Totally in love with this home in Karuizawa, designed by Dakota Yamaguchi.
Our home in Vermont is a small (1530 square feet) c.1870's farmhouse that has been gutted and rebuilt from scratch — with a combination of painted white walls and the original old floors, beams, and everything else that has been added over the last 150 years. Perfect for a family of 3.
I'm not a minimalist.
I've visited ultra-minimal homes, the kind that tend to have half- empty rooms with one highly designed object placed coyly in the corner.
To me, that's not really minimalism, anyway— it's a brutal use of space that (while usually visually striking) creates a kind of mental clutter because there isn't really room for humans to live in. This kind of space requires you to live a certain way that might not always be natural; you discover that you aren't really able to put anything down anywhere without picking it up immediately, because it ruins the look of the room.
A great home is one that always feel logical and uncluttered, and at the same time happily absorbs the natural rhythm and changes that comes from living in it.
Good space design is when the designer helps tell your eye what to look at when you enter a room, and that works no matter what's going on — whether it's the work of art above an old wooden cabinet, or the random pile of books and wooden train tracks that my daughter threw in the corner of the living room — which is also the playroom — which is also the room with a big beanbag I use for reading (it's a living room, right? We live in it!).
Good design makes everything that you do seem logical and beautiful. Order, disorder, storage, eating, playing, sleeping, dirty bedclothes are all integrated into the design. You feel OK and natural about things, while simultaneously the space is helping you create order and beauty.
In a well designed home, you never feel awkward, unwelcome, out of place.
It encourages you to own just what you need, and nothing more.
How do you live?
/ photo reference via @lucian