Author & Blogger

Christine Brun Portrait

Christine Brun is an expert in lifestyle trends, how to live smaller, and interior design topics.

She shares this broad knowledge with you as well as articles about women's issues in her blogs.

High Rise Apartment

High Rise Apartment

High Rise Apartment  

Contemporary Japanese design is like a roadmap for how to coax the most out of microscopic living environments. For generations the nation short of real estate has perfected the essence of minimal living and for thousands of years has distilled design down to its’ most basic function. Study the elegant traditional tansu chest that steps up in form to fit under stairs or stretches from floor to ceiling in an effort to maximize storage space in a beautiful form.

If you are a renter with bucks in Houston you can get a 2 bedroom Japanese inspired elegant high rise home with amenities, spectacular view of the downtown Houston skyline, Galleria and Buffalo Bayou. Yes for a mere $5,789 per month a lovely Porte-Corcher entrance, lobby concierge service and poolside private curtain cabana can be yours. While the real Japanese models are in the main more basic private spaces with space uses that might seem strange to us, Americans are fond of general amenities such as state-of-the-art fitness centers, game rooms, washing machine and dryer in the units themselves, and roomy balconies. True to the Japanese concept, this narrow one bedroom unit is found in an urban high rise and artfully hides the working kitchen behind an architectural wood-panel wall.

This shot is taken from the entry and includes the main seating area with a flat screen TV, the dining space, the wrap around balcony and kitchen. Behind the stone-topped counter that floats in the middle of the space is a well designed kitchen that includes cook top, over, microwave, sink and storage shelves. In a minimalist setting such at t his, no one wants to see the relative chaos of an exposed kitchen. It ruins the serenity and the focus on the all important vistas beyond the windows. Built by a master who uses something called Stealth Modules, the counter tops can be stone and the appliances can be stainless steel, but the cabinetry needs to be that of the patented, U.L. Listed technology. The challenge of creating a kitchen that is fire-proof is huge and the finishes are unique in order to deliver consumer safety. In addition these patented modules are 29” deep instead of the typical 24” deep and so slightly more storage capacity is achieved. Hidden away in this apartment is a 72” wide range module, a 72” wide sink module that is separate from the cooking area by an 18” wide full height pantry cupboard. A 36” wide Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer is hidden next to another 18” wide pantry. In approximately 1,287 square feet, a home that is 39 feet long by 33 feet wide, includes a master bedroom, dressing area, closet and bathroom as well as the public spaces shown. When this is all the space you have to live in and share with guests it becomes even more critical to create a clean and seamless look.

That is the philosophical tie into the Japanese mind set when you study traditional washitsu that are not cluttered with furniture and lots of “stuff”. Of course the traditional use insists on sitting and sleeping on the floor which westerners are not fond of doing. Nor is the delicate tatami mat practical in rooms that are multi-purpose for our rushed lifestyle. No one wants to carefully remove shoes and softly walk across a room and even in modern Japan the practice of using more durable flooring is taking over. Nevertheless, stowing as much utilitarian appliances and electronics away can take you in the direction of the tranquility achieved by less.

Photo Credit:  YesterTec®

Drop Leaf Dining Table

Drop Leaf Dining Table

Kitchen White Fireplace

Kitchen White Fireplace