Raw design with a Japanese twist

Raw design with a Japanese twist

When a unique factory-turned-residential space came onto the market, this discerning client snapped it up, then engaged the design team to update the finishes, add superior millwork, and revise the functions of several key spaces.

Interior Designer: Serina Fraser, ARIDO

Design Firm: CLEAR Interior Design

Project Photographer: Urszula Muntean

The original space was very sleek, with high-gloss, trendy surfaces, and an open-concept layout. The client found the design contradicted the original function of the building and wished to restore it to a more raw state. Existing design elements, including skylights and concrete floors, were retained, while the open bedroom/bathroom spaces on the second floor were divided in two to create greater privacy.

The client had an appreciation of Japanese architecture, which the team addressed by adding Japanese-inspired wood-slat screens in the bathroom and dining room that let natural light penetrate but maintain privacy. Custom millwork in the two bathrooms and a powder room play on the clean lines of Japanese design, as do the choice of neutral colours, charcoals, and whites as a palette for tiling.

A request for a piano room was a particular challenge, given the existing glass walls and concrete floors, creating a highly echoing space. Lining the ceiling with sound absorbing barn-board preserves the open, industrial feel, while back-lit niches showcase the client's Japanese sword collection, and sheet music is tucked away in discreet cabinetry.

The client's love for Japanese architecture underpins design elements that are both decorative and functional. He was elated with the redesign, which meets his aesthetic and practical needs.

Serina Fraser

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