The owners of a beloved housewares boutique upsize and remodel their home in Venice.
Keiko and Takuhiro Shinomoto have been sharing their passion for Japanese home goods ever since they arrived in Los Angeles from Tokyo in 2003. Opened the same year, their Tortoise General Store, soon to move from Venice to Mar Vista, has grown into a destination for everything from Hasami porcelain to Japanese woodworking classes and art exhibitions.
So it’s little surprise that when the couple got the chance to buy their 1940s rental home in Venice and decided to remodel, they looked to Japan for inspiration—specifically to Tokyo, to the 1935 residence of Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice Kameki Tsuchiura and to the 1970s home of Keiko’s aunt and uncle. Both feature clean lines and multilevel, open-plan interiors.
The Shinomotos wanted the same heightened volume and minimalist aesthetic for their own home, so they reached out to Ken Tanaka, a Tokyo native and licensed Japanese architect who had relocated to the U.S. to work in the office of A. Quincy Jones Associates before establishing his own practice in L.A.in 1990. He had met the Shinomotos at their shop while working on stores for Patagonia, and the trio had discovered a shared design philosophy.