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Gloomy to glorious: a 37-year-old house breathes new life

Justwords Justwords
by SWAY DESIGN Eclectic
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The Ishikawa Prefecture is situated on the Japanese island of Honshu, and is right on the coast of the Sea of Japan. It will remind you of times gone by with its teahouses from the Edo period, and the partly reconstructed Kanazawa Castle. Today we will observe the stunning transformation of a 37-year-old house, once a showroom at an earlier point in time. The residence was lying vacant, derelict and in utter darkness. But thanks to the brilliant creativity of the restoration and renovation experts at Sway Design, it is now a bright, aesthetically pleasing and beautifully designed place to live. Though it preserves the timeless spirit of Japanese architecture, modern touches have made the abode appealing in a whole new way. Let's take a closer look!

Before: dark, dingy and downright scary

The interiors were depressingly gloomy before the renovation, and dust was piling up in every corner. The floor and walls were completely worn out and needed a brighter touch to liven up the ambiance of the home. The professionals needed to think of ways to bring more sunlight into the abode too.

After: bright and airy transformation

It was a cutting-edge idea on the professionals’ part to introduce an atrium in the house. The ceiling of the newly designed kitchen features widely spaced thick wooden beams, which allow sufficient natural light and air to permeate the interiors. A large solid wooden counter acts as the kitchen island as well as the breakfast nook, with tall stylish chairs surrounding it. The cook top and other modern appliances have been accommodated by the glossy chrome counter on the other side, while strong industrial lights brighten the space in the evening.

After: soothing dining space

The kitchen leads us to the dining area which features traditional shoji screens on two of its sides. These screens allow the diffused sunlight to fill the space with a mellow brightness which is extremely calming. The roughly hewn slab of wood positioned on steel stands acts as the dining table, while white cane chairs accompany it fashionably. A single potted plant in the corner and a painting add colour and visual interest to this area.

After: the beauty of openness

Some old wooden pillars were preserved during the renovation, and they now very delicately demarcate the dining area from the rest of the residence. The rich wooden beams on the dark slate-hued ceiling of the dining space, along with the glass partitions of the atrium we saw before, add to the unique attraction of the interiors. While the walls have been freshly painted with pristine white throughout, the revamped floor flaunts different tones of grey. The large glass window you see at the end of the corridor also enables the influx of sunlight into the home.

Before: a drab and uninviting staircase

The wooden staircase leading to the top storey of the house was a cluttered and shabby affair. The steps were dusty, and the space underneath was taken up by an old-fashioned cabinet and other odds and ends. Not to mention, the surrounding walls and floor were extremely disappointing too.

After: sleek and stunning

The transformation of the staircase left us suitably impressed. Cantilevered concrete was used to create the floating steps, which contribute to the sleek and hassle-free look. A slim plank which also serves as the first step, lies at the base of the stairway, and offers the room underneath it for storage. A tall, earthy vase holding flowers and ferns add to the minimalistic beauty of the staircase.

This old and dated house was showered with innovative designing tweaks, contemporary touches and light, chirpy hues to convert it into a spacious and breathable abode. But in the process, traditional accents have not been forgotten. Rather, they have been imbibed in a more stylish manner than before. Looking for more ideas? Check out another makeover story: From grey to grand: a drab kitchen gets some colour.

What do you think of this Japanese makeover? Has it inspired you to make some changes? Let us know!
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