Name: Ashley Chu and Alex Acker
Location: Beixinqiao — Beijing, China
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 years, renting
Beijing is famous for its centuries-old hutongs — the winding alleyways that once made up the main arteries of the city. They were filled with traditional courtyard homes until the spaces were divided or destroyed to make room for a swelling population. These days, what’s left of the ancient hutongs are enticing China expats and a younger generation of locals with their charm. But moving in comes with risks: namely bugs, cold winters, bad plumbing, water damage, and lack of space. So when Ashley Chu and Alex Acker invited a Chinese friend and her mother to come visit their 100-year-old home in the heart of the hutongs, the mother was horrified.