular, with strong architectural lines, the home is intriguing and full of personality. The immediately noticed feature is the balcony, which is both large and juts out to cover the concrete car space below. The balcony is particularly essential to the success of this home as it offers a sense of freedom. The neighbouring properties are tightly packed, and the sloping plot means there is not as much room to feel free in this location. The balcony provides outdoor entertaining and relaxation space, fundamental for this dwelling. 

Given the lack of openness within this location it was also necessary to add privacy to certain spaces. Walls were built in different areas to keep out any prying eyes, while also creating a pleasant family-friendly environment. The structure has been designed to maximise light as well, with careful placement of exterior windows to allow maximum illumination during bright sunny days.

Communal living zones designed for families

As we enter the home we are filled with a sense of hospitality and warmth. The different levels that have been added to the home’s plan are effortlessly chic, providing interest and originality within. This is a home for a family, as each ‘zone’ is afforded versatility and practicality, making it highly changeable depending on the situation.

Potentially not suitable for very small children, the balustrades within the home are hollow, and therefore only offer a rail to hold, rather than protection from falls. As we can see here in this image, the different levels provide an interesting living environment, and encourage individuals to engage with the structure. This would be particularly enjoyable for older children, with plenty of different places to relax, unwind and socialise with friends. 

Split-level living at its finest

Moving up to the highest level we see the different levels within the interior space. This large double height room is bursting with features and neat elements. From the sloped ceiling to the recessed kitchen, this is one truly unique abode.

The sense of space is magnified by the room’s large ceiling height, while the timber flooring adds interest and contrast to the bright white colour scheme. Furniture is modern, with feature pieces adding personality and flair. Moreover, the split-level living areas give a feeling of creativity and energy within the room. Each level has a purpose and is designed to accommodate a relaxed yet sophisticated way of life.

Light, bright and airy interior spaces

Moving back down from the lounge and living area to the kitchen and dining space we see the large windows that are contained in the top section of the wall. These windows are particularly helpful to the interior areas as they illuminate the ceiling, which is turn bounces light into the other levels of the home.

Glass is employed extensively throughout, contributing a light, airy ambience that is effortlessly peaceful and serene. In addition to the windows, glazed sliding doors provide access to the balcony, and offer abundant light as well as cool breezes during summer.

Bold contrasts throughout

Throughout the dwelling we see different textures and tones employed to create interesting and engaging spaces. The use of colour has been a main contributing factor to the success of the residence, and this is seen in many different living areas.

Here in the entranceway and corridor we see a narrow double height window with a bold black frame. It is this frame, which is placed against the stark white walls that really add zing and character to the home. Almost yin and yang in its appearance, the designers have paired two opposite hues to impart refinement and balance within the abode. Additionally, the dark black metal balustrade that is seen throughout the home is another neat touch, helping to inject a sense of modernity into the different living zones.

A warm yet minimalist entrance

Moving backward through the home we arrive back at the entrance. This corridor space connects the first floor with timber-clad stairs that are both warm and visually appealing. Here the colour scheme is again medium-to-light timber tones paired with bright white featureless walls.

The minimalist space would normally appear rather empty and bleak, but the light colour scheme with the warmth of the timber is surprisingly hospitable, and equally inviting.

The vivid bathroom

Our last stop is the bathroom. This space contrasts the rest of the dwelling with its bright canary yellow feature wall, and bold navy linen. The bathroom is encased in the home’s requisite white colour palette, but provides playfulness with its vivacious yellow tone.

This room is simple and effective, it boasts flair and personality, and is a perfectly considered design for this truly unique and original residence.

Did this Ideabook inspire you to update some particular areas of your home? If you need a little more domestic inspiration, check out: A White Home in Japan with a Beautiful Sense of Flow

What did you think of this split-level home? If you could make any changes or alterations to its design, what would you do? We'd love to hear your ...
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