Los Angeles Home by OWIU Inspired by Japanese Ryokan

Mid-Century Los Angeles Home Inspired by Japanese Ryokan

Refreshed Los Angeles Home on Palmero Drive Creates Soothing Japanese-Inspired Interior by Architecture Studio OWIU

A mid-century residence in the foothills of Los Angeles’ Mount Washington neighborhood has been transformed into a serene, Japanese ryokan-house inspired by local architecture and design studio OWIU. The fledgling firm, co-founded by Amanda Gunawan and Joel Wong, took on the task of reimagining an existing Los Angeles home into a haven of calm, merging modernist architecture and Japanese home design into a decidedly contemporary room of domestic bliss. . “A lot of our design leans towards the ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, allowing us to achieve a visceral effect,” says Gunawan.

The property, located on Palmero Drive and originally built in 1955, was left derelict and unloved when OWIU undertook the commission. They immediately knew they had to act and reinvent it with a sense of balance and harmony at its core – qualities often found in this Japanese building typology. ‘The space shouldn’t energetically trigger something in you; you should feel neutral,” says Gunawan, who believes a home should be a retreat, an “unloaded space.” ‘If you go hard [with design]it quickly energizes you and then quickly dies down.

At over 700m², the house is generous and OWIU’s clean aesthetic, wrapped in natural materials, soft textures and neutral color tones, helps to enhance its overall sense of space. Strategic design pieces – such as the bespoke kitchen island clad in glass blocks – elevate the interior, while clever storage and styling support a streamlined feel; at the same time, the house is warm, comfortable and pleasant to live in. “We were drawn to the seclusion of the house away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles,” says Wong. Reclaimed wood from the home’s renovation, beige and terracotta surfaces, and Venetian plaster provide a soft, effortless, and organic envelope for everyday living.

Stepping out, from the glass openings of the living space and kitchen, or the private cobblestone terrace of the master bedroom, the gaze wanders towards a Japanese Zen-inspired garden and the hills of Los Angeles, the urban buildings low and the palm trees in the distance. “We wanted the master bedroom dwellers to have a space they could escape to, a space that promotes stillness and contemplation,” Gunawan concludes. And with its neat design, this Japanese ryokanSEO house does just that. §

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