Back in LA for Thomas' family vacation. The whole gang was there, so we rented a beautiful house in the hip Silver Lake neighborhood. The layout of the house was open & airy - I especially loved the kitchen with a long counter for prepping on one side & the sink + stove on the other. There was also an amazing (heated!) pool that we took full advantage of. Most of the rooms featured sliding wood doors, which is a traditionally Japanese feature that I love. I just finished reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Bradbury; the book is full of Japanese motifs and at one point the character Renee has a lot to say about sliding doors:
From the very first film I saw, Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice, I was fascinated by the way the Japanese use space in their lives, and by these doors that slide and move quietly along invisible rails, refusing to offend space. For when we push open a door, we transform a place in a very insidious way. We offend is full extension, and introduce a disruptive and poorly proportioned obstacle. If you think about it carefully, there is nothing uglier than an open door. An open door introduces a break in the room, a sort of provincial interference, destroying the unity of space. In the adjoining room it creates a depression, an absolutely pointless gaping hole adrift in a section of wall that would have preferred to remain hole. In either case a door disrupts continuity, without offering anaything in exchange other than freedom of movement, which could easily be ensured by other means. Sliding doors avoid such pitfalls and enhance space. Without affecting the balance of the room, they allow it to be transfomred. When a sliding door is open, two areas communicate without offending each other. When it is closed, each regains its integrity. Sharing and reunion occur without intrusion. Life becomes a quiet stroll - whereas our live, in the homes we have, seems like nothing so much as a long series of intrusions.
That said, the house didn't feel Japanese or Asian even, but rather Danish - with all of the blonde wood, white walls, and bright decor. And I haven't even mentioned the outside of the house! It was painted this lush blue with a matte finish and had connecting passageway from the front porch (overflowing with succulents) to the back porch which overlooks the pool.