our front door

So spring is here. Last week I felt like I had been punched, all of my body seemed to have allergic reactions – spring has already come. After a few days of antihistamines I started to feel like myself again, and now I have one more reason to wear a mask, masks that sometimes are referred to as pollen masks here I understand. But today is not another mask story, no today has a bit more of a design focus. 

I have come to love Japanese architecture. Most of it anyway. I love the use of space, the way details seem to be important in a manner I am not used to. And I love the way our home, thanks to the Japanese entrance or hallway, 玄関, genkan, becomes a world of it’s own. Japanese homes tend to have this area inside the door that is on a lower level than the rest of the house. The space where you take off your shoes, put your umbrella and so on. Every time I come home, I am filled with happiness and relief when entering our world, leaving my shoes below and stepping up to another level of existence. 

Our entrance has a concrete floor, a shoe box as my wife likes to call the shoe cabinet on the wall, and the top of the shoe box constitutes a shelf for decorating. And of course there is the front door too. If door is a good word. Maybe lid would be more appropriate. I do not really like to include the front door in our entrance. I do not like the door – having a metal board as a front door is like inviting cool air to escape during summer and hot air escape in winter. When we first met, my wife told me that the mansion she lives in is energy efficient – I still cannot understand what the meaning of that is; maybe the use of low energy bulbs in the ceiling? 

A metal front door and single glass windows would be the antithesis of energy efficiency in Sweden. Cold damp mornings, the inside of the door is covered with water drops, and since it does not even seal properly, it is also far too easy for pollen to invade our little apartment. The thinking behind all of this remains a mystery to me, but maybe in time I will understand the logic behind the use of uninsulated metal sheets as doors, and until then I will just try to ignore the door and enjoy the beautiful existence of our genkan.

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