Wabi House is an understated, down-to-earth residence inspired by time-honored Japanese design. Located in Carlsbad, California, this contemporary home designed by Sebastian Marsical Studio is described by the architects as “a modern and introspective take on an old tradition.” Street side, the house is barely visible through a densely planted garden, which conceals the home from the public view and offers a secluded escape from the outside world. Past the entrance, the home itself sits on a slightly sunken plot, enhancing its sense of retreat. The house structure is placed on a raised platform, accessed by a bridge (or ‘engawa’) which leads over a pond and to the ‘genkan’, a red-lacquered volume where tradition dictates that the shoes be removed prior to entering the main house. At the heart of this sunken property, the home’s main floor is enclosed in glass, offering an earthy view through the floor-to-ceiling windows that can be folded to open up the interiors to the outdoors. The interiors on the main level include “a low heated table and tatami mat floor in the open dining/living area as well as the traditional Japanese bath known as an ofuro bath.” Upstairs, the master bedroom boasts access to a spacious rooftop garden. Rich woods are the predominant material, giving the house a warm, rustic yet refined look. Sebastian Marsical Studio.