Home of “Five O’Clock Tea”
2 Chalk Street, Barleywick, The Shire
When I started working on this house, I had one concept: a japanese tea house in a game universe that represents mostly western features – so, there are many limitations that made this into a titanic task if I may say so myself. That being said, japanese tea houses are very light (minimalistic) decoration-wise… so that was challenge #1.
I had to do a lot of research before I started, since I had only visited one of these tea houses and many years have passed. Thus, I reckon visitors who wish to understand my furnishing decisions would need a write-up. I’ll try to sum up below, any item I don’t mention is probably just there to make the house feel less empty.
** French Client: 2 route de la craie , Orgemèche.
It always combines these natural elements: green vegetation, stones and water. The path that leads to the house has a stop at a small water basin (“tsukubai“) where visitors wash their hands and mouths (aka “Galadriel’s Mirror” – be sure to interact!). Before the house, you’ll find a big and heavy slab of stone (“kutsunugi-ishi“) where visitors have to leave their shoes.
You’ll notice the red colored doormat and Cypress trees, since I found it’s the preferred kind of wood for building these tea houses – so it was my way of hinting at the wooden interior.
Entrance: Display room
Also called alcove or reception room (“tokonoma“), it’s the first step into a japanese tea house, where the host displays, usually on the left, an item for the guests to observe, a flower vase and a hanging scroll. You’ll notice my house has a mushroom garden, a flower vase, and – lacking a hanging scroll – a banner.
The overall color palette consists of light, pastel hues and darker browns, blacks and reds for edges & details.
Main Tea Room
This big open area can contain elements from different styles depending on whether it caters mainly to asians or to foreigners as well (or people who are used to kneeling on tatamis versus people who aren’t). The traditional japanese side relies on “tatamis” (woven straw carpets) and sometimes small cushions, while the guests’ side has long tables and benches.
So, in this house, both sides are represented: woven brown rugs as tatamis, small tea tables where the ceremony is performed, long tables and different cushions. On both ends of the tea area, you’ll spot tea set displays (my options where a bit grim, I had to use Morgul decorations). On the walls, there are several maps with our selection of tea leaves routes. Lastly, you’ll also notice there’s an oven, since some types of pastries pair really well with tea.
Beyond a wall of vines, I’ve added 2 rooms with different purposes. If you go past the vines & turn left, follow the steam and behind a Dragon tapestry you’ll find a small sauna: there’s a private area for you to undress and grab a towel before you sit down around the coals for a good steaming!
If instead you keep straight after the vines, you’ll see a White Tree tapestry that marks the entrance of the massage & meditation area. Here you’ll find fluffly rugs, flower-scented candles and massage tables to straighten that posture! You’ll need to set an appointment for our employees to be there and provide these services. But feel free to make use of the facilities on your own too!
That’s all! Hope you enjoy your visit! Any and all feedback is welcome.
This house has been selected amongst the Fifteen Finalists for D&Co Housing Week #11 – thank you in advance if you visit, double thanks if you vote, too.