Start on the hallway and some Zigbee

November passed by quickly towards the end of the month I got back to renovating. It was time for the hallway. I pulled some last pipes to the studio where I can later on put data cable through and then we started by putting the ceiling plates in. Since the hallway only needs 3 of those large plates I didn’t rent the lift, but without it, it sure was more effort. Good thing Hendrik showed up at the right time to lend a helping hand.

The next days I finished the walls, what a different view!

In between I also received a CC2531 Zigbee USB Dongle. Since Ikea uses Zigbee for it’s home automation hardware, this would be a better solution to connect the Ikea stuff to my home assistant. The setup was pretty straight forward. Ik updated the firmware of the stick, installed zigbee2mqtt in my home assistant and started discovering the lamps, switches and other tradfri items. I soon got a nice graphical overview of the mesh network formed by the zigbee units. I created an automation for the lamp in the living room to turn on before sunset and turn off at 23:00. Getting the dimming function working will take some more effort, but that will come later. It is nice to see how home assistant lets an Ikea tradfri switch turn on the WLED installation in the bathroom.

Changing around a door and light

Ever since we moved into this house it boggled me how the door of the living room and the studio constantly bumped into each other. With the kitchen and living room mainly done, the hallway would be next. The first thing I picked up was the door of the studio. With a bit of checking out how it was put in, it was pretty easy to take out the frame as well.

When this was done I turned it 180 degrees and put it back in. This sure is one of the things that when it is done you ask yourself why you have not done this before. It made total sense and it felt like it never had been any different.

The last thing missing in the kitchen was the light over the counter. The missing piece was a wire between the adapter and the lights. It has a very specific connector, so it would not be easy to connect the otherwise. After enough patience and checking on several European Ikea stores, I found them in Berlin, so I contacted a friend in Berlin to get a few wires and send them. They finally came in and this really finished the kitchen. Not a week to early as the night are starting early these days.

Some repair work and more Ikea stuff

Fall is taking over summer. With it comes stormy weather. Some of the fences need some attention.

Besides there was another email from Ikea. Finally the pull out fitting for the corner cabinet came in. Installing that turned the cabinet into a useful cabinet where our pots and pans can be kept in an organized manner.

Finishing touches

Finally having a real living room feels so good. We really enjoy just sitting on the sofa, listening to music. Cooking in our real kitchen and having dinner on the table. We kind of took it easy a bit and relax.

Some of the small things we did was getting a induction adapter for the moka espresso maker Mo had gotten from Stefano. While we where at the wholesale store I had noticed these adapters, so when the moka maker did not work, I knew how to fix this.

Mo’s mother also gave us an old lamp with yellow details in the same colour as our kitchen wall. So we tried it and it seems to fit nicely.

And with the kitchen finished, we don’t have to do dishes in the bathroom anymore, so we could finally install the vanity desk in the bathroom.

Finishing the floor

The first part of the floor really stimulates to finish the rest. On one side of the stove there was a higher piece of concrete I didn’t see use for, so I took it out. This way the floor nicely formed around the stove. By the end of the day the floor was one and we moved in the sofa and one of the chairs. It looked great.

The next day we picked up some stuff from Mo’s mothers place. The other chair, the hocker and finally the amplifier and speakers. Finally decent sound in the house. We spend nice time listening to CDs and LPs. Mo took two big paintings she thought would fit nicely in the big wall. She sure has an eye for this.

I also tried to find a solution for the extractor hood that had a too short chimney. I contacted company specialized in stainless steel and ask one of the other Dutchies in town who’s father in law is in the business. Hopefully we can finish this part soon.

The last fronts and a wooden floor

Finally Ikea send a message about the last fronts we where missing. So after picking them up, I could finally finish the kitchen. Well, almost finish as the cables for the counter lights are still missing. But it looks awesome! We also got new pots and pan as we now have an induction hub. I got them at the horeca wholesale store for a very nice price.

In the living room it finally time for the wooden floor and the painting of the stove with a special heat resistant paint (just in case we ever fire it up again). Mo does the painting and I am putting in the floor. A very productive day !

The countertop and fronts

After a week of fine tuning the plastered walls in the living room finally the phone call came in that the countertop was ready. Two people from Granimar came to deliver and install the countertop. It looked great and fitted like a glove. They had it installed in less then half an hour.

During the weekend we spend painting the living room walls and installing a few more fronts in the kitchen.

Because of the radiator the drawers under the ovens would not be able to open, so I changed the bigger drawer front for a door front and since there are not door fronts as narrow as a drawer, I bought a drill to create a hole for the hinges. When it was done it looked as if it was designed this way. Excited the kitchen really starts to get done.

Preparing the stove

At work in the marketplace channel someone offered two glass tables which fit nicely with the sofa and chairs I inherited from my grandparents, after I picket them up I was happy to see this was very true, only the type of would is different, so they are a bit lighter, but the design is very fitting.

During the weekend I fixed up the tile stove and made a cove around the brick chimney, to make it a bit more attractive. This sure made a good difference.

Measuring and plastering

Now the cabinets have gotten their final place the countertop can be measured. The guy from Granimar came with er very nice tool to do the measurements. It is a box with a pen on a wire. Because of the wire it knows how far away from the box the pen is and because of the pressure from the wire it also knows the direction relative to the box. Apart from that there is a touch screen with some CAD software and in no-time the design was made. It should take 1-2 weeks to be ready.

During the week we have visited Ikea to pick up some new kitchen parts and double check some stuff in the showroom. We also found a nice mirror for the bathroom, which is part of our temporary kitchen.

On Sunday put a thin layer of plaster on the walls in the living room to make sure the surface has the same structure as we decided not to put fiber glass wall paper on the walls here. As there was the first Formula 1 race in Zandvoort this century on, I connected my laptop to a TV screen so I could follow it while working.

Slow building the kitchen

As with many things when renovating a house, you shouldn’t be in a hurry. Putting the kitchen together goes pretty quick, but then the details is where the real time is spend. To make sure everything was level and straight I ended up taking the different cabinets apart from each other and reattaching them. I had good help from Markus, a German guy we had met in France during our vacation who mentioned he was planning to visit the Baltics, so I had given my number and he actually showed up. Together it went pretty smooth and after that we had time to go into town.
Besides not having most of the fronts available yet, also doesn’t add to a satisfying feeling

Something else that wasn’t satisfying was the ceiling, the mud that connected the ceiling parts had dried in so much smaller during the drying process that it was very visible. It annoyed me very much, so I ended up filling it 3 more time before it was good enough, at least for now.

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