Saturday, September 22, 2012

Trip to Japan ~ My Sister's House

During the 2 weeks in Japan, I stayed half the time at my parents' and the other half at one of my sister's house.

She and her husband bought a 50 years old, rundown house by a river for a steal a few years ago. She told me that in spring, all the cherry blossom trees along the river provide such an amazing view from her balcony. She fell in love with the location more than anything else.

They have been slowly remodeling the house by themselves. I knew my sister loved woodworking and is very crafty, but I had no idea that my brother-in-law was such a handyman. He replaced the flooring, they changed the walls, and built shelves here and there... and so on.

They are keeping some of the Japanese aspects of the house, and adding their own style to it. It might look a little mish-mash, but in my opinion, the house is a lot more interesting and fun. It totally reflects their personalities!

I had fun going through the house with my sister to see what they have done so far, and listening to her tell me what their plans are for the future.

I will share some of the pictures with you.

One of my friends is a professional stained glass artist, she gave this stained glass as a house warming gift.

They took the door to the small shed, and added shelves for their ever growing picture books of their kids.

They replaced a lot of the flooring on the main floor, but they kept some "Tatami" room. I love the window treatment, antique chest and the rug.

Their bedroom wall was in a good shape, but it was all outdated wood panel like we see from the 70's here. They painted the whole room and added a rail & hooks to hang stuff.

I loved the reading corner for her girls in the living room. The quilt was made by a family friend using an old Japanese kimono fabric.

The entrance; my brother-in-law retiled the whole thing.

Have I mention that they both graduated from agriculture collage? They are good at growing veggies and keeping a beautiful garden.

Now that I think of it, there are more areas that I should have taken pictures. Seriously, they have done a ton of work!

One of my friends who knows what the house looked like told me that she had to asked my sister if they are really serious about buying the place. In fact, my sister told me that my nieces cried when they saw the house for the first time. Was it tears of joy? No, they didn't want to live in a haunted house!

Sometimes it is hard to see the potential in things, but my sister and her husband definitely had a vision, and are making the house in to a beautiful haven for their family.

I would love it if they could come to visit us someday... I have so many things I want done around my house... hehehe... well, that is a very fun and productive way to spend time as a family; don't you agree?:)


  1. i love japan so much
    and i hope i'll be there

  2. i love japan so much
    and i hope i'll be there

  3. Thanks for sharing the pictures! I love Japanese architecture. They did a great job! Impressive to know they did it themselves

  4. Welcome back and I'm looking forward to more stories about your stay in Japan! BTW, it was a great idea to have guest posts during your absence :)

  5. To discover another facet of someone you've known so amazing. :D However, since she's your sister, it doesn't surprise me that she and her hubby put a lot of love into their home! I love the simplicity and the peaceful nature of their home. Glad you enjoyed your visit, you are home safe, and you're sharing your trip. :D

  6. Oh those pictures bring back so many memories of our time in Japan. I was so nervous living in a house with Tatami mats. I was afraid to damage them as I thought they were so delicate. They are not that delicate. As long as you don't wear shoes on them. Her house looks wonderful, and she has such a large beautiful yard!

  7. They have made this house into a lovely home. It's amazing and so well thought out too.

  8. It is very interesting to see the use of quilts on the floor, they look amazing!

  9. I love all the photos--they definitely have done an amazing job! And I was ecstatic to see a little something else in the photo with the quilt made from Japanese kimono fabric--the book "Tintin" open on the desk nearby! I have a soft spot in my heart for that guy!

  10. We have just visited Japan for the first time, just a week from the UK so it was a busy time. We were made so welcome and had such a wonderful time my husband and I both hope to go back in the future. I loved the use of textiles that we saw and am full of inspiration. Your sister and her husband are creating a wonderful home.

  11. Their house looks lovely! I wish there were more pictures too. I'm hoping your time in Japan was everything you dreamed it would be!


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