Sunday, 9 September 2012

House tour - part 2

I've been wanting to show you some of the changes I've made around the house since starting Jo's course, but I thought I'd better finish off the original house tour first, as a kind of 'before' series. As with the pictures of the upstairs, these photos were not all taken at the same time; it's not usually this tidy in all the rooms as the same time!

(By the way, and speaking of the My Organized Chaos course, registration is now open and the early-bird special is now on! End of commercial break :-)...)

So, when you come in the front door, this is what you see:

And if you look back at the door from the far end, you see this (minus the plant, which moved outside between photo shoots):

The two little wooden chairs there were a present from Tim when he moved house. We just dropped them down by the front door when we brought them home... and then decided that it was actually quite a good place for them. Nowadays they mainly function as a little Nature Shelf, where K leaves rocks, leaves, feathers and any other treasures he finds when he's out and about. The wooden door on the left leads into the shoe closet.

Now, as you face the front door (as in the photo above), turn to the left and see this:

Directly ahead of us here is the bathroom, and between the bathroom and the stairs on the left is the toilet. On the right, after the slatted wooden screen, is a door into the shoe closet.

So, here is the toilet:

Exciting stuff, eh? The cupboard on the left is actually in the under-the-stairs space, and is one of the few places in the house we have at the moment for displaying art or ornaments. It's also the only bit of wall that isn't papered white, making it a nice little display spot. Apart from, you know, the fact that it's in the toilet. At the moment we have a piece of marquetry made by my grandad, a piece of digital art by our friend Shuko and a weather glass that H bought last summer at Barometer World (no, really). The little sink has a feature that impresses people in Japan despite being run-of-the-mill everywhere else; it produces warm water! Wow!

Next, the bathroom. When you open the sliding door you are in the washbasin/laundry area, featuring our fancy new washer/dryer. On the left side of this photo you can just see the doorway into the bath proper.

And here it is. It's a moulded plastic, all-in-one wet room, a standard set-up in Japan.

 Everyone in the family uses the same bathwater (either in turn, or all together), so you first shower to get clean and then just use the bath to relax. The tub has a lid to help keep the water warm until everyone has finished with it. Like everything else in our house, the bath is controlled electronically. One push of a button will fill the bath to a predetermined depth, at a predetermined temperature. While you're in the bath you can add more hot or cold water, or add more water at the same preset temperature if you just want it deeper, or press a call button to get your wife to come and collect the baby you've been bathing. And of course there's a selection of bath toys, a map of Japan and yet another times tables chart!

A quick look from the bathroom back out through, including the laundry basket and some plastic drawers holding towels and other various bathroom bits and pieces.

Next, come out of the bathroom and look to your left, through the doorway just visible in the photo above. This is the 'shoe closet':

I'm sure you all know that in Japanese homes shoes are removed at the entrance-way. That means that shoes are all stored there too, along with umbrellas, outdoor toys, barbecues and anything else at all 'dirty' (unless you have a garage or shed). A lot of new houses now have a little room like this off the main entrance-way, to store outdoor-sy things and help keep the area around the front door looking neat and tidy for guests.

The big cupboards hold shoes, as well as coats, roller skates, vases, butterfly nets, fishing nets, baby carriers... Then there's space on the tiled floor for K's bike, the pushchair, patio furniture, and that white cabinet under the letter box which is a temperature-controlled insect incubator. No, really.

And from that end looking back into the house, with a view of the coatstand and bag corner too:

Finally, look up. The shoe closet has a very high, sloping ceiling, and a mysterious internal window at the top. That opens into a little tiny loft space above the bathroom, leading off the upstairs landing, which was supposed to prevent H's stuff taking over the house...

And I think that will do for today, although we haven't really got very far around the house. Next time I'll show you the tatami mat room, the living room and kitchen. I've already taken some pictures, so you shouldn't have to wait a month for the next installment.
*** Edited to add: here's part 3! ***
Coming next though: T's first haircut! Stay tuned :-)

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