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We built our “Tiny Tea House” for a Japanese client who yearned for an authentic tearoom that would evoke her childhood in pre-war Japan. We hope that her Tiny Tea House has transported her to another time and place.
The tea room features shoji screens, three tatami mats, a sunken tea warming hearth, two storage drawers under the raised floor, a 28.5″ by 28.5″ tea guest entry door, an honoring alcove, and a traditional tea serving chest.
As a striking accent to the knotty spruce walls, we chose a contrasting black walnut to frame the guest entry door, loft edge, alcove slabs, and ladder catch.
The space-saving five-foot counter topped by the large 36″ by 36″ awning window allows enough room for a dining area on the opposite wall.
Our client wished to have as much natural live edged wood exposed as possible, as seen on the shelf above the kitchen sink and cabinet door rails. The thick, upper black walnut shelf features recessed puck lighting for tasks at the counter. We also installed a two-burner gas recessed range in a red oak butcher block counter.
Here, we used three more tatami mats, framed with pine and bamboo. Because the client planned to live in her Tiny house full-time, the mats are extra thick at 2 1/2 inches. Two fixed sky lights allow ample light from above. The red oak sliding ladder runs on a black walnut track and can be stored in an upright position hanging next to the counter.
To recreate her childhood bathing routine, we installed a Japanese soaking tub with a stainless steel surround to both soak and shower. The Nature’s Head composting toilet is compact, durable, self contained, and vented.