Designed by: Obbio Concept
Kanso, or the Japanese form of feng shui, is the art of balancing the energy present to create a focused yet relaxed environment. Along with the more commonly heard of Zen, Kanso is used together to create that perfectly balanced harmony in typical Japanese styled homes, and the results are incredible.
As one of the pioneers of minimalism, the Japanese place the emphasis not on removing what’s unnecessary but keeping what is necessary. While this may sound the same to you, the latter is a more proactive approach to their lifestyle, avoiding unnecessary purchases, decorations and other potential intrusions into their lives.
Because of this, the Japanese, and their homes, are famously zen, imbuing a sense of relaxation and calmness to all who enter. The incredible effect is not only due to their meticulous planning and decoration, but it is a part of their lifestyle and who they are.
For this home, the owners decided that they wanted to achieve such a serene environment, after all, who wouldn’t want to be instantaneously relaxed the moment they get back home? And what better way to do this than to emulate this iconic style and design.
Starting at the entrance of the home, you can see that the area is modestly decorated. Not too much around the entry way, and a comfortable sized dining table greeting you as you come in.
This is a very good example of the concept of Ma (間), another integral part of Japanese design. Ma is the Japanese style of minimalism, the concept of space within an enclosed structure, the design concept aims to balance the space taken up by furniture and other objects, with the remaining space which is available. Ma is used to keep the space relatively free, free of constraints, clutter and it successfully creates this sense of serenity and calmness.
If you take a look at the ceiling, you’d also notice these wooden beams stretching across it. While it may not have any structural value here, the aesthetic value of this decoration is one of a kind. With traditional Japanese styled homes, the roofs and ceilings were often made of wooden beams like this, and so in recreating this look, the style does look more authentic.
You should also take note of the shade of wood used in this home. True to the architecture and tradition, bamboo wood is largely used here. The lighter shade of wood has a very special calming effect. The natural beige tone creates a sense of coolness and warmth which is hard to achieve with other types of wood.
The light colour also matches perfectly with the minimalist style, one which favours shades and colours closer to a pastel palette. Plus, to keep things interesting, the designers may have used bamboo for the gross coverage of the home (floors, cupboards and ceiling decorations), but they have also used darker shades of wood for other pieces of furniture like the dining table and chairs, and this has been successful in keeping the room looking interesting and not bland.
The kitchen itself looks very natural. With the same light wood paired with the pristine white counter tops, the owners have put in a flair of their own design by throwing in a gorgeous mosaic of green tiles, the room springs to life.
The sliding doors are another modern twist on the typical Japanese decorating, upgrading from wooden and paper to create a complete seal of the kitchen when needed. Plus with the full length of glass, the room does not become fully closed off as visual lines are still maintained.
A similar look is also used in the bathroom, but here the sides have been replaced with white subway tiles. The modern look gives a cheeky but much appreciated twist to the design, and the light palette is useful in creating the illusion of space in this constrained environment.
Finally, the bedroom is the last showcase of this property. With the outside already looking like a page out of a typical Japanese home, the bedroom is no different. The modern take on Japanese styling has been largely successful in this home.
The bedroom adding a few more nice touches which as the use of a rounded and soft bedframe (while traditional homes would have the mattress on the floor, modern styles would tend to use soft and rounded frames). The addition of a nice dressing table is a perfect touch to add some extra functionality to the room, and the little touch of green goes a long way in breathing life and air into this space.
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