A Japanese-Inspired Home With A Small Footprint!

When considering the designs for his own family home in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt, Mathew Mariani (of Studio Haptic) turned to Japanese machiya townhouses for inspiration.

‘Traditionally, machiya houses had a public, working shopfront to the house with a private rear living quarters behind,’ he explains owner-architect. The gable-fronted structure on the existing plot resembled the cross-section of a barn, a silhouette the architects chose to retain while adding horizontal timber slats to the facade. These additions functioned like Japanese kōshi screens, opening the front of the house out onto the street and transforming the front room into a semi-public work space.

A passage garden sits just beyond the timber screens leading to a traditional dark hallway entry, where inhabitants are guided into the open-plan layout by natural light. ‘The heart of the house is the tsubo niwa (courtyard), which is experienced as a double height, open-air garden

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‘High-Low’ Home Styling Done Right, With Lauren Li

Creating a home takes time, but it doesn’t need to be expensive. Bringing together a mix of different furniture at various pricepoints is not only more economical, it’s also a way to inject personality into the space… because no one wants to live in an impersonal ‘showroom’ looking space. By sourcing contrasting pieces from various stores, as well as incorporating vintage finds, handcrafted details and one-off items, your space becomes truly unique!

The key is knowing what items are best to invest in, and where you can really save… and how to tie it all together!

Start with a plan

It sound obvious, but starting with a plan really is what sets considered interior decoration apart from, well, just filling a room with random stuff.

Start with some references. If you’ve been saving favourite spaces on Pinterest or Instagram, take a moment to review those photographs. What is it that

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