We’ve decided to add a door between the entrance lobby and the hallway. We’d been thinking about having the bathroom door with a right hand reverse swing (pulling out towards the front door) but this won’t really work if we add this new door, so the bathroom door will need to be a normal left hand swing (in towards the bath). We can make a small cupboard or something to the right to the door (as you enter the house). The door will need to be glazed to avoid blocking all of the light from the entrance lobby.
The new door will be a single leaf left hand reverse swing. An alternative would be to add double doors at the entrance to the living room, but we can add this later if we wish, and everyone seems to agree on putting one near the front door - this will help block any disturbing noise coming from the stairwell/lift, and also help to spare our neighbours from any noise leaking out from our home.
We’re also going to make the entrance doorway (which will remain just as an opening) into an archway, like this:
To allow better access for the wheelchair it might be better to widen the opening - as a guide the opening into the kitchen in our rented apartment is 1 metre wide x 2.26m high, which is plenty big enough. The ceiling height in the kitchen will be ≈ 226 cm so this would give an archway like this:
The supports for the plasterboard ceilings started going up a couple of days ago…
This shows the raised (coffered) level of the ceiling. The plasterboard will cover this area then supports will be added to drop the ceiling down in a border around the room. The border will be 90cm on the left hand side of the picture and 70cm on the other three sides of the room. The reason for the wider dimension on the left is due to the wider beam there - we could have made all of the other sides the same size as this but it would’ve made the coffer start to look too small. However this is also the entrance to the bedrooms so the extra width will help to set those doors back into the general darkness at the back of the room because the downlights will be slightly further from that wall than they will be for the other three.
The long cables you can see dangling around the edge of the room are roughly where downlights will be positioned in the lower level ceiling (they’ll all be the same distance (35cm) back from the coffer, all the way around the room, and there will be a main room light centered in the coffered area - you can see the cable for that in the middle of the room. The central light will be on one switch and all the downlights on another.
The TV will go against the wall on the right so we may simply add a couple of table lamps in the room for a bit more subdued lighting when we’re watching the telly. It’s unlikely we’ll have all the lights on at the same time very often.
It was for a fan! The hole will need patching up - we decided to drop the ceiling all the way from that beam near the terrace door to the entrance of the kitchen. Unfortunately this was at the same level as the hole they’d made for the fan (the main building vent pipe is behind that wall) but extraction will be provided by the cooker hood so the duct from that will feed through the ceiling void and come around that corner and be connected to the vent pipe inside the hole.
You can see the cables dangling there for two of the downlights - actually THREE (there’s one right in the foreground). These lights will form an “L” shape centered on the entrance doorway and also on the width of the ceiling between the far side of the beam and the window-facing of the wall with the hole in it. This should also centre it on the kitchen units - two downlights might have been better but we’ll have concealed lighting under the wall cupboards which will light the countertop, in addition to the light in the cooking hood, so it should be ok.
There will also be two downlights in the small raised area of ceiling between the beam and the door.
Originally we planned to put the curtain track on the soffit in the window recess but this is a problem because it is too close to the window (for aesthetic reasons) and also it is likely to leave a gap at the sides of the curtain (it will be difficult to fully close the curtain at the sides).
The alternative position is one which won’t work quite so well with look of the dropped ceiling which we will have all around the room, but it’s one we will need to live with.
The plasterboard will need to be installed as normal (covering the area indicated in the picture, which shows the curtain track) and then a piece cut out to the exact size of the curtain track.
We will just need to make sure not to put the supporting steelwork for the plasterboard in this zone.
The finished appearance should be something like this (but NOT a red curtain track!):
Another revision :/
We want to hide the curtain rail as much as possible so we will need to lower the level of the dropped ceiling a little bit though, of course, this will affect the level of the dropped ceiling all the way through to the entrance, and may lead to a difference between this and the level which has already been set in the kitchen.
Like this - note the lower level of the ceiling which hides the curtain rail:
The benefit of this position is that we can then match the position which we will use in the bedrooms, where the ceiling height will be higher than in the living room and where the curtain track will sit back from the window, hidden behind the edge of the ceiling (instead of using a pelmet).
It may be necessary to move the curtain track further away from the window and drop the ceiling down a little further to:
a) hide the gap between the top of the curtain and the track, and
b) ensure that the top of the window is visible when you walk into the room
This image shows the track set further back from the window and with the dropped ceiling set at a lower level, though it should be borne in mind that this same level will apply to the ceiling all the way through to the entrance.
This is the bedroom window where we can set the ceiling at whatever level we like and fully hide the curtain track and the top of the curtain:
The same can also be done in the kitchen:
The new apartment is still plodding along but there’s a dispute between the developer and the residents about a mansard he wants to build on the top of the building. They don’t trust him and say he’s going to try and build another floor (I was up there last week and I don’t think that’s even feasible) and they’re trying to block his planning application so he’s retaliated by threatening not to install the lift. It’s all talk - Georgians are very good at talking and not so good at doing. I’m sure I won’t offend any Georgians by saying that because they are basically good people who can be honest with themselves - they have their national traits and flaws just like all other nationalities have theirs… throughout history us Brits have demonstrated much more serious flaws than simply not being able to agree with each other!
A byproduct of this dispute is that the application for our new terrace roof is all bound up in the same planning application, so all I can do is stand firmly on the sidelines shaking my head until they manage to sort it out between themselves. I could care less, if I tried. Anyway, it’s something I won’t need to spend money on for another month or two so I can juggle the pennies a bit and bring some of the other works forward. I’ve received all the electrical stuff from the UK now, so that can go in when a couple of our own guys find themselves at a loose end, and they’ve started putting the frames up for the coffered ceilings. I was there yesterday to make the final decision on the sizes and where we’re going to put the lights, so I’m expecting to have all the ceilings up within the next fortnight.
We went to see just such a kitchen manufacturer on Thursday, and I found it very useful to be able to pull up this website on their computer and show them everything - even the kitchen equipment we’ve selected, and links to all the datasheets. I was a bit dubious when we pulled up outside a little cafe on a street in the back of beyond - a place in Tbilisi they call “Africa”. We went in and asked where the furniture place was and we were directed to a little door - it led to a showroom full of really top notch stuff which, itself led to a huge modernised and very professional-looking warehouse where they made all of this stuff. The Sales Manager who greeted us there really knew his stuff and it was refreshing talking to him. He took us all over the factory and up into the offices to see samples of the worktops and other materials. They’d obviously done all the offices out themselves (they doors and general furniture too) so the offices themselves were a bit of an eye-opener for me.
I was very impressed with what I saw and listened to.