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Their teahouse is a room within a room.

In Japan, a tearoom or chashitsu in a house or garden is designed to transport you from the everyday world to a place of order and tranquility. Katsuko and Leo Thielke of Mountain View, California, built theirs in a little-used family room. "We use it like a Victorian parlor to receive and entertain guests," they say.

It's actually a room within a room, with its own elevated foundation, a lowered ceiling, and three walls. The fourth side is open to the existing back wall, which has a masonry fireplace with a slightly elevated hearth. Bookshelves flanking the fireplace hold a collection of Japanese pottery and antique baskets. A removable fabric screen masks the fireplace opening.

Built up 8 inches to be flush with the hearth, the tearoom's floor measures 12 by 13 feet. Within the room are the main sitting area and a small alcove (tokonoma). The alcove is considered an honored spot for displaying special objects.

Frames for the 36- by 76-inch shoji panels are fir, with inset panels of birch plywood at their bases and higher horizontal bands of pecky cedar fencing. Above the doors, a 13-inch-high band has carved antique Japanese cedar panels and slatted redwood panels.

Plywood ceiling panels covered with bamboo wallpaper fit over an exposed wood framework that is secured to the true ceiling.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1984
Words:220
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