Minimalist Family Room

Modern convenience meets the serenity of a Japanese garden in a stylish makeover.

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Suzanne and Les have an exceptionally beautiful Japanese-inspired backyard garden. It's a wonderful expression of their Asian heritage- he's Japanese, she's Chinese and their daughters Amy and Leanne were adopted from China. Beautifully sculpted trees and greenery, stone walks and soothing waterfalls have made it a popular stop on the neighborhood garden tour. But if the garden is the perfect combination of yin and yang, the outdated sunken family room looking out onto it was far from being in balance. It was a mishmash of styles and inspiration-modern, shabby chic and even French country, with a dash of kid-toy overload thrown in.

Suzanne and Les asked me to bring the serenity of their Japanese minimalist garden into the family room while still accommodating their need for modern North American convenience and room for all the kids' toys. Kids and minimalism?! I took some deep, meditative breaths and called in my crew to raise this sunken family room to a new level.

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