Feinmann, Inc.
Design-Build Firms
Asian Inspiration asian-home-office

Asian Inspiration

Our client, a professor of Japanese sociology at Harvard, owned a Deck House home with its post and beam construction and 1950’s modernist simplicity. She asked Feinmann to design a multi-purpose addition to meet several needs: a functional yet spacious home office, a beautiful entry way into the home, and a serene sitting area.

The client mentioned she has always wanted a Japanese “scholar’s study,” which is traditionally a contemplative workspace area enclosed by shoji screens. We told her the Japanese minimalism she desired and the clean modernist aesthetic of her existing home could marry quite nicely (the blending of East and West) with some thoughtful interventions.

The challenge then became finding a way to balance these styles. The house is surrounded by many trees, so bringing nature into the home was easily achieved through careful placement of windows throughout the addition. But the design element that brought it all together was the large translucent wall (kalwall) in the main hallway. This unique material allows for diffused natural light to envelop the living spaces. It has the same insulative properties as a typical exterior wall, and therefore is considered to be a great “green” building material. It is also quite versatile, and we were able to customize it to give our accent wall the Japanese feel of a shoji screen.

We reiterated this design element with actual shoji screens to enclose the scholar’s study, which also doubles as a guest room. Post-and-beam construction was continued from the existing house through the new addition in order to preserve aesthetic continuity.
Homeowner quote:
"I wanted a certain feeling and the Feinmann architect really got it. I had already been through three different architects—one even said that the house was a tear down."
• 2007 Gold Prism Award Renovation/Addition Best Remodeling/Restoration under $250K
• 2007 Best of the Best Design Award Residential Addition for Best Project under $250K
• 2007 Remodeling Design Merit Award Residential Addition $100 - $250K
• 2007 Regional NARI Award Contractor of the Year: Residential Addition
• 2006 Eastern Mass NARI Award Best Addition over $100K

Photos by John Horner

This photo has 2 questions

February 9, 2015
jqrichmond wrote:
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Feinmann, Inc.

Hi jqrichmond and thanks for your question. The chair was already owned by our client and as this project was several years ago, we don't have a record of where it might have been purchased. It may have been Mohr & McPherson, a Boston-area store.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2015 at 11:09AM
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April 2, 2013
Salon Designers wrote:
what did the house look like before remake?
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Feinmann, Inc.
Hi and thanks for your interest. I am attaching a before image of the home. It was a fairly typical mid-Century home.
    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 12:37PM
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What Houzz contributors are saying:

Interior walls made of Kalwall share light while maintaining privacy.More: Translucent Surfaces: A Canvas for Light and ShadowGlass Block Grows Up

What Houzzers are commenting on:

cuyehara added this to cuyehara's Ideas
February 22, 2015
Shoji screens
segun2 added this to segun2's ideas
February 22, 2015
constanzo added this to constanzo's Ideas
February 19, 2015
Puerta japonesa
jessicathewriter added this to Bathrooms I Love
February 8, 2015
Not a bathroom, but the glass here, luminous Kalwall, would make a great window in a bathroom to let light in while still maintaining privacy.
jqrichmond added this to jqrichmond's Ideas
February 4, 2015
This chair!
randyho added this to randyho's ideas
February 4, 2015
multiple shoji theme
jqrichmond added this to Master Bath Remodel
February 3, 2015
This chair!!
Paintworx added this to bath
January 22, 2015
love the japenese styling and the way it lets more light in to the spaces while maintaining privacy!
attic429 added this to attic429's ideas
January 16, 2015
Elliott Blades added this to Preston HQ Office
January 12, 2015
Flooring and style
2trueblues added this to Unusual walls & ceilings: Starlight Wall & Kalwall
December 17, 2014
Interior wall made of Kalwall share light while maintaining privacy
sandes added this to Kalwall
December 13, 2014
Interior screen use
Brigitte Spalburg added this to masterbedroom badkamer
December 12, 2014
Ricepaper door
Bui Linh Giang added this to Japan Style
November 5, 2014
tdettrich added this to id133
November 1, 2014
shoji walls
loisnoclark added this to loisnoclark's Ideas
October 19, 2014
Shoji screens
Jonathan Chainey added this to my house
October 5, 2014
clarté du décor
gojobo added this to gojobo's ideas
September 22, 2014
love the partition doors
cameroncho added this to cameroncho's Ideas
September 17, 2014
Jim Higgs added this to closet pictures
September 15, 2014
eileenmbrennan added this to MUKAMUNYA
September 15, 2014
faziob added this to faziob's Ideas
September 8, 2014
Sheer room dividers
martimkb added this to Martimkb's Kitchen
August 13, 2014
How about this with black wood for everything.
dwurmfeld added this to Ernie's Home
August 13, 2014
clerestory windows
animeshirkulla added this to 3220 Ridgefield Way
August 9, 2014
Athena Hudson added this to athena_hudson's ideas
July 24, 2014
hvissiere added this to Kitchen Ideas
July 23, 2014
kalval door
scottahunt added this to scottahunt's ideas
July 19, 2014
love this chair
flyrmg added this to bedroom
July 14, 2014
doors to separate bedrooms
daryarusskaya added this to office
June 30, 2014
Separate office and den
emilykricks added this to emilykricks's ideas
June 25, 2014
sliding doors
timshortt added this to timshortt's Ideas
June 23, 2014
charlenekane added this to charlenekane's Ideas
June 1, 2014
hardik25 added this to hardik25's ideas
June 1, 2014
I like dividers
wanglicheng added this to wanglicheng's Ideas
May 31, 2014
chiakii added this to Chiaki's remodel idea book
May 19, 2014
Kenneth Moncur added this to Kenneth Moncur's Ideas
May 18, 2014
I like the sliding doors...
asamandravardeen added this to Office
May 16, 2014
Deco added this to mauuu's ideas
May 16, 2014
Panels for desk
aznric3boi91 added this to living room
May 11, 2014
fischer0812 added this to Library/Study
May 9, 2014
I like the little tree plant; a bonzi tree or other Asian house plant would be a good idea
mj35575 added this to mj35575's ideas
May 4, 2014
W Design Studios added this to Japanese Style
April 28, 2014
Clerestory widows
mayoub added this to basement remodel
April 25, 2014
cmpieper added this to Basement
April 20, 2014
elicerioj added this to elicerioj's ideas
April 10, 2014
japanese style
donnamama added this to donnamama's Ideas
April 6, 2014
Soji screens
nilayuee added this to Dividers
April 5, 2014
Glass like this above the sit out sliding and between the kitchen and dining as well
jcnorth added this to Doors, dividers, screens
March 25, 2014
kimbybimby1 added this to inside outside
March 10, 2014
Screen within a screen
Sergey Kharpak added this to sergey_kharpak's Ideas
March 10, 2014
arcticparker added this to arcticparker's Ideas
March 6, 2014
Bev Miller added this to bev_miller1682490's Ideas
February 28, 2014
shuiniaoting added this to loft
February 26, 2014
the walls on the loft should have many windows to get shining.
Scott Needham added this to Home Office Ideas
January 28, 2014
sliding doors
wannabecook added this to REALSTONE SYSTEMS
January 16, 2014
Nii Dodoo added this to nii_dodoo's ideas
January 14, 2014
i like the panels and arrangement of the decor
shilu added this to shilu's ideas
January 6, 2014
hotmholt added this to Asian decor
January 4, 2014
cranburykim added this to cranburykim's Ideas
January 1, 2014
Separation basement
artist150 added this to artist150's ideas
December 28, 2013
Room divider
drb99 added this to garage office
December 9, 2013
kalwall interior walls
rxk111 added this to rxk111's Ideas
December 8, 2013
Diana Parkes added this to diana_parkes's Ideas
December 6, 2013
Sliding doors
elainebee added this to elainebee's ideas
December 4, 2013
gabihope added this to Living Room Ideas
November 22, 2013
kandii added this to Japanese
November 13, 2013
Sliding Doors
kandii added this to kandii's ideas
November 13, 2013
the sliding doors
Amy Ramage added this to amy_ramage's ideas
November 7, 2013
Shoji doors
slovnet added this to Bedroom Ideas
October 13, 2013
Shoji doors
barbaralevan added this to barbaralevan's ideas
October 9, 2013
fmughal added this to fmughal's Ideas
September 30, 2013
wearingjade added this to living space
September 26, 2013
alliegraylin1985 added this to sliding doors
September 19, 2013
seems not to reach floor -- maybe no good for sound containment?
kitty0313 added this to kitty0313's ideas
September 10, 2013
Malcolm Robertson added this to malcolm_robertson2195's Ideas
September 3, 2013
Internal light
tldmhale added this to tldmhale's ideas
August 28, 2013
asian screens
machineryhealth added this to office
August 25, 2013
georginahorton added this to georginahorton's Ideas
August 23, 2013
oldlake added this to oldlake's ideas
August 21, 2013
Nice sliding doors for inside off inside garden , lots of light !
stevariffic added this to main ideas
August 12, 2013
and a view from wall looking toward exterior side
mschutte added this to Hidden Valley
August 9, 2013
westfield123 added this to westfield123's ideas
August 7, 2013
veenarao added this to veenarao's ideas
August 1, 2013
sliding door for dressing area
chenlambec added this to Chen's ideas
July 29, 2013
kristenzarbock added this to Aidan's bedroom
July 13, 2013
Tony Pezzano added this to Home Office Ideas
July 4, 2013
Office Door and ceiling design
cjvmason added this to cjvmason's ideas
June 30, 2013
Rice door
casti02w added this to casti02w's Ideas
June 15, 2013
Love rice paper doors
red108rose added this to red108rose's ideas
June 15, 2013
shoji screens
razmic4405 added this to MISC
June 14, 2013
ALWAYS LOVE LOVE LOOOVE rice paper screens & light (bamboo?!) floors
jane_maxwell added this to windows
June 5, 2013
Interior walls made of Kalwall share light while maintaining privacy.
willyn added this to willyn's ideas
June 3, 2013
bed room cabinet doors asian ....
Karin Phua added this to karin_phua's ideas
May 23, 2013
I have this chair!
lwoodall0707 added this to Ideas to be moved later
May 21, 2013
timigabor added this to timigabor's ideas
May 20, 2013
fényáteresztés, eltolhatóság
bskw added this to bskw's Ideas
May 19, 2013
shoji screen wall with header
yisrael1 added this to yisrael1's Ideas
May 18, 2013
japanese screen wall light wood
caroleasarian added this to Closet Ideas
May 16, 2013
rice doors
loretoforestier added this to loretoforestier's ideas
May 14, 2013
Me gustan porque dan sensación de mayor amplitud y luminosidad
sonjab2 added this to sonjab2's Ideas
May 14, 2013
Senthil R added this to senthil_r's ideas
May 4, 2013
xuying13 added this to sliding door
May 4, 2013
nice color style blending
southerntide added this to Landscape Ideas
April 24, 2013
detail in the high windows
anahiantelo added this to anahiantelo's Ideas
April 22, 2013
doctorficoleon added this to doctorficoleon's Ideas
April 15, 2013
espirit40 added this to Closet Ideas
April 11, 2013
shantillylace added this to shantillylace's ideas
April 10, 2013
Partitions, same idea
allenshoji added this to allenshoji's Ideas
April 7, 2013
light color shoji divider
jpwils95 added this to jpwils95's Ideas
April 5, 2013
Doors floors open light filled
fernandonoriegaliu added this to Home
April 1, 2013
Puertas corredizas
karen22207 added this to tom's japanese ideas
April 1, 2013
I think I am learning that I tend to not like light colored shoji
judythe added this to judythe's Ideas
March 24, 2013
I love this chair.
zedquist added this to Paint schemes
March 24, 2013
Room dividers
mizbermy added this to mizbermy's ideas
March 23, 2013
deliah12 added this to deliah12's ideas
March 23, 2013
robuts added this to porch ideas
March 9, 2013
Great solution
Skip Kovacs added this to Moyaone house ideas - exteriors and some interiors
March 5, 2013
"Asian Inspiration"
alwaysqueenb added this to alwaysqueenb's ideas
February 22, 2013
love that chair
seco77 added this to seco77's Ideas
February 21, 2013
Private doora
pamversaw added this to pamversaw's ideas
February 17, 2013
nicolea33 added this to nicolea33's Ideas
February 17, 2013
speaktoeq added this to Hobbit House
February 5, 2013
Perfect solution for the shared walls of the lofts! If we do the whole loft walls in this it will maximize light in the back rooms while providing complete privacy. The only consideration will be nighttime light from being in the livingroom while kids sleep...
Marc Bushee added this to marc_bushee's ideas
February 4, 2013
Steph would like asian feel
kwillmus added this to kwillmus's ideas
February 3, 2013
interior walls - esp good for basement
jmd0225 added this to interiors
February 3, 2013
susan_andrews_grace added this to Kitchen ideas
February 3, 2013
Hall to kitchen Interior walls made of Kalwall share light while maintaining privacy.
tamera added this to tamera's Favorites
February 3, 2013
golly33 added this to sliding doors
February 3, 2013
like the look
makooch added this to makooch's ideas
January 28, 2013
Classic Shoji
joyful_lady added this to Media Room
January 27, 2013
sliding doors
salcrosthwaite added this to d3
January 26, 2013
Interior walls made of Kalwall share light while maintaining privacy.
kkbideas added this to kkblandford's ideas
January 21, 2013
Not only do I like the shoji screens, I really like the hanging spotlights.
georgejrwest added this to Japanese
January 17, 2013
jlbussler added this to jlbussler's Ideas
January 16, 2013
sliding doors zen
ladecoradora added this to ladecoradora's ideas
December 30, 2012
room divider
chatounette added this to chatounette's Ideas
December 15, 2012
Lovely chair.
jtienlau added this to jtienlau's ideas
December 13, 2012
nice & simple but interesting
rebeccasask added this to Office/Bedroom
December 13, 2012
Shaded pocket door for privacy while still letting light through.
Jen added this to AsianInspired
December 12, 2012
adjacent room. added height
shirablue added this to shirablue's Ideas
December 7, 2012
edwardmarcus58 added this to edwardmarcus58's Ideas
November 29, 2012
1nito added this to 1nito's ideas
November 26, 2012
samnivi79 added this to samnivi79's ideas
November 25, 2012
Minimalistic beauty of Shoji screens
rjmaxey added this to rjmaxey's Favorites
November 24, 2012
Glass doors/walls
Ronnie Stark added this to ronnie_stark's Ideas
November 24, 2012
Simple and clean
beedelaney added this to beedelaney's Favorites
November 22, 2012
Room divider
djvrana added this to djvrana's Ideas
November 16, 2012
charled060 added this to charled060's ideas
November 13, 2012
Plant,flooring,sliding doors.
Destiny Murdock added this to destiny_murdock's ideas
November 12, 2012
room dividers and light color schemes
pjshot added this to pjshot's ideas
November 8, 2012
man1978 added this to man1978's Ideas
November 7, 2012
channersun added this to channersun's Ideas
October 25, 2012
Dinig room idea
Formline Architecture + Urbanism Inc. added this to translucent glass
October 21, 2012
Kal wall interior
thanhschado added this to thanhschado's Ideas
October 19, 2012
High ceiling gives open space feel
msanocki added this to msanocki's ideas
October 18, 2012
shoji screen
rdodson49 added this to rdodson49's ideas
October 14, 2012
living room
youngstag added this to Living
October 12, 2012
wall separator
psuggs added this to Materials
October 6, 2012
Shoji Screens
Reed Hastings added this to Asian
October 6, 2012
xxsarahjeanxx added this to xxsarahjeanxx's ideas
October 3, 2012
The shoji screens and the windows above let in the natural light and give a very Japanese feel to the entire house. The bonsai in the background is a great addition to any house.
lcr168 added this to lcr168's ideas
September 28, 2012
Duerksen Woodworks added this to for Bill to make
September 27, 2012
sababologna added this to doors
September 23, 2012
sliding kalwall doors
vmbutti added this to vmbutti's Ideas
September 16, 2012
puertas placard meli
carlaschils added this to carlaschils's ideas
September 1, 2012
gracefulnfunny added this to gracefulnfunny's ideas
September 1, 2012
shoji screens
donnagiovannini added this to home office/glass room.
August 30, 2012
Stunning idea of putting glass windows over the office!
cassid added this to cassid's ideas
August 19, 2012
Sliding doors that enclose the room (note wheels at bottom of doors)
aznric3boi91 added this to hallway
August 10, 2012
sliding doors and upper windows
mircah added this to interior details
August 9, 2012
boffie added this to boffie's Ideas
August 1, 2012
Top window
danhisey added this to danhisey's ideas
July 29, 2012
love simple doors
Meredith added this to dancinmypants's ideas
July 27, 2012
miaomeyers added this to miaomeyers's ideas
July 26, 2012
Japanese Living Room lookout to Entry Way
nhalbrook added this to office
July 22, 2012
jasminepetals added this to Ideas
July 18, 2012
Lower level Storage area Sliding door: per discussion
tredillard added this to tredillard's ideas
July 8, 2012
Shoji screens possible
annabellepugh added this to My Home Design templates
July 4, 2012
shoji screens.
davidutz added this to garage kotor
July 4, 2012
Architect added this to Pittsburgh
July 2, 2012
room divider
Patricia Cockburn M. added this to pattysyl's Favorites
June 19, 2012
Separa ambientes estil oriental
hansoo added this to Office
June 18, 2012
sward1 added this to sward1's ideas
June 10, 2012
Great chair
mvasquez2002 added this to mvasquez2002's ideas
May 16, 2012
8803lakeside added this to Bill's Ideas
May 8, 2012
Traditional Japan
a924039 added this to Home office/sitting room/library
May 6, 2012
Abu Raiyaan added this to adnankhan's Favorites
May 6, 2012
Shoji screen
tdang523 added this to Office
May 2, 2012
The door slides
dandyzoku added this to dandyzoku's ideas
April 26, 2012
the minimalism, serenity, and simplicity. it's ambiguous and multi-functional.
wesleyfour added this to wesleyfour's Favorites
April 20, 2012
Idea for 3rd bedroom wall
mariebear added this to mariebear's Favorites
April 19, 2012
evientkh added this to Skylight
April 16, 2012
paulasg added this to Asian Look
April 15, 2012
Room divider
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