Before and after: from shabby to chic—quite literally!

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Surrounded by scenic mountains, the Niigata Prefecture in Japan is famed for its national parks, hot springs and ski resorts, and promises a refreshing life to weary urbanites. It is here that we chanced upon a charming home with a subtle countryside feel that was once just a bare and uninviting shell. The T’s House was originally a concrete and wood structure which lacked life, but had immense potential to become a cheerful and comfy residence.

So after the renovation masterminded by Dwarf, architects in Niigata, this house now sports gorgeous and practical designs in wood, intriguing colours and textures, and a layout which is highly functional. Modern wall arts and quirky decor accents add personality to this residence too. So come take a tour to know more…

Before: dull but promising

This hall had plenty of scope to shine with the right design elements. But the dreary environs and lack of sufficient light had literally submerged the details and the dimensions into oblivion. The walls were dirty and faded, and the flooring needed work.

After: a quirky, sandpapered finish

The new dining room has now been done up in a thoughtful manner with plenty of focus on the loft style and layout. The subtle hues have been utilised cleverly to give a well-worn feel, while the shining yet raw wooden finishes and solid touches like the table have been reserved for the more formal spaces. At the same time, the designers have added lightweight elements like the bench and simple slats for the bathroom, so that the overall layout gets a chance to breathe.

Before: boxed-in spaces

The wall here was well built and solid, yet it gave a cramped look that would do little for any design scheme. A fresh coat of paint and tasteful furnishing were urgently required.

After: eclectic decor touches

The living space has a simple yet rich look, thanks to the play of dual-toned wood at the far end. This acts as the background for the entertainment unit and quirky art pieces, while a more chic panelled installation on the left reminds us of an oriental Shoji screen. The bulky wall on the right has been knocked down, and in its place we find a section cordoned off like a cabin with wooden slats running next to each other in a peek-a-boo style. Framed posters, a vibrant rug, a potted plant, and a traditional fireplace make it an eclectic space.

After: the view from upstairs

The home has an open and cosy ambience when regarded from the top floor. The pillars and fixtures have been doused liberally in white so that the beauty of the hardwood floor shines through the charming space. The table and kitchen island hold centre stage as the rest of the furniture blends in easily.

After: the irresistible loft bedroom

The bedroom has been set in a comfortable attic-like space, befitting the loft layout of the home. An urban rustic design theme comes through here in the form of the bedding as well as the vibrant cushions that add life to the space. Don’t miss out on the beauty of the cheery rug and the wall-mounted art.

After: a shabby chic, nautical affair

The leaning towel rack and the storage-savvy bench, along with the vintage sink unit in the corner add a whimsical feel to this chic bathroom. Wall-mounted racks offer extra storage, while artworks and suspended plants lend a lively touch.

This home is a charming rendition of rustic urban design, employed with discretion by the architects at Dwarf. Naturally, the abode is modern, modish and yet oozing with old-world charm. 

Looking for more ideas? Here’s another astounding transformation story for you: Before and after: a disastrous home finds its style.

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