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Californian Japanese Urban Retreat

Called Elwood House in Australia, this California-style bungalow was renovated by the Splinter Society architectural firm. Based on the owner’s diverse personal items, interests, and travel locations, the designers created a house that is both narrative and rich in texture.

The architects decided to create a house full of simple but meaningful details. They took inspiration from the bungalow architecture as well as the rustic Japanese aesthetic to create an elegant but unpretentious living space. By integrating the diverse collection of the customer, the objects also form a deep, personal connection to the rooms for a more meaningful function.

While maintaining the existing house and its traditional character, the layout includes the characteristic side entrance of the bungalow, the central hall and adjoining small rooms. In keeping with the standard bungalow style, dark local woods are used in the new interiors, offset against stucco and hard plaster, creating a structured palette of materials and a play of colors and light. In order to maintain a cozy cottage feeling, the renovation focuses on a feeling of privacy and connection to the garden. Each room is small and tailor-made for you, specializes in one function and can be expanded to make a larger meeting room. The enlarged areas feel like a private retreat: relaxing, warm, safe and humble.

The landscape surrounding the house inevitably became part of the design. From the entrance, the garden offers a sense of privacy and refreshes the traditional architecture. The garden is framed by openings throughout the house and creates continuous connections to the outside world. At the rear of the property, the garden provides the ultimate retreat, including a modest pool and stunning greenery.

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