eclectic Houses by coil松村一輝建設計事務所

This tiny Tokyo home is perfect for city dwellers

Katherine Rañeses Katherine Rañeses
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Whenever we see Japanese homes online, especially ones in Tokyo, they always look so small and designed as simple as possible to keep the apartment or house from looking cluttered. So, it's quite refreshing to see how the owners of this little home gave it a lot of style in its own simple way, melding together the modern conveniences with traditional design. Named the White House, it was designed by Japanese architect COIL. Designed to look modern and fresh, the house is minimalist in its treatment of decor, and yet still manages to exude a welcoming warmth.

On the outside, the home lives up to its name, the bright white walls make the building look bigger than it actually is, and the two planters of greens nonchalantly placed outside the big glass window makes the facade feel inviting, with the simple wooden door ushering you inside.

The main door opens up to a large hallway, where the family's collection of shoes are neatly displayed on shelves, as well as other accessories, and bicycles the family members use to get around the city. Upon changing into comfortable house slippers, as is the Japanese way, one would then have to walk up a flight of stairs, where the living areas of the rest of the house is. 

The wooden flooring of the entire second floor compliments the staircase as well as the wooden beams that frame the ceiling, making the entire home looked put together and spacious. The living room is decorated with a plush taupe sofa, a coffee table, and a few other furnishings, with the windows left bare to make the most of the natural light streaming in through the windows.

Designed to be an open-space, the home office is situated next to the living room, and that next to the kitchen. A large wooden table serves as the main workspace, with little drawers strategically placed on top and underneath. A swivel chair, small step ladder, and stool serve a practical purpose—whether to reach small items up on the higher shelf, to stay put while one does some sewing done, or to act as extra seating for the living room when a lot of guests arrive.

The kitchen has all the conveniences of modern Japan, fitted with wall shelves and a stainless steel backsplash which allows for easy cleaning. The pots and pans are tucked away in one corner, while bowls and other small accessories line the top shelf, and smaller cooking utensils are lined up neatly on a magnetic rack.

The dining table also doubles as an extra counter for preparing food, the plain design given a bit of personality with the mismatched chairs. There is a minimalist approach to decoration and furniture, in the way that only the bare essentials are utilized in this home.

In the modern kitchen you'll also find traditional cleaning tool, like this straw broom (a staple in most Filipino homes, too!) and metal dust pan, hanging neatly in a corner. One might even mistake it for a piece of wall art if you didn't know what it is.

Going back downstairs, you'd never think to find the bedroom on the first floor! Maximizing the space of the home, the double bed is low and the entire room decked in white, with a makeshift bookshelf doubling as a headboard.

The bathroom, as is the case with the rest of the house, is predominately white, with a large sink, medicine cabinet, and large mirror taking up most of the room. This is actually a bit of a luxury in Japan, as bathrooms are usually quite tiny. Next to it is a washing machine and shower, with the toilet hidden away inside another door.

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