Applying their warm modernist aesthetic to this lovely Palo Alto dwelling, Ogawa Fisher Architects designed a light-filled home for a young couple that would grow with them and accommodate the wife’s thriving side business.

Working with the challenges of a compact lot, the studio arranged a series of closed and open spaces that spill into one another to encourage an indoor-outdoor Californian lifestyle. In a long, primary box are the dining, kitchen and home office. The interior living room is housed in a smaller, lighter adjacent volume bookmarked by the outdoor courtyards and garden, allowing it to practically triple in size once the doors on both sides are thrown open. The private spaces are found on the upper floors. Cozy reading nooks are delightful additions in the bedrooms, along with another one nestled halfway up the staircase. 

The home indulges the couple’s whims and interests outside their tech industry jobs: the garage serves as the wife’s creative atelier for her burgeoning side business, a flower shop and an online boutique selling minimalist Japanese homeware. 

Vibrant furniture, decoration and lighting fixtures assert the contemporary vibe of the dwelling, perfectly matching the young couple’s lifestyle and personalities. Staying true to its moniker, The Jewel Box House is a precious sanctuary in Palo Alto: quiet and unassuming from the outside, rich and expansive within. 

With over 20 years of experience under its belt, Ogawa Fisher Architects have consistently been delivering warm, joyful spaces executed in a detail-oriented, thoughtful and collaborative process. They are based in Palo Alto, California. Revisit a past project of theirs here, and follow the studio on Instagram.

Photography © Joe Fletcher

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