The House of Kuroiwa is a house that we are only renting....oh, we could maybe someday afford to build a house of our own, but we wouldn't be able to afford the land to put in on, so, until then we will live in and utilize what others have built. We moved to this house about 5 1/2 years ago....it was the first one we looked at and it seemed too good to be true. For the price it seemed almost unreal. We looked at many houses in different parts of town, but kept coming back to this one....and I am oh so very glad that we did.
Our house has 6 rooms....2 tatami rooms on one end, living room (also tatami), dining/kitchen, and then 2 regular rooms on the other end (one is the K-man's office/music room and the other is the boys' bedroom). We sleep in one of the tatami rooms....no bed, but futons we put down every evening and then put away every (most) mornings! The other tatami is my space.
Answering Mrs. G.'s question is a little difficult. You see...for me...the whole house makes me feel content. After living in really small spaces, this house feels so right. The heart of the house is....everywhere!!! But...there are special things about this house that add to the contentment.
First....my entrance way "display" area:
I change this place often....now, I am using 2 obi (the sashes for Japanese kimonos...I received many as gifts from friends) as part of the decoration. I love using them. The lava lamp was Issei's 7th birthday present....the handmade basket is full of dried flowers from different bouquets and rice that the K-man actually grew in a Styrofoam box!! Please don't ask me about the Earth, Wind and Fire album in the back...I came home one day and there it was. Obviously.....someone felt he needed to help in the decorating. Actually....I've grown accustomed to it and I kind of like it!!!
This is my reading/talking on the phone chair.
So much of our furniture was given or sold to us by other foreigners who were leaving the country. I got this chair 15 years ago...paid about $100 for it....since it has lasted this long that was a very good deal. I spend a lot of time in this chair....either reading (which I often do) or when I'm talking on the phone. You can't see it in the picture, but the phone is on the left....on Sundays, I spend most of my mornings here....on the phone...talking to my mom and any one else who will answer theirs!!!
In our living room, we have "my" chair and then the rocking chair and sofa. The rocking chair is the same age as Issei....I bought it about 1 week after bringing him home from the hospital. It's falling apart now, but....we love it. The kids who come to play...love it. We usually have to "paper, rock, scissors" to see who gets to sit in it.The sofa (another hand-me-down) is great....now, with the glass doors open, we can get a great breeze...so when we are watching TV or reading....this is a great place to sit. Outside the window, in one of the trees, the K-man has put a small box of birdseed....and it you sit really still, the birds will come up and you can watch them feed....or fight as they usually do!!!
(Just in case you are wondering...yes, that's a sewing machine in the background..sometimes I even actually use it!!! Behind the sofa is not some alien-type creature but a fan that we haven't taken off the plastic we put on when we put it into storage!!!)
In my kitchen....the chili peppers (and there are many, many more, but just not in the picture!!!) are a bit of America for me...and that is very important.Ah.....the ofudo...another place I spend probably way more time than is really necessary......a warm bubble bath, a hot bath in winter, or a cool bath in the summer are all a part of what I have grown to love about living in Japan. Of course, people just relax in here....I always bring a book..sometimes a glass of wine...and REALLY relax!!!And now....here I am....in my little corner of my tatami room. It really is quite messy now...and believe me...if I say it's messy, honey...it's beyond what most people would be able to handle!!! This is where I spend the "quiet hours"....after everyone has gone to sleep...or when the boys are outside playing and my work is done...doing what I do here on the computer....keeping in touch...with you.