February 23, 2010

Decluttering my book shelf

While nothing is happening in our palazzo, I decided to do something in our appartment (where we actually live). Although the book shelf did not look too bad, I wanted to declutter it. Because I knew (what others could not see) that piled up pocket books were getting yellow behind more paperback piles. Travel guides were standing in two rows as well. There were books that I have read and will never read again. I only wanted to keep the books that I really liked - and maybe would read again.

So I started with the first cubicle and went book by book:
  • garbage --> pink box
  • give away to charity (or friends) --> white box
  • check and think again
  • keep --> back to shelf (after dust cleaning)
The pink box was filled up several times and I went several times to our paper recycling container. The white box was also overflowing at the end and I switched to a moving box. When I wanted to bring it to the church for a charity bazaar, I realised that most of the books where in English language. So I only brought the German books to the church and the English ones I gave a friend who works in the English liabrary and will use the old paperbacks for their own charity bazaar.

The only books I did not threw out were all my travel guides. Although there were lots of outdated Lonely Planet guides, I decided to keep them. Even the two from Cambodia, I kept them both. Maybe I am too sentimental. But aren't they documents of past times? My travel memories, including business cards of shops and restaurant.

Enough - here are my before and after pics:


before detail

Don't you see a difference ? Well, I have to admit, the second rows can't be seen in the before photo. But I know how many boxes I brought downstairs and how much lighter the book shelf feels now to me.

after detail
The travel section was not that easy : now I have Germany together with China, Italy goes with a rest of Italian books, rest of world and some Asia is combined while South East Asia has a cubicle for itself. There is potential for optimization. Next time.

February 11, 2010

Stairway : luster

Remember the discussion in my last post about where to hang the old and the new luster ? The old small lamp that we got with the house should hang again - like shown in the photo below - in our small entrance.

For the new luster I got a new idea ... please follow me upstairs :


Yes, just some more steps and we arrive at the primo piano, the 1st floor (BE) or 2nd floor (AE), where the space opens up a bit :

Here (above) you see some people happily together discovering the house (in August 2006), me on the left with our son.

And here we could hang the new luster.

The actual lighting would be replaced and the new luster could have a better effect here than downstairs at the piano terra, ground floor (BE) or 1st floor (AE). 

But how does this new lamp look like that my parents-in-law got from a fleamarket in the Veneto region ? I have only very poor photos, sorry, my mistake, did not set the right modus for the camera. So two blur pics :

It does look a bit better in reality.

To show from the outside of the house the two different areas of the stairways where we could hang the old and the new luster, I have prepared this photo :

Although the main door seems impressive, the main entrance really is a small area. The stairs starts almost right away. But upstairs the stairway widens up and leads to three spacious rooms and to small stairs that leads to the mansard and roof terrace.

As you are here to see the progress of our Italian renovation project, (me too BTW !) I will post before and after pics of the balcony of the stairways and the facade of the primo piano :


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