Sitting at an altitude of 1,000m and overlooking the Yatsugatake mountain range, this quiet Japanese cottage offers space for a peaceful rural retreat. Striking a harmonious balance between modern and traditional design styles, these architects have filled this home with a sense of harmony between light and dark tones, manmade and natural materials, and indoor and outdoor landscapes.
Built to blend in as a complement to its natural surroundings, this caramel-toned home appears to enjoy a sense of establishment – even though it's a newly constructed home. A stone trail lined by small saplings will, in time, become shaded by the green leaves of mature trees.
With a wood-paneled ceiling to match the wooden floors, this living room immediately strikes a sense of symmetry and balance coming from the dichotomy of the two almost parallel wooden planes. To lighten the deep caramel tones in the wood, the wall has been painted in a simple white, and the wide lateral window brings plenty of fresh sunlight to illuminate the room. In a full range of tones, the living room furniture offers up dark greys in the rug and chair – overall, this living room arrangement benefits from an all-inclusive range of light and dark that brings a sense of wholeness and unity to the space.
Also notable about this room is the interior window visible on the far walls – these windows provide a sense of connection through the home, while keeping each space separate.
It's nothing overly elaborate – this home is all about simple living. This cozy dining room nook enjoys an intimate feeling with a high counter acting as a semi-partition between the kitchen and dining room areas. With large windows on two sides of the compact space, the dining table needs nothing more than a single hanging lamp to provide light. Notice how the furniture takes advantage of the compact space by offering a bench instead of chairs on one side – a perfect solution for a narrow spot where chairs might make the space inconvenient to move around in.
This narrow kitchen looks like something straight out of a city apartment – this linear design conserves space and energy, making for a highly compact, no-frills approach to cooking. While a kitchen of this size and shape may not be practical for a large family, for this older couple, this kitchen style is perfect.
Some bathrooms stand out in a brilliant, clean white – this one prefers a more peaceful and calming approach. Lit with filtered sunlight and the glow of two yellow lightbulbs, this dim, wood-clad bathroom embraces a more sauna-like atmosphere. Anything but sterile, this warm space is both peaceful and practical – especially with its heated towel rack and unusually large bathroom counter that extends to the side of the sink.
This unique staircase design transforms the steps into an ascending stage for the couple's literature collection! With a fine black railing allowing your eyes to pass through to the large vertical bookcase, your thoughts are drawn to the importance that learning and reading obviously holds for these homeowners. With a small desk tucked away at the base of the stairs, this staircase has converted itself into a miniature library and office while still serving to get people from point A to point B.
Designed for when the kids come to play, this children's room offers simple shelving for toys, as well as a wide open floor for plenty of make-believe. With a patio extending beyond the sliding glass doors, this room offers the opportunity to bring play both indoors and out.
In a homage to traditional Japanese home design, this room offers the translucent partitions, simple rectilinear shapes, and padded floor of a more traditional Japanese building style. Minimalist in every way, this room's darker half is lit by a simple glowing orb that brings a sense of mysticism into the simply furnished space.
To explore more examples of practical countryside living, take a look at this playful and practical family home nestled at the base of a mountain range!