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MAANA kyoto
Simple living

The streetscapes and landscapes of Kyoto first caught our attention, but it is the city’s never-ending layers of surprises that had us completely in love. Something about this city awakens your senses that leads you to a journey within.

Kyoto’s dedication to beauty and perfection open our foreign eyes to a simple yet meaningful way of life. We wanted to create a retreat that feels like home, a unique experience that inspires a lifestyle and mindset.


Maana Homes worked with Kyoto architect, Uoya Shigenori, an expert in restoring machiya homes.

We aimed to capture the house’s original character, and not change for the sake of change. Spaces are repurposed only for functional needs, evolving the house into a comfortable home with modern luxuries.

The original wood beams and part of the clay wall construction is exposed to showcase the traditional craft of these homes. A skylight and open staircase is installed to flood the house with natural light.

Interior Design

When asked what our design style is, we usually say that we don’t want to be defined by any particular style. Design for us is not about being edgy or loud, we want our homes to feel cozy and timeless.

A departure from the typical hotel concept, this home evokes a sense of warm hospitality that pays homage to its architectural heritage - cultvating a deep connection witih the guest.

A beauty so profound, it doesn’t need embellishments to shine.

The centerpiece artwork is a commissioned piece by local fabric-dye artist Nakajima Takeshi, who uses traditional Japanese dyeing methods know as Hikizome to mimic expressive brushstrokes.

Artwork: Nakajima Takeshi

To me, there is nothing more delightful than this timeless space element (Tokonoma) that serves as the heart of the house and where an object or a flower which is loved and admired is placed as a symbol that man does not live by bread alone.
—Walter Gropius
Design Highlights

Guests can mingle, work, cook, and enjoy in a cup of tea at this sleek, sun-bathed kitchen island. The entry is separated by a Japanese wood-screen for a more open flow into the house.

This kitchen island counter is made with Fuki-urushi, a 9,000 year-old Japanese lacquering technique that brings out the natural beauty of wood grain, and protects it from moisture. Fuki-urushi is one of the most durable natural lacquers in the world.


The old gallery kitchen is repurposed into a luxurious bathroom that looks out into the garden’s maple tree. Natural textures create a unique integrity to this minimalistic relaxation space.

The bathtub is Shigaraki-yaki handcrafted by ceramic artisans in Shigaraki area, well known for their raw and earthy potteries.

A single stay conveys the spirit of a lifetime.
—D. Leyton, Casper & Casper