March 30, 2018

Bringing back the functionality of floors

I had a crazy idea the other day (one I haven't shared with Yangkyu yet because he needs to be eased into my craziness). 

Why don't we get rid of our sofa in our living room and in its place get a few extra large sized cushions? My mom had these wonderfully huge cushions and had custom made covers for them. She stacked them up in a corner when they weren't being used and when we had family night or guests over, they were taken out to use. She took such good care of them that they never looked worn or dirty. She made use of the sunlight to dry them and patted them outside to get rid of dust.

We definitely had a sofa in our home and a dining table, but the floor was also a very inviting place to eat, sit, talk, watch TV and more. Whether there was extra space on the sofa or not, people opted for the floors. It was just so natural for us.

It got me thinking - where did this joy go?

I grew up in a family that made use of our floors. As I mentioned before, we always had furniture that made living away from the floors possible (sofa, dining table, beds) but the floor was always an option to sleep and converse and converge. 

Back in Korea, in my grandparents' home, and many of the older homes in Korea primarily away from the city (although I don't think it's the case now), the floors were even heated and so it was the best place to socialize with family after dinner in front of the TV during the cold months. I remember snuggling next to my grandma under the covers, feeling the warmth of her hand and also the floors. We ate apples and oranges and kids finally dozed off to sleep while the adults enjoyed their favorite dramas.

I miss this terribly. And I wonder why I don't have this anymore. 

Perhaps culturally I've lived without the notion of including floors as part of a living space for so long that I've grown accustomed to it. 

Yangkyu and I have never worn shoes inside the house all our life and I always ask my friends and guests to remove their shoes before coming into our home. I also ask all our Piri's Place clients to do so as well, a concept that is not very familiar to some.

There are a few exceptions that I do make with elderly people who need to wear shoes for support and people who weren't given proper heads up that we take our shoes off and come with a pair that is hard to take off (knee high boots with laces, etc). And sometimes if they just need to do something quick or take a peek inside the living room, they would tip toe in with their shoes. That's ok. I just wipe down the area afterwards. We've made it a lot easier for our clients though in that the entryway is walkable with shoes and the area is wiped down frequently.

We even wipe dogs paws after each bathroom break and if their paws are extra dirty after a walk, I wash them. 

So for us, the floors were and are never considered dirty and only used just to walk, whether with shoes or not.


Big, crazy thoughts. And I am heading into the weekend imagining the possibility. Although it may end up being too crazy even for me. 

There is some wear and tear with our couch but it's in pretty ok shape. I wash the covers frequently, have blankets over them when we have guest dogs and vacuum frequently so that there are no crumbs that live between the cracks. I am thinking that there might be someone who is willing to buy it. Who knows. My problem is, I just never know how to price used furniture.

In any case, what do you think about floors and what was your relation to it?

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! 


  1. This is funny because I was literally just looking for a couch on gumtree (our Aussie version of craigslist) BUT I also just watched a ted talk about longevity where they studied areas around the world with high life expectancy rates and in one town, in Okinawa, Japan they talked about how the population sit on the floor and just the act of getting up and down daily promotes body movement! I also have never worn shoes inside (instilled from my family) so whenever I go to someone's house I just automatically ask or even take off my shoes immediately by habit :)

  2. I think this is actually a pretty cool idea, Jane. I love what your mother used to do. Here in North America, it's a bit unconventional, I agree...but being Asian, I also remember how me and my sisters would just sit on the floor and play with our paper dolls. We also don't EVER do shoes inside the house even now.

  3. I still can't imagine anyone wearing outside shoes in the home. Us Chinese in Singapore, we have indoor footwear although most people go barefooted mostly due to the hot weather. I've watched a number of K dramas where families sit on the floor, even to eat. I've wondered if that's painful on the legs, esp for the older folks. Once I was in Korea and one of our hotels had no beds. We slept on the wooden floor which was heated. No futon, nothing. It was an interesting experience!

  4. I'm very very comfortable sitting on the floor (instead of chairs/sofas) but they do need to be kept pretty clean for that - wood floors make it easy, carpet not so much

  5. When we moved to our current place my heart was set on just putting our mattress on the floor, without a bed frame. That's how I've slept over the past few years! I love walking into the bedroom and seeing how simple it is and that we don't need so much to be happy at home. It's not a crazy thought by the way, it's more of a 'why not' thing. :)

  6. I actually don't mind sitting on the floor.... plus if we're ever visiting it's easier to play with the pups/kids! haha And we don't wear shoes in the house either (even as a kid we took them off) I can't even imagine wearing them inside... All the germs! YUCK! haha

  7. That's interesting! Getting big cushions for seating sounds great. I enjoy sitting on floors but because I am brought up using sofa / chair to sit down I just don't do it on daily basis. If I have more floor space in my living room I totally would sit on the floor more!

  8. I love the idea, sounds so cosy!! x


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