December 19, 2010

Stromboli with Snow

A very rare picture: Snow on the vulcano Stromboli, seen from Pizzo. Stromboli is located South West of Pizzo and part of the Eolie Islands.
Photo source: Franco P., Pizzo.

December 13, 2010

The Welcoming Entrance

After having written a lot about visitors - real visitors, virtual visitors, booked visitors, future visitors - just-in-time, the entrance starts to look welcoming :

view from inside

view from outside

BEFORE stairways

NOW stairways (wooden railway still missing)

BEFORE ceiling

AFTER ceiling

Actually, the first pinkish paint became somehow an apricot, peachy Bellini colour - not sure if this is due to a second coat of paint, on purpose by Angelo, or that it has to do with light / photo flashes. - BTW, the lamp will remain the same, remember?

BEFORE entrance

NOW entrance (during renovation)

man at work - Tonino preparing the last new marble step

December 07, 2010

Blogging Dilemma: When Virtual Visitors Become Real

Is it a dilemma or is it not, when virtual visitors to your blog become real visitors to your life?

It depends. It depends on the intention of your blog and it depends on the visitor. It is not a dilemma when you want to sell something or rent something. And it is also not a dilemma when someone who became a "blogging friend" after a while of emailing back and forward agrees with you to meet in real life.

Yesterday, Angelo sent me an email saying an American couple stopped by and asked if they can see the house. They "knew" it via my blog. He showed them around and they said they will leave a comment on my blog about that visit.

So what would you say? How would you feel, while sitting thousands of miles away?

I can't blame Angelo, he is just proud of showing his work to someone who is interested. Not many visitors in Pizzo anyway at that time of the year. He is open minded and not chicken-hearted like me. And we have not yet had the situation that someone totally stranger would ask permission to have a sneak peak inside.

Then of course, this question suggests itself : "what is the point of blogging about all this ?"

The best thing of blogging about our renovation is, that we are getting some fantastic feedback and valuable input from readers who are interior designer, architects or interested, creative people with great taste and ideas like some family members and friends. Also family and friends are kept updated that way, as the renovation takes ages. Another very important aspect of keeping this blog alive is, that this blog helps us to document the whole work process and to get the best photos, manufacturers, inspirations etc. filed with tags.

My Italian family is very open about my blog. However, my German family does shake their heads about it: What if some crazy guy gets jealous and burns the house down? - While this is a bit exaggerated, a crazy guy might not look up the Internet for potential houses to burn down and travel far ... it might be a neighbour, however, looking for an opportunity to sue us for something.

That's why I am very wary and careful myself. And shy. I have only one blurred picture of myself, no pictures of my son, one picture of my husband from behind and very few from my Italian in-laws. Most personal pictures are from Angelo as he seems okay with seeing his picture and name in cyber space. Actually, I think, he even enjoys it. However, I am very discreet. Very selective with pictures. Very thoughtful with words, information, names and other details. (Did you realize, I did not mention from which US city these visitors came from?)

Of course, Angelo and CC cannot understand that I make all this thinking about this little incident (virtual visitors to my blog becoming real visitors).

So I asked Angelo to handle the next tourists who show up and request a tour of the house, to show them our semiinterrato, the beautiful basement and garden that will be available for rent one day. The upper parts, although not decorated yet, are private. I hope everyone understands and respects my protective reaction. Maybe just in time, before our house becomes a tourist attraction ...

December 06, 2010

More Green in the Green Bath

Remember the green bathroom with the beautiful ceiling? Now the walls and floor are finished too and worth to post about. We have chosen a green mosaic for the "wet" areas - sink, shower, toilet and bidet - the latter not yet installed.

Actually, CC had chosen the mosaic after one of my Internet finds. And Angelo has chosen a matching colour and stucco border. And it was CC's idea to repeat a bit of green mosaic in the terracotta flooring.

Initially, I wanted two single sinks as I did not wanted to queue for hand washing when coming home from the beach. Also I thought of using one as a utility sink to rinse swim wear. However, at the end, to safe space and reduce interruptions, we agreed on one long sink with two faucets. I just learned that this solution was probably more expensive then two sinks.

I like our idea to have a stucco border to finish the mosaic area and to paint the other wall parts below the stucco border in a darker green. Similar like in the original green room.

Above you see on the left that the shower is installed - and a bit of the restored ceiling.

In this green painted corner (above) we will install a washing machine. I know..., but it has to be somewhere in the house. (If it does not look nice, I will have built a wooden frame.)

Above picture (without flash) shows again the nice floor - and walls ! 

Above: floor in the making

Below: floor finished (terra cotta con mosaico)

Here some BEFORE pictures:

Above: Splitting the "green room" to gain a bathroom. One old niche, on the left, where the sink of the old bathroom used to be (however in reverse direction) remained and now is hosting the shower in the new bathroom.

I wanted to keep that "green room subject": a two colour wall with stucco border.

Below: my "inspiration sheet" for the bathroom - we pretty much kept the theme.

But at the end, the ceiling turned out much better than planned, thanks to Angelo's artistic talent:

Above: ceiling BEFORE restoration

Above: ceiling AFTER restoration
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