Fortunately, our friends (family of 6) who rent a 5 year-old home in Suginami were kind enough to give us a tour of their home. The location is 50 meters from Zenpukuji Park (sort of a mini-Inokashira park) and has great southern exposure. The house has 3 floors plus a basement for total usable space of 161sqm.
The home is put on display by the design firm NatureDecor at link below:
The home definitely has a lot of charm:
- Sunken living room with side-angled skylights makes this room the centerpiece of the home. It certainly gives it a WOW factor.
- Walls were made of a mixture of mortar some fibrous material giving a lot of texture the rooms.
- A lot of attention paid to the lighting, exposed beams, artistic hand-rails and nooks for decorative pieces.
- Lots of STORAGE.
- Basements give you lots of extra space but drainage can be an issue as you need to turn on a pump when it rains. As well, there's the humidity factor. Our friends have 3 or so running during the summer wet season.
- Beautiful living room, but it does not get used that much as people are usually in the computer/media area, or in the dining room. Some food for thought.
- How do you clean textured walls? They are pretty but how do you clean water condensation stains?
- Make sure your builder is nearby and ready to fix things like windows that are improperly installed (e.g. have gaps).
- Heating: Heated floors don't heat up a room. They feel nice when you're standing over them but we had our fleeces on all evening. Note to self: look into baseboards.
- Transparent stairs give a sense of more space but you also lose a storage area.
- Japanese Top loading dishwashers are useless. You can barely fit enough and you need to stack the washers trays on top of each other.