Smart Space Solutions: 14 Innovative Japanese Home Interiors

Vertical House by Muji

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Designed by Japanese retail company Muji, this house in Tokyo is specifically designed for city dwellers, maximizing a small plot using a split-level system and lots of built-in storage. The ground floor functions as a storage and utility area, with stairs in the center leading up to open rooms set side-by-side.

Interiors Arranged Around 3-Level Patio, Yaita and Associates

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An open-air, three-level patio forms the heart of this Tokyo home by Yaita and Associates, with the interior spaces wrapped around it. A concrete wall runs along the perimeter for privacy, while the courtyard offers access to fresh air and sunlight. Operable hinged panels in the glazed walls provide the possibility for indoor/outdoor spaces when desired.

Cloud House by Shintaro Fujiwara

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A very narrow lot measuring just 10 feet wide manages to accommodate a spacious-feeling family home by Shintaro Fujiwara thanks to ample skylights and staggered open platforms that take advantage of the building’s height. Some of these platforms are cantilevered, helping to open up the space even more. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the front bring daylight all the way to the back of the hallway-like space.

Ten-Foot Tokyo Alley House by Takafumi Matsunaga

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Another ten-foot-wide alley in Tokyo contains an incredibly narrow house making use of a similar open interior plan to maximize the available space. Takafumi Matsunaga architects painted the space a reflective white, created lofts and added a floating spiral staircase that divides the room without visually blocking it.