A sleek and functional Japanese home

April Kennedy April Kennedy
西坂部の家, 若山建築設計事務所 若山建築設計事務所 Eclectic style houses Metal
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Today on homify we will travel to an idyllic woodlands setting in the Mie Prefecture of Japan. Here we find a simple, box-like wooden home with a rustic heart and a raw spirit.

The two-level home covers 90 square metres and presents a striking modern appearance. The creators Wakayama Architects have designed the home with raw materials and a minimum of fuss. This allows the raw warmth of wooden materials to shine and infuses the space with a sense of natural luxury. So let's get on with exploring this special contemporary rustic home through a series of photos…

Striking black wooden facade

The two-level wooden home has been painted a striking black. It has also been designed to fit snugly against a hillside. This allows for a very private outdoor balcony space. It also creates the possibility for the surrounding greenery to infuse the indoor spaces with natural decoration.

Finally, we love how the corner window on the upper level makes the most of the high views.

Generous large windows

From this angle, we have a better view of the protruding upper window. The white timber frame creates a striking contrast against the simple black walls. As we saw earlier, this woodlands home is in rather close proximity to the neighbours, so it was best to direct the attention on this side to the more private, upper level.

Two-toned staircase

In the entrance and hallway area, we have our first glimpse of the primary materials that permeate throughout this home. The walls are uniform white and the floor consists of raw timber. The interesting element here though is the two-toned staircase. We have seen this in a number of Japanese homes lately. Finally, note the dramatic step up at the entrance. This is another element commonly seen at transition points in Japanese homes.

Simple no-fuss kitchen

Kitchens can often be quite visually heavy compared to their living room surrounds. But here we have a great example of a very functional, light and simple kitchen. This is a home completely lacking in pretension, and the raw-boned quality of this aluminium kitchen really emphasises this approach. Also, note the exposed wooden beams on the ceiling.

Open flow between indoor and outdoor areas

On the right we have the open balcony that faces the mountainside. The balcony and view has been completely integrated into the interior life of the home with the help of large, sliding glass doors. Life and air can flow unimpeded into the living space and circulate throughout the home.

Raw materials and particle board

This home was designed with a strict budget in mind, and so the designers decided to embrace the authentic beauty of raw materials. These are obviously less expensive to install and allow for a different kind of beauty to permeate throughout the house. Here, we can see how raw particle-board has been used for the doorways and hallway.

Horizontal windows to frame the views

No forest retreat is complete without great views. And here, we can see how horizontal windows can be used to frame the perfect vista. This kind of high-set window feature is increasingly popular. It allows for the occupants to enjoy privacy and gives the designer the flexibility to pick and choose the perfect view.

Timber homes really have a special kind of beauty, check out A Japanese timber oasis for more inspiration…

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