From Japan With Love
Peggy and Bill Breer met in a Japanese-language class in Tokyo. A year later they were married, and for the next 40 years, while Bill was in the Foreign Service, they moved between Japan and Washington. All three of their children were born in Japan.
When the Breers began building their dream home in DC’s Forest Hills in 1998, they set out to reflect the culture that had so shaped their lives. “We wanted to incorporate Japan into our house without having a, quote, Oriental home,” says Peggy.
From the outside, the shingle-style house looks as if it were plucked from a beach in Cape Cod. Inside, the minimalist decor, open layout, and maple woodwork capture the serenity and simplicity of traditional Japanese homes.
The spacious entryway has a step where visitors remove their shoes. Papered shutters, or shoji, separate the living and dining rooms, and Japanese art and furniture are scattered throughout the house.
A small, square tearoom overlooks a Japanese garden. There’s a low circular table surrounded by cushions in the center of the space, a decorative scroll hanging on the wall, and tatami, a traditional Japanese floor. Says Peggy: “Everything in this room came from Japan.”
Architect: Stephen Muse, Muse Architects, Bethesda
Contractor: Peterson and Collins Builders, DC
Interior designer: Valerie Brandt, Bethesda
Landscape architect: Jordan Honeyman Landscape Architecture, DC
Landscape architect for the Japanese garden: Osamu Shimizu, Shimizu Landscape Design, Glen Echo
Carpenter: Peter Wechsler, Daiku Woodworking, Boonsboro, Md.>>Next: At Home With Dick and Jane