Japanese Tea Room

As I mentioned last week, Hui-Chen and I moved into a new apartment, not too far from where we used to live. The new place has a Japanese style tea room. We are still getting settled in the new place (which is taking extra time because of our travel schedule). I need to get a few more things to finish off the room, but for now I wanted to show you what it looks like.

This shot is taken from the living room, looking in the tea room. The tea room is an open area with no door so it doesn’t appear to be so cramped. Its a small space and if it were totally enclosed it would feel a lot smaller than it does. In this shot you can see our 32″ LCD HDTV (hey, we live in Taiwan after all) and the collection of movies. I enjoy watching titles such as “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” and “Hang ‘Em High” on a regular basis, and I have quite a few sci-fi titles from the 50’s, as well as Chinese movies, of course.

I plan on adding a cabinet along the bare wall on the left to hold stuff like I did in the old place (old bookcase shown above). I need something that can hold liquor bottles and glasses as this room is also a drinking room.

Peeking over the glass partition directly behind the TV, this is the view of the room. What you don’t see in any of these shots is the nice Roman shade on the large window. I love that window because is spans the entire width of the room.

This is the view you get when you enter the space, with the host’s chair on the right. Even though the style is supposed to be Japanese, you can see that my chairs are definitely Chinese. This is because I’m not Japanese and I don’t find sitting on the floor to be all that comfortable, even with cushions. So, technically I am breaking with tradition. Go ahead, glue my door locks if you don’t like it, but I like how these chairs look. The dark wooden floors and table were already here, so if you don’t like how the light table looks on the dark floor, you can glue my window shut too. Alert viewers will notice the tube running from the tea tray to a receptacle underneath the table.

I have played with the arrangement of this room for several days. The room is only so large, and the table is just big enough to work with, so I have tried to find a layout that works. One of the negating factors is the placement of the electrical outlets. I will never, ever understand the logic of placing an outlet in the middle of a wall, but the vast majority of outlets in Taiwan are waist-high on the wall. Taiwanese just do not care about having wires hung all over the place, where Americans think wires look terrible. In every shot of the table you can see the black wire for the water kettle. Its hideous (not to mention ridiculous). I may end up placing the kettle on the floor beside the host’s position. I also think that there is only enough room for 3 people. I tried putting the table in the center of the room, but then again, there is that wire problem. With the table centered, every seat feels cramped because the wall is so close behind. With the table offset, there is a more open feeling to the space, plus there is just enough room on the opposite wall for a thin cabinet. The small light shown in the previous shots will go on top of said future cabinet.

This final shot shows the guest perspective. Come on over and we’ll enjoy some of the best oolong tea in the world, grown right here in Taiwan!

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