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I don’t often focus on architecture (overtly) here, but seeing DOGBOX by Patch Work Architecture — a residence that has built by the architects in Whanganui, New Zealand — and loving the design and materials so much, I had to do a post that is nothing but this one structure. Both inside and out, the building uses space and materials to flow between intimate and expansive moments. There’s also a playfulness between what’s seen and what’s glimpsed and what’s only hinted at in silhouette that I find really appealing. I hope you like DOGBOX as much as I do.

A hero shot of the front elevation of DOGBOX by Patch Work Architecture. | japanesetrash.com

This terrific hero shot of the front elevation of the structure shows the elements and the interaction of outdoor/indoor so well.

Another nice view of the structure, aglow with interior light seen through translucent walls. | japanesetrash.com

Another nice view of the structure, aglow with interior light seen through translucent walls.

The open downstairs area, including functional niches that bring to mind Frank Lloyd Wright. | japanesetrash.com

The open downstairs area, including functional niches that bring to mind Frank Lloyd Wright. The entire back wall is poured concrete.

A playful silhouette shows through the twinwall polycarbonate panels that are used throughout. | japanesetrash.com

A playful silhouette shows through the twinwall polycarbonate panels that are used throughout the structure.

I've been a fan of the DOGBOX kitchen since the first time I saw it. | japanesetrash.com

I’ve been a fan of the DOGBOX kitchen since the first time I saw it. The simplicity and economy with which it’s fitted is very appealing.

A detail of the kitchen's main work counter. It's the simple, honest materials that appeal to me. | japanesetrash.com

A detail of the kitchen’s main work counter. Once again, it’s the simple, honest materials that appeal to me.

DOGBOX by Patch Work Architecture - work out space. | japanesetrash.com

I’m ready for a work out space like this.

A second-floor sleeping area. | japanesetrash.com

The open feeling extends to private spaces, like this second-floor sleeping area.

Even this simple wood storage cubby feels thoughtful. | japanesetrash.com

Even this simple wood storage cubby feels thoughtful.

I’ve got a new interior design obsession: mini matte black subway tile. Unfortunately, I’m not finding many examples of its use when I scan my resources so there’s not really enough out there to devote a whole post to it yet–calling all designers to start using it more! Until then, I’ve got some images of other kinds of black subway tile to help fill out this post. They’re all good, I just have a thing for the small matte version…

Glam It Up

There's no denying the glam factor that glazed black subway tile can bring to a space. | japanesetrash.com

Before we get to my obsession, there does happen to be this. Wanting major glamour and impact in your space? Try glazed black subway tile; it’s like being inside a dark diamond.

Go Industrial

Industrial chic steakhouse in Budapest with stainless steel, butcher block, and black subway tile. | japanesetrash.com

Maybe that should be “Go Industrial Chic” — this Budapest steakhouse uses black subway tile, butcher block, and stainless steel to get the look.

Dial It Back

Handsome kitchen space using matte black subway tile. | japanesetrash.com

Not sure you’re ready for full on butcher shop drama? Tell the same story a bit more subtly by using matte black subway tile and stainless steel counters like in this handsome kitchen.

Make Mine Mini

Miniature matte black subway tile run almost all the way up these walls; I'm obsessed. | japanesetrash.com

We’ve seen matte black, now let’s look at a more miniature solution. This use of the tile–running it almost all the way up the walls–is sooooo nice.

Black It Out

Matte black mini subway tile, black grout... this is the look I'm loving right now. | japanesetrash.com

This is the look that I’m crushing on hard these days: matte black mini subway tile with black grout–it’s impossibly sexy.

I’ve just found this terrific weekend home in South Africa of a couple who have exquisite taste–hence, gentlemen’s quarters is how I’m thinking of this place. These are just a few glimpses–some of the highlights of the home, found here.

My idea of the perfect outdoor set up; gotta love an outdoor shower. | japanesetrash.com

Wooden deck, potted plants, groovy dining space, and outdoor shower–just about perfect.


Love the layout of this bathroom--plus the interesting drain being used. | japanesetrash.com

The layout of this bathroom is so surprising; love the choice of drain used here.


Can you say "gentlemen's quarters"? This refined living room is just right. | japanesetrash.com

Here’s the image that got me interested in this gentlemen’s quarters in the first place–this level of relaxed refinement is so appealing.

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