Today, homify transports you to Japan, where we’ll be meeting up with a quaint yet ultra-stylish little house – a small little gem in the architectural world. This trendy little abode – home to an elderly couple – is situated in a quiet area, surrounded by serene views of the Japanese landscape.
More than just a house, this creation also teaches us about the tricks of Japanese architecture when it comes to constructing a home for senior citizens. However, you don’t have to be in your golden years to appreciate this picturesque little house with its high roof, spacious floors, soft wooden finishes, and welcoming facade.
One cannot help but wonder if neighbours will ever set up a house on the field next door – and if they ever do, will they also appreciate this charming little abode we’re about to explore?
It’s a warm welcome when looking at the house’s front side – its entrance is almost like an old friend waiting to embrace you and invite you in for tea! And when one finds out that the architects responsible for this little creation - ARC- D – said that their aim was to create the ideal home for receiving guests, one thinks “mission accomplished”.
Sliding doors greet you as you enter the house, into an open living room. This giant entrance into the house serves two purposes:
• The arrival of guests (or the couple’s visiting daughter) are always announced early as they walk up the pathway through the garden, and
• It makes the couple feel that nature is a friendly neighbour, always smiling at them from the outside.
A quick glance at the outside surroundings before we venture further in – it would appear we are in a quiet, rural landscape, surrounded by fresh farmland. Of course, setting up a modern creation in the middle of nature can always disrupt the rural scenery; however, the architects were very careful in ensuring that their little gem, although quite striking, was not too extravagant. In fact, it’s only the highly hipped roof that is really noticeable from afar. To really appreciate this creation, one must venture closer – or better yet, explore inside…
It’s construction meets flora, it would appear, as the lush green flowerbeds strikingly contrasts with the tiled roof – and what a roof it is! How many roofs boast such a prominent opening right above a house’s main entrance? It almost makes the open living space below seem much bigger than it actually is. Through the roof’s opening, we get an idea of how high the first floor is – or should that be the attic?
Back to the ground now, as the flowerbeds inform us that the inhabitants are garden enthusiasts (as is evident from the neat bedding and carefully organized rows of greens). If this is the pretty sight that greets the visitor from the outside, how delightful can it get once we cross that threshold?
The lounge is what we see when we enter this not-too-humble abode – but it also serves as the place where meetings are held. Well then, you may wonder, where are the comfy sofas? Remember that we are in Japan, and sitting on the floor (on mats) is custom. If this was a Western house, there would no doubt be a nice selection of chairs to relax in. But as guests catching a quick glimpse of what this creation offers us, we won’t need any, so let’s continue exploring…
Standing underneath the opening of the roof, we see the superb roof opening that takes us up towards the clouds. We are also allowed a slightly better look at the inside, with a small wooden bench and a wrought iron chair waiting for any approaching visitors. These two elements blend in perfectly with the look and feel of this modern little space. The warm wooden line on the ceiling of the living room serves as both decoration and a functional rail for the sliding walls, which are nowhere to be seen, making us feel as though we’re still outside!
Venturing further inside, we’re tempted to expect antique Oriental decor (perhaps a geisha serving afternoon tea?). However, that is not the case, as the furnishings catapult us back to the present, and we find the private lounge boasting an impressive modern style, complete with round sphere pendants, L-shaped couch, and even a flat-screen TV. The wooden floors and light gray brick wall emits a sense of calm tranquillity – not at all the rural, rustic atmosphere we expected to find. Wonder upon wonder!
Reaching the top floor, it’s not only a study we seem to discover, but also an impressive amount of space between floor and ceiling – those wooden beams just seem to go up and up! A slightly warmer hue than the floors, the ceiling wood is in excellent condition, and impressively complements the white walls. A splash of green jumps out from an old-fashioned sofa and side wall. And just behind the wooden desk, a glass sliding door which beckons you onto the spacious balcony, located in the roof opening we admired from downstairs.
One last glance before we venture back outside, and it’s a little blue bathroom, filled with as much personality as the rest of this little gem of a house. Accessible from the balcony, the bathroom might be small, but is jam-packed with character. The cool serenity of the blue ceramic tiles echo loudly against the white backdrop of the walls – and give the wooden basin a striking vision. Pale floor tiles complete the interior, adding to the freshness that is emphasised by the large glass door and windows.
Dusk greets us back downstairs. It might be getting dark outside, but the house glows cheerfully from the inside. Just look at that closed wall on the terrace – a traditional Japanese screen crafted from wood and paper. Ground lights illuminate our way through the garden, as a last little farewell from this stunning little abode – a perfect marriage between modernity and tradition.