Cozy Modernism

Creating a comfortable family home with a minimalist aesthetic

When architect Nahoko Ueda began designing a family home perched on top of the rolling terrain outside Salem, Oregon, her objectives were to capture the amazing views provided by the lot and to create a home that was simple and minimalist, without being cold or impersonal.


  • Residential


  • Performance Line
  • Fixed Window
  • Multi-Slide Door
  • Sliding Glass Door
  • Sliding Window
  • Window Wall
  • 90-degree
  • Bi-parting


  • Salem, Oregon
The floor-to-ceiling window wall illuminates the backyard at night when the dining room lights are on.

This massive, 2-story window wall captures the magnificence of the home while completely blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors.

“Seeing the site for the first time, my first thought was how do we maximize the views from both sides?” said Ueda. “I wanted to frame the views and celebrate the change of seasons without creating a glass box. We needed privacy, comfort, and energy performance.”

A view of the backyard from the dining room’s massive glass wall.

The massive window walls capture beautiful views of the landscape while bringing in tons of natural light.

While the glass walls of the dining area are stunning, Ueda wanted the home to reach beyond one grand area, and create spaces that feel comfortable and modest, even when contrasted with the stunning views.

Fully opened 90-degree sliding doors completely open a corner of the room to the backyard.

Picturesque views of the grassy lot the home rests on are captured through this completely open 90-degree configuration of sliding glass doors.

A comfortable sitting area opens to a patio through sliding glass doors.

Bringing in cozy chairs and décor keeps the home comfortable without giving up the connection to the outdoors.

“You want to be able to feel cozy and have the big space. You want to enjoy moments with family and friends and have spaces for solitude,” Ueda said. “I wanted to create different spaces for different moods and times of day.”
Ueda created big moments in private spaces, such as view-framing sliders that opens the main bedroom to the outside. She also designed smaller scale spaces that evoke a big reaction, such as the flush frame window at the end of a hall, exposing a perfect view, or a glass-enclosed window seat that feels surprisingly comfortable in its simplicity.
A tree is framed at the end of the hallway through a flush-framed window.

Nature becomes a part of the home through perfect framing of windows throughout the home.

A view of the kitchen with sliding windows above the sink.

Ventilation is not an issue in the home with plenty of operating windows and doors, like the sliding windows above the kitchen sink.

Using large scale windows and moving glass walls throughout the home allow for maximum natural light, which is especially important in the Pacific Northwest. At the same time, there was a need to balance energy efficiency and privacy through careful positioning, exterior shading, and using materials designed to keep the interior comfortable, like low-e glass.

The right windows and doors needed slim profiles and the right palette to match the aesthetic, in addition to being able to scale to the sizes required and still having the energy performance. Western Window Systems had the right combination of U-values, minimal lines, and high performance.

“This home was designed for a family with two children,” said Ueda. “They wanted a low-maintenance, energy efficient space, and they needed a quiet, timeless feeling, a home where they could relax from their busy lives. The goal was for the home to feel spacious, but not vast. To blend into nature and still feel comfortable.”

A window seat frames views of trees through fixed and operating windows.

An intimate atmosphere is created through this window seat that pulls the surrounding scenery into the home.

Architect Nahoko Ueda, Ueda Design Studio
Builder Cellar Ridge Construction
Dealer Portland Millwork
Photographer Kevin Scott