Made in Japan: Minimilist yet Genius Home

5/27/2014 10:18:00 PM

This post is very faaaaarrrr from my usual aesthetic and you might think, what the heck is this doing in here? Well folks, I'm a changed woman. I'm now a minimalist.

HAHAHAHAHAHA... so not true. I don't think I'll ever be one, I'm just so into my wall galleries, shelves styling, layering, colors, and such. So minimalism is not really my cup of tea, BUT what I love about this home is the simple yet very clever architecture.

And who am I to talk about architecture you might say? Well I'm no one, just someone doing some research for Project Dream Home when I came across a post from design boom about this house by Tato Architects in Japan, that I found very interesting so here I am sharing.

It's very straightforward, simple, and the exterior very industrial with all the metal sheet wall cladding, which I also posted about here.
See it's like a box. But once you get inside, there's a lot of genius in its simplicity. There's an elevation below so you can see where each of this space goes, but I'll try to tour you anyway. 

Entry door on the left and cabinet like structure which actually is a staircase to the upper level. Behind the stairs are the main bathroom. On the other side of the ground level is where the bedroom is. 

I'm not really a fan of a see-through bathroom, especially if it's the first thing you'll see upon entering the house, but aside from that, I love the simplicity of an all white bath with some wood accents. Very calming.

The next level is the main living, dining, and kitchen area. Super high ceiling, very airy and light, the overall feel is really soothing. Of course if it were mine, there'll be lots of art on the wall, probably a statement chandelier, a fun colorful rug, and what not. But all the basic pieces in here are just gorgeous.

Ohhh see that closet on the right side? Well not really a closet, it's a powder room!! It protrude a little on the exterior so it perfectly fits a sink and toilet. Clever I tell you.

And there's a pretty wallpaper in there too.

Another detail I love in this house are the stairs. Aside from the closet-like stairs you saw earlier, love the stairs on this level as well. The first few steps are utilized to be double purpose -- furniture / stairs. And all the other steps are super light and doesn't closed off the space at all. 

They extended the dining table top over the stair rail up to the kitchen area giving them more working space, I love vintage furniture but a custom-built in one like this can also give the space so much character. And I can't get over the soaring high ceiling, my dream. 

Up the stairs to there multi-purpose area and deck.

See.. what a clean bright space! Perfect backdrop for accessorizing. 

Here's the elevation to better understand the space. When i first saw the post about this house, I ogled on each photos and studied the layout to see if I can learn something to apply for our house. It is the same width as our space, but a lot longer. 

So what did I learn from this awesome house that we could maybe apply to our space?

1) Stairs! I wanted a simple airy and clever stairs. For a small space, we don't have the luxury to have big ones, and the openness of this stairs would make the space feel a lot bigger.

2) How I love natural light wood. Would love to have those as floors, we'll probably have vinyl flooring but this is the look I'm going for.

3) I'm sold on building using light materials in lieu of the traditional concrete. It will go so much faster, and I like the look. 

4) White walls. We'll definitely have those in the main living space. Best backdrop for all our random collection.

5) I can't live without a tv. Haha.. Pathetic I know. It is my downtime. I can just lounge and flip through random channels to find anything to see. And I love having some "company" even when I'm not actually watching. Just like now, I'm typing away here while Baggage Battle is on and I have no idea what's going on. 

So what do you think of this house? Is it your style? You see, even if something isn't particularly your taste, you can always learn something from it or take inspiration and give it your own spin. Our taste evolves over time, I know mine did. So for your place, make all the basic pieces classic and neutral then go crazy decorating it. In a few years when you grew tired of it, it will be so much easier to transition your decor instead of tearing out that very trendy tiles you grew tired of. 

To see more photos of this house, click here.


  1. Hello ms.elle...this reminds me of muji.. I bet you can add more fun on that design though..

  2. @Precious very Muji indeed. I guess that's a Japanese aesthetics :) This is not my style at all but I'm really loving the ingenuity and airiness of this house.

  3. You know Muji actually sells Muji houses in Japan!

  4. Mary, thanks for the info. i would like to see that!

  5. Japan has such good minimalist design!!


Thanks for dropping by. I'd love to hear what you think! :)

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