When his family moved into a new apartment in Morioka in Northern Japan, Mr N had a vision for his new home: modern, spacious and easily adaptable to the changing needs of his growing family. He employed an interior architect, Mr Ochi of Club8Studio, and a freelance architect, Yo Otsuka, to let loose their creativity on a freewheeling brief whose only requirement was that no built-in furniture would be used.
The pair of architects made one early decision: instead of the standard built-in furniture, they’d use USM modular furniture. The benefits of the choice were clear - the USM furnishings were timeless pieces that Mr N could still enjoy in twenty years’ time. Having chosen the furniture early in the project, the architects were able to carefully plan the rooms’ layout and traffic patterns, ensuring that they would be perfectly tailored to the ways in which the family would use their home.
A key challenge in this area was the kitchen, a room where most homes are reliant on built-ins because of their sturdiness and reliability. They designed bespoke USM Haller units for use as storage and worksurfaces to line the walls of the kitchen - pieces that proved to have all of the solidity of the permanent pieces they replaced. They also designed a movable island for the centre of the room, providing ample additional storage which opens on both sides and a flexible surface for the family’s multifunctional kitchen.
The pieces in the kitchen were designed in white and beige, to maximise the feeling of space and create an open and fresh atmosphere. Bringing a stylistically unity to the home, the same colours were selected for pieces in the laundry room and children’s room. In the bathroom, the white USM pieces were again able to effortlessly replace built-in pieces such as the sink cabinet. For other pieces throughout the home, including the stairwell and cloakroom, more colourful tones were used to inject an element of fun.