sliding door

We have a weird little step from our living room to the bedroom. That is because the pipes for the heating run right underneath it. Don’t ask us why! We really don’t know why you would run the pipes that way. Evgen made an oak step to hide them as much as we can. But we still needed a door to separate the living room from the bedroom. We could not make a simple plain door because of the step, so our only option was a sliding door. With sliding door we would also save a lot of space, since we don’t have it that much there. The door is also almost always open and that way it can be hidden in the corner during the day.

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So first of all, again, we drew up a design. Since the door will be from floor to ceiling, we wanted a horizontal feature to break the height a little bit. The insert also plays the part of the handle. There are two inside frames, in between these two a black insert, around them a slick black frame and just four regular plywood panels to cover everything. Modern, minimal, maybe even with a kind of a japanese twist.

First of all, Evgen inserted an aluminium mechanism under the ceiling where the frame will hang and slide. On the floor, he drilled a hole in the floor and screwed in a little plastic guide. We forgot to take photos of this part, but it is just a simple plain store bought mechanism for sliding doors.

Evgen cut a bunch of planks to the right size which are for the basic inner framing for the door. He screwed them together and inserted another plank in the middle for added strength.

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For the middle black insert, where the cross section represents a letter I, he cut two planks and a small piece of plywood panel. He cut a groove in each plank where the panel will slide in. Then, he painted them all black and when they were dry, assembled them together.

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The same procedure was for the outer frame. He cut the planks to the right size, sanded, painted them and screwed them around the inner frame and the insert. He screwed them only from the top and the bottom of the door, so that none of the screws were visible. The outer frame sealed the inner frame and the insert together firmly.

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When it was all done,  he precisely measured the blank space that was left. He cut four plywood pieces to the right measurements so that they fit snuggly in the frame. He sanded them and applied a couple of coats of water  based lacquer over them. Of course he sanded with a fine grid sand paper in between coats. Then, he glued them to the inner frame and pressed them together with clamps.

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When it was all dry, all that remained was to hang them to the mechanism. What do you think?

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the picture frame

This year we have a lot of big birthdays coming up and my dear friend Anja’s came in April. Anja is half of the team at Milo za drago. They are two girls making handmade natural soaps, hand painted tights – Hulahopke for all ages and their last project is Bella opera – gorgeous jewelery made of natural stone and gilded with golden leaves.

mzd za helloyellowhouse

So, with two other friends, we came up with a sentimental idea for her present. We got a news cover from the exact day and year that she was born. Now all we needed was a nice frame to put it in. Oh, where, oh where could we get one? Evgen to the rescue!

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The problem with some store bought frames is that they are not sturdy enough, if you want to change the picture is a pain in the … and they are probably not even made out of wood. Evgen’s design was simple, very minimal, the corners of the frame were reinforced and it was made out of oak. The idea is that you would just slide the sandwich of the glass, the picture and the backing right into the frame. That way you can have all the control. You don’t have to turn the frame around to check if the picture is still in the right place or has it already shifted out of the center and it’s not aligned with the frame anymore.

First he prepared a couple of planks and cut them to the right dimensions. Then he made a groove in each of them where the picture would slide in. At the end of each plank he cut out two notches where the plywood insert would go. At the last photo here you can see all the parts needed for the frame ready to be glued together. The thin bottom piece is just an extra.

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At the back of the frame, in the middle, there is also a thin plank with a square cross section for added strength and durability. It is glued to the frame with a little wood pellet insert on each side. Bottom two corners are different from the upper two corners, because the picture will be of course inserted at the upper part of the frame.

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frame 5Bottom corners

frame 6Upper corners, where the picture will slide in.

frame 7Corners with the inserted piece of plywood.

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Now it was time for glueing all the pieces together. After he glued them, he pressed them together with clamps so that all the seams would be really tight. When the frame was dry he cut off the plywood that was sticking out of the frame in the corners. Next, you guessed it, he sanded it with 240 grid and applied a couple of coats of oil for the finish. Lastly he attached on a frame hook.

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The frame is finished!

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At a local glazier he ordered a piece of glass 50 x 70 cm with 3 mm thickness. Then he just assembled the glass, the picture and the backing board together and slid them in the frame.

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Oh, and in the photo below the glass in the upper right corner is not cracked, it is just a reflection of a telephone wire. :)

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footstool for Mrs N’s sofa

Remember when we redid that blue sofa in the Autumn? Well, with the sofa also came a footstool, but we just didn’t have the time to upholster it then. This brown box of sadness sat in our office since then and last week we finally found the time to make it shine again and unite it with the sofa.

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I must say, since this was our first big thing to reupholster, we are still very happy with the outcome. The owners of the blue sofa are also on the same page as we are. After more than half a year of use it is still very comfy and the fabric hasn’t stretched or faded.

So this is this big box of sadness. It is covered in a brown faux leather that has seen better days. The fabric is damaged, torn and stained and the shape is definitely not appealing. The sofa was also once covered with the same fabric.

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First we stripped it to the wooden box that was hiding underneath the old foam. Of course we discarded everything except for the box. Since this is really an ordinary box, we could just made a new one from scratch, but in the idea of recycling, decided to just work with what we got.

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When the frame was nice and clean, we stretched the webbing over the top of the box and stapled it in to place. Over the webbing came on the burlap.

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Over the burlap we stapled on a 10 cm thick piece of foam. Next, we stapled and glued a 1 cm thick piece of foam around the whole box. The foam even went over where the top 10 cm foam was for a nicer transition.

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For an even nicer finish we covered the whole box in dacron. We glued it with a spray adhesive onto the foam. To make the footstool a little nicer for your hiney, we did three layers of the dacron on top.

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The last part was to wrap the whole box in a breathable piece of fabric. Unfortunately I don’t know what is it called. Pillow inserts are normally covered in that same fabric.  If you know what it is, let me know! :) I buy big cheap pillow inserts and use the stuffing that is inside for other projects like mr. rhino and am left with the empty pillow insert. I usually save them and recycle them like I did now.

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While I was sewing the covers, Evgen did the base for the footstool. He could just glue or screwed together four pieces of wood, but he wanted to try something new and to make the base a little more interesting.

So, he cut four pieces of oak 44 cm long, 3 cm wide and 2 cm high. At the ends he cut them in an angle of  45°. There, he cut in each of the ends a groove (3 mm wide) with his table saw. Then he cut 4 square pieces  (8 x 8 cm) of triple layer plywood and inserted them into two of the grooves at the end of the planks.

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When he was happy with how it looked, he glued them together and left them to dry over night. The next day, he cut off the remaining plywood and sanded the whole thing. Lastly he applied a couple of coats of oil.

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For the covers I just sew a simple box,  with one top piece and two for the sides. The cover must be tight, even a little too tight, because the fabric will definitely stretch over time. And it will also shrink a little while in the wash. But of course you should wash your fabric before sewing. First I stitched the pieces together, then topstitched and lastly hemmed them together.

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When I was happy with the fit, I stitched on the velcro tape on the bottom of the covers. I did four pieces of velcro for four sides. For a nice corner I folded the fabric in 45° or like an envelope. While I was sewing the velcro tape on the covers, Evgen stapled the other part of the velcro onto the footstool.

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The wooden base was attached to the footstool with two screws on the bottom. So I had to make two little holes in the fabric for the screws to go through. I zigzaged around them to prevent them from  tearing.

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Them Evgen just attached the base to the box and TAA DAA! The footstool is finished!

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Here it is in its natural habitat and united with its sofa! :)

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the shelf

The shelf is finished! The shelf is finished! The shelf is finished! I finally have a place to put my growing collection of cooking books. And there is still room left for a couple more books.

shelf 27 We wanted a simple, clean design with lightning underneath the shelf. Our basic requirements were:

  • it has to be made out of oak to match the rest of the kitchen’s wood,
  • it should have supporting sides on both ends. There will be lots of books on it,
  • it  has to be sturdy and strong enough to carry a lot of weight,
  • we wanted to try out a motion sensor switch for the LED light,
  • and not even one of the screws should be visible.

The design plan is shown below. On the left side​ is the view from underneath the shelf, where the LED light is installed. On the right is the view from the top. The back plank is placed three centimetres (1.2 inch) from the edge of the side square planks to hide all the wiring needed. The wiring runs ​between the back side of the shelf and the wall.

polička v kuhinji2-Model

Now let’s see how we really made it! We needed two big rectangle planks (118 cm x 26 cm x 2.5 cm, 46.5 in x 10.2 in x 1 in) and two square ones (28 cm x 28 cm x 2.5 cm, 11 in x 11 in x 1 in). Evgen didn’t have on hand planks that were wide enough, so he first chose a couple of ones that he liked and glued them together. When they were dry, he cut them to the right measurements, planed and sanded them.

shelf 1

Then he cut out the slits, where the biscuits will be inserted. They help hold the pieces together when they are glued. At that point, he also cut out, on one of the square pieces, a groove for the electrical wiring and a little hole where the motion sensor will be. He had to do this beforehand, because at that spot the side square piece will be glued on the long rectangular plank and that way it will not be visible at the end. But, he didn’t want the electric wiring to be glued in the groove, so he inserted a basic plastic straw in it.  Then he just inserted the wiring back to the groove.

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On the bottom rectangular plank he also cut out a groove for the aluminium bracket where the LED light will go.

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Now came the time for gluing all the pieces together. But before he did that, he masked all the margins around the planks where the glue would go. That way the glue won’t spread out of the intended way. If you mask the plank before gluing, you get a cleaner line and don’t have to sand so much around the edges later on. When it was glued together, he attached a couple of clamps to hold everything in place. He left it that way overnight just to make sure that the glue was dry.

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On the picture below you can see all the wiring that was needed for the LED light. Evgen bought all the pieces separately and assembled them by himself, but you can buy a premade kit with all the essentials needed. On the left is the main power supply that goes in the power grid, the rectangular piece is a switch on/off, above the on/off switch is the motion sensor (the little black thing), the round piece is a power supply for the LED and the long strip is the LED strip in the aluminium casing.

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When the shelf was drying he prepared the wall where the shelf will be mounted on. For that, he drilled four holes in the wall and then inserted dowels for the screws. Next, he screwed on the wall two pieces of wood that would hold the shelf. On the back of the shelf he also screwed on two pieces that were the same as the two on the wall. But here he turned them around, so that they would slide into another and the shelf would be fixed to the wall as seen on the picture below.

polička v kuhinji2-Model4 shelf 14 shelf 15   shelf 16 shelf 17 Now for the final touches. Evgen first fine sanded the shelf with a 240 grid and then applied a couple of coats of oil. Again, we used Ikea’s Behandla oil. shelf 18 shelf 19

Here is a picture of the wall before the shelf and after the shelf was mounted on the wall and the wiring connected to the main power grid.

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Now it was finally time to move all my books back in the kitchen. Doesn’t Chia just fits right into our color scheme? :) This part of the kitchen is now officially done! YAAY!

shelf 25 shelf 28 shelf 26 The LED light provides just enough light. It is great that we can turn on or off the light and don’t have to touch the switch. The sensor works in a radius of approx 6 cm (2.4 in). gif shelf 29 shelf 30

pantry door

The last door in the apartment is finally repainted! This little project took us only a weekend and I really don’t know why we haven’t tackled it sooner. When we repainted the walls and the floor in the kitchen last year I also stripped and repainted the door jamb to the pantry, so the only thing left was the door. Exactly a year later we finally did it. I redid all the other door jambs in the apartment last summer. This one, to the pantry, was the only one left.

pantry door 10As you can see, the door was in a poor state, the paint was chipping at the bottom and I can’t even count how many layers of paint there were. The color was originally a light grey, but we decided to go with a simple white like with all the other door jambs in the apartment.

pantry door 1

pantry door 2The first thing was to strip the paint off of the door with our heat gun. We have a Bosch Heat Gun  for a couple of years now and are really happy with it. We learned from previous projects that this method (using a heat gun) is the easiest way to completely remove old paint.  You can just scrape off all the layers of paint after you expose them to the heat for a couple of seconds. Of course, when using a heat gun you have to use it in an outdoor space and wear a heavy-duty filter mask to protect yourself from the paint fumes.

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pantry door 6After that, he sanded the door with his random orbit sander. This is his new toy and he is as happy as a child. :) It is a Bosch GEX 125-150 AVE model. First he sanded it with a grid 80 and later 180 to get a really smooth surface ready for paint.

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pantry door 8Then came the primer. I did two coats and lightly sanded each one when it was dry. After the primer I applied  three coats of white paint and  again sanded in between. On the photo below is the door after the two coats of primer.

pantry door 9When it was dry, Evgen rehanged the door back on its hinges and attached back on the door handle.

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pantry door 13It’s not a major difference, but for me is one thing checked off of the list. Now we have to do something with that horrible looking pipes on the right. But before that, next on the list is the shelf above the sink. Oh, and as you can see Roo got a spring haircut in between. :)

sunny California

Through the whole month of January we were on holidays in the sunny California and are really sorry for not posting since Christmas.

We had a really great time! We explored the beautiful San Francisco and northern California and even went on a trip through Death Valley to the magnificent Grand Canyon. It was so nice to enjoy so much sun. Especially because, for a little bit, we escaped all that snow and freezing temperatures that were in Slovenia in January. We came back about a week ago and are still trying to get rid of the horrible jet lag and are slowly getting back to our tracks. We must thank our doggy sitters for taking such good care of our dogs.

So for now here are just a couple of snapshots that we took and promise to get back to posting in no time.

1Half Moon Bay

2Sand dunes in Death Valley

3Death Valley

4Grand Canyon


6San Francisco from Alcatraz

7Transamerica Pyramid

8Golden Gate Bridge


10Ocean beach

11San Francisco from Twin Peaks

12Surfing in Santa Cruz

13Santa Cruz

14Our sweet ride for the whole month – Citroen DS21 [1967]


new drawer

We finally finished the lower cabinets on one side of the kitchen. The only thing missing is a handle, but of course Ikea stopped manufacturing the one that we have on all other drawers. I’ve looked online but with no luck. We have to come up with something for that, so ignore the missing handle.

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So last time we installed the washing machine, made a new counter, cut the original cabinet and adjusted the plinth. All there was left to do was to build a drawer for the narrow cabinet.

Evgen cut a piece of plywood to 11 rectangles according to the design we made. We wanted 3 shelves, the bottom one the deepest and the top one the shallowest. On the bottom of the back piece he cut out a little rectangle piece on both sides for the sliding mechanism. First he drilled holes on the front and the back of the drawer.

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On the front piece he screwed on the sides of the shelves on one side and repeated on the other side. Last came the back. When we checked that everything was ok and it fit in the cabinet, he screwed on the bottoms.

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The bottom shelf is a little narrower than the other two, because of the sliding mechanism for the drawer. Since the cabinet is so narrow as it is, we wanted to use as much space as we could. That’s why we left the other two shelves wider than the bottom one.

When the insert of the drawer was done it was time for the sliding mechanism. It was first screwed on the inside of the cabinet and then, when it was stretched out, on the sides of the insert.

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Now all there was left to do was to cut the original front of the cabinet to size. Since Ikea changed the whole kitchen system and stopped making this specific front, I could not just buy a new one. But I got lucky! I got the front in part of the Ikea’s store where people return back items or the items are damaged and you can get it cheaper. It was supposed to be a drawer and it was only 2 eur. Yaay! So Evgen applied a masking tape over the line where he would cut. The masking tape prevents the particle board to chip. After that, he applied on the side, where the particle board was raw, the ABS edging strip. With an iron he glued it on and secured it in place. Then he just cut of the remainder and sanded the edge. The drawer was done!

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He repeated the process of applying the edging strip also on the washing machine front. There could not be the same kind of plinth that we have on all the other cabinets, because the door would not open. So to make it seem like there is the same plinth going all around the three cabinets, he just screwed on the bottom of the front a piece of oak that was the same width and thickness as the front.

drawer 12Now we can redirect our attention to the shelf that is supposed to hang above the sink or refinish the doors of the pantry or finish the counter on the other side or…

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