WE ARE STILL very much in the infancy stage of refurbishing but we discovered by living longer term at the house we notice things differently, the way the sun shines through or just the actual flow of the rooms and what furniture works best etc. We have bestowed an immense pressure on our builder, Mr Happy Mountain ( his English pseudonym !) and maybe a great deal of faith too. He is in his 70s, although very fit, but I get the impression he doesn’t like to use power tools much, which hey, could be a good thing, and he likes to take his time ( I swear the weeds out front are moving faster!!) and what worries us is he actually up for the whole job? He seems very happy but the more work I see piling up I am already pondering at next years calendar and thinking O-Bon 2017 might be a more realistic opening date!

We originally planned to pull out our existing bath but after using it we discarded that notion very quickly. It is a beautiful old hinoki tub surrounded by hinoki tiled walls and it would be sacrilege to pull it apart.


Deeper than it looks

We are now going with the concept of changing the floor space of the outside barn and creating a bath-house, massage room and utility room. What does Mr Happy Mountain think?


our irori hearth

This rooms comes off the kitchen and at present is surrounded by tatami but our idea is to make the hearth sunken so we can huddle around more comfortably ( Gaijin legs!!) and replace the tatami with floor boards. we discovered a recycled timber shop in south Kyoto and managed to salvage 140 year old timber sheets, enough to cover the 6 tatami mat floor space.


just making sure

THE KITCHEN , inevitably, will all be pulled out and dropped to the doma level to work nicely with the Okudosan. The old plate cupboard will stay put. I hate to say but we will be installing some stainless steel shelving, sink and refridgeration behind but hopefully mainly out of sight!

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