Shoes: Rude or not?

Cut out

Tell me, is it rude to:

1. Inform your guests (family included) to remove your shoes upon entry?

2. Wear shoes in a guest’s obviously-vigorously-tidied-before-receiving-guests-like-you house regardless of being asked to remove?

3. To decline taking off your shoes upon request?

4. Not to inform guests WHEN you invite them over that shoes aren’t allowed indoors, so they can wear appropriate socks or wash feet prior to arriving so as to not embarrass your guests?

I grew up in Malaysia and like most Asian countries, the custom is to remove your shoes before you enter a house. So it’s normal at a gathering of people to find 30-40 pairs of slippers and shoes outside one’s home. There’s no question, no formal request. It’s the done thing. No questions asked.

But I now live in Australia. And like most non-Asian countries, shoes are normally worn in the house, even right to one’s bedroom and closet. I still take my shoes off when I enter a home. It’s just my done thing. I am more comfortable that way and I hate bringing in the dirt from outside into anyone’s home.

But I am me and my guests are not me.

What do you do? Would it be rude of me to ask over and over and over again (to the same people) to please remove their shoes?

When I can afford big money, I hope to have a house with a large entry hall where I can provide bench seating for my guests to remove their shoes, tuck them into warmed built-ins and provide them with just-laundered mohair slippers to walk about my home…

Tis an easy project

18 August 2013
24 August 2013



  1. Reply


    18 December 2013

    I have a friend who is Korean, and she has the same house rule. I was a little put off when I first started going to her house, mainly because I don’t like to go barefoot. Now that I am aware I make sure to bring socks with me. I do not find it rude or offensive to be asked to remove my shoes as long as I have something to cover my feet with.

  2. Reply


    28 March 2014

    That’s a good point, Leah. I have some good friends who visit and spend a few days with us. They bring their bedroom slippers when they come. I think that’s super thoughtful.

    I find it very hard to take when the people who really don’t care about our way of living are the in laws… :(


The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

Hearing from you

Write me at paperbean(AT)gmail(DOT)com