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After 10 years stay in USA and Europe, we returned to Osaka, Japan, and we got 10 years olf flat near river Yodo.
Duplicating unforgetable thached cottage in Buckinghamsher UK., we got thick beams and inglenook fireplace. We share know-how of detail process.
.


Imagine this picture shows 14th floor room in Japanese condominium.
You just can do it!



01: Converting Tatami mat rooms into one livingroom!

02: Let's make the wall bookshelf.

03: Let's make the beamed ceiling.

04: Let's build the fireplace.

05: Let's arrange the dinining corner.

06: Kick out tube TV the from the livingroom.

07: Set the projector screen.

08: Let's make the curtain box.

09: Converting Japanese style corner of tatami room into bow window corner.

01:Converting Tatami mat rooms into one livingroom
Before renovation. Two small Japanese tatamimat rooms
Pierce saw onto the wall
Messy floor during demorishing work
Achieve a flat floor between tatami room and living
After completion, view to bookshelf side


The flat had a typical Japanese style floor plan with 2 tatami rooms next to living. We planed to demorish walls and make it one livingroom space.

1:  Examing inside wall structure.

Check the structure of the partition wall. If it is made of wood and plaster board, it doesn't count on building structure of the flat. If you want to renovate wooden structure house, you need to see a builder to check with that.

Our flat case was OK with simple plasterboard structure.The wall .

The ploblem was difference of floor level elevations. We took off Tatami mats and found urethene form panels underneath. 



2:  Figure out completion image.

Just raise image sketch of detail finish and furniture arrangement. The actual measurement of the room size helps this image work. You will see what is possible and impossible. Parth drawing would be a great helpto boost motivation.


3:  Demorishing of the walls

Removing furnitures, then let's smash the wall! Plasterboard is not a tough material, so it is easy to break and get rid of this wall with small knife-shaped saw within 3 hours.

Pay attention not to damage the electric wiring inside the walls. Ask professional to the electrical work..


4:  Removal of demolition debris

Even rather small space renovation, we need to arrange diposal of big amount of demolition debris.
It is essential to dispose debris according to the local rules.   


5:  Flat the uneven floor levels.

Two tatami rooms and the livingroom had different floor levels. So we flat the levels by moving tatami mats and using plywood.




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02: Let's make the wall bookshelf.
We built a whole wall covered bookshelf


After  End of the livingroom, bookshelf for large size books


Two road racer bikes on the bookshelf wall


We planed open-bookshelf for our book collection.

1:  Decide the size of bookshelf fit with book collection.
      The interval of a shelf board is about roughly 240 mm.
  
2:  Purchase shelf boards at DIY home center.
      (23mm in thickness 190mm in width)
      Order to cut boards precise sizes.

3:  Paint boards with dark brown.

4:  Build up frame materials.

5:  Screw with power tool to get holes for wood pegs.

6:  Place woodshelves.

7:  Fix bookshelves to the wall by using long wood screw.



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03: Arrange the beams on the ceiling.
setPlacing 2×4 wood for supporting beams


A Replica beam is easy to cut.




Temporary placing replica beam on the ceiling


Curing is essential.


After all, it finished!


Exposed beams are popular in Europian period houses such as old farm cottages in the country also in the old town area in Paris or in Rome.

We were fashinated by such exposed beam cottage interior. Then, we just tried.

We utilized French-made good looking replica beams. They are light and safe to build.


1:  Planning and material choice

There are many styles of exposed beam arrangement. We selected British cottage style. We selected French replica beam for our ceiling.

This material is utilized for the restoration of European chateau.



2:  Build up foundatio

The core structure for the beams is neccesary for putting beams on the ceiling. We used 2 * 4 materials and lots of long screws to fix them on the ceiling


3:  Cutting the replica beam

This replica beam is made of urethane form, it is incredibly light and easy to cut.

4:  Side beams temporaly set on the ceilingI

Sub beams are arranged like the left picture.
Then, glued to the ceiling.


5:  Use urethane boards for filing up side gaps

WE used urethane boards for filing up side gaps. This process is neccessary for plaster works.


6:  Curing

Curring for plaster is the important process. We utilized newspaper, plastics, packing tapes, etc. It is care of the trial and error such as the vinyl and newspaper.   However, we had stains of teh replica beams! Later, I used touch-up paint for conceal these marks.

I found that pre-cure is so importan.


7:  Plaster paint

Plastering on the ceiling is not easy work. We did ot use trowel. At last, hand plastered ceiling came up..     


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04: Let's make a fireplace.
Putting bricks as basement.
Fireplace frame by 2 * 4 and plywood.
Celamic brick plates were arranged on the wall plates
Before chimney is made
After chimney is made
Present fireplace surroundings


We wanted to make a large size inglenook foreplace. However, this living room is relatively small, we made this fireplace with a shallow depth..

1:  Foundation

We paved bricks as foundation of the inglenook foreplace with semicircle shape.


2:  Fireplace frame by 2 * 4 and plywood.

Real inglenook fireplace should be structured by filling stones or bricks. However, we made this structure by plywook and 2 * 4 frames, plasterd on surface.


3:  Putting the celamic brick plates

We coverd inside of fireplace with celamic brick plates. Advantae of this plates, of cause, its lightness and easy installation. We lined horizontal guide by pencil directly on the wall. And we pasted plates on the wall. We filled brick joint with mortar.


4:  Construct the chimney part

Fireplace does not function without chimney. So we built a fake chimny on the top!


5:  Placing an Canadian electric wood stove.

We put an elelctric wood stove in the inglenook. Although this is electric stove, the frame is so real and outlook is very close to that of cast iron.

We bought real stove wood for display and stacked them beside of the stove.


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06:  Kicking out a tube TV from the livingroom
Southern French style, Asian resort style, New Yorkers' loft style, after you spare effort to achieve nice interior, big tube TVs can destroy the atmosphere of your nice rooms easily. Of cause, kicking out big TV sets should be the best solution. But,. we need TV news show every day. We found a solution for this dilemma. Let's kick out big TV and place high-definishion projector.

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07:  We placed the projector after all.
The flat TV price is getting lower and lower. Some of those products look stylish, but they are too modern for our room. Then, I think about an alternative solution with projector. A projector can create motion pictures on big screen. I placed fooks on the fireplace wood to hung 100 inch screen.

In the day time, we don't watch TV, so we wrap it up and enjoy movies in the evening.











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Projector
Movie on the screen
Screen