This is my journey to a better, smarter and more beautiful home.

Home is where is you spent a lot of your time. It is also a small slice of the world you can totally make your own. My goal is to fully use this freedom to make my home beautiful and smart at the same time.

I like to build things in my free time and I am a professional software engineer. For my home I am combining these skills to build beautiful, yet usable custom furniture of all kinds as well as use electronics to make my home smart enough to react on its own.

This blog is a place to share all of this with the world. I hope it helps someone out there who might be on the same journey.


The furniture

The most visible and most used part of any home is usually the furniture. Most furniture you can by is either of bad quality or really expensive. It is also rarely made for you. This can be changed by building your own! This might be a daunting task but the result can be well worth the effort.


Most of the time tables are the center piece of a room that everything else is arranged around. This makes it all the more satisfying to build your own dream desk.

I built a custom coffee table from white oak and Epoxy to replace a cheap IKEA lack table.

My custom wood & Epoxy table
Custom DIY headphone holder with LEDs

Another major use for furniture is storage. I built and update a couple of items to do exactly that.

I built a custom headphone holder from wood and Plexiglas with animated LED lighting to hold my headphones and be a designe piece close to my desk.

I also upgraded my wardrobe with smart animated LEDs which “slide” on and off whenever I open or close it. It looks cool and it

Smart wardrobe lights
Smart lighting – cheap and reliable

Most important, how about some smart lighting in your rooms? Indirect lights are super cool and can upgrade most rooms. I needed to hide some cables and wanted some more light: so I used some cable duct with LED strips on top together with smart control software to built my own smart light setup.

3D printing can be really useful to upgrade existing furniture and even build small new pieces. I use it in a variety of ways. I printed matching desk holders for my controllers and batteries.

There is also a lot of small “art” pieces you can print and even helpful tools like custom cookie cutters.

Custom XBOX controller desk holder
Some small vases and a custom cookie cutter

The smart home

Smart home technology tries to make your home itself help you. Lights can turn on and off by themselves where you need them, a robot can clean for you and much more.

Technology has come a long way but most manufacturers try to lock you into their own (online) system with less than ideal prices and possible security and privacy problems. Instead I am focusing on open source local smart home control software and a combination of different devices from different brands for the best experience.

Building your smart home can be quite a challenge so I am sharing my experience and a lot of guides here.

The smart home hardware

If you know where to find it there is a lot of cheap, yet powerful hardware you can use for you smart home.

Projects

The amount of possible projects for a smart home seem to be infinite. Here are some of my best ones so far.

OpenHab

OpenHab is an awesome open source smart home control software. It can interact with most components on the market and give you full local control over all your devices. Here are a couple of guides to get you started.

Blog

Build awesome stuff!