January 31, 2011

The red Bathroom

After a turquoise bathroom, a wild Vietri tile mix bathroom, a green bathroom and a tiny overhanging bathroom we now also can offer a red bathroom:

a WC in a cosy niche

the shower is in another niche, a space that was taken way from the bedroom to get a full bathroom out of the former restroom - between shower and sink comes a radiator (also for towels)

what about a rectangular mirror mounted upright ?

You see, the bathroom is not finished yet, but I cannot wait, I have to post these pictures to show the progress, since it's the guest bathroom and guests have booked their flights....

This standing WC has apparently no mounting height level problem. The shower will be - I forgot - one of those we bought in China (while living in Beijing). The red mosaic was chosen by my creative husband after I had run out of ideas. Also the flooring. He said he does not want just green and blue bathrooms (!)

Some previous posted pictures of the red bathroom can be found here - the name and source of the tiles as well as some old BEFORE pictures here.

January 30, 2011

What you have to know about WC mounting

When I was discussing with Angelo via mail about the appropriate size for a sink in the tiny bathroom, I asked him whether one could sit on the toilet without having a knee squeezed by the sink in front.

My calculation went kind of sort of like this: "Assuming the sink is mounted at 85 cm height, the sink bowl itself is 19 cm (according to manufacturer technical data sheet) and the toilet is mounted at 40 cm we have 26 cm minus toilet seat for the knee. This should be okay."

The next email that I received from Angelo was no good news and he sounded furious. Why? After having checked the tiny bathroom he found that the WC can only be mounted at 38 cm height, which is perfect for this case, he also had found that in two other bathrooms the plumber had prepared the toilet pipes far too low and that we would need to reopen the walls for adjustment!
However, one of the bathroom is already completely tiled!

technical data (by Duravit) for our WC

Bad News: toilet pipe installation too low !

You even can see from the picture that the toilet installation on the wall is low. In fact the mounting height would be only 35 cm. (With the recommended 40 cm you have 8 cm between floor and the toilet for cleaning, see technical data picture).

How this could have happened? It's the floor level that had changed tremendously in some of the bathrooms. I think in the green bathroom we raised the floor around 20 cm. Same happened in the bathroom in the basement. Apparently the plumber was not informed about the exact floor level - or the floor level was raised too much ? I think in the basement the later happened since we also planed to have a rain shower in a niche, that all in a sudden became a very low niche ... different story.

This coming week, Angelo will have a word with our plumber and architect. I am curious how to solve the problem. In the basement where the walls are still concrete, it should be no big intervention. And for the green bathroom I hope we do not have to demolish the wall with the SICIS (!) mosaic... If it is only for the cleaning and not for the function, I would probably leave it at 35 cm.

Since I am talking dirty, I mean, toilets, I would like to mention how important some centimeters / inches of a whole in the wall can be regarding WC seating height and comfort! Very important for comfort! In my first renovation back in Germany I had one toilet mounted at 43 cm height. For me it was quiet uncomfortable, since you sit at about 45 cm (including the seat). With the second renovation back in Germany I worked with the same plumber and told him right away for my new WC that I want to have it at 38 or 39 cm. (With the result, that my mob did not go fully underneath anymore. Just a few mm were missing.) So one would think with the 3rd renovation I should have known !!

BTW, in our former home in Beijing and now in Bangkok we have WCs by American Standard (stand alone pieces, not wall mounted) and they have seating height between 37 and 40 cm. Very comfortable. And thinking of the squat toilets, popular around Asia, which my Chinese doctor considers to be more healthy than the Western toilets (he thought digestion wise not hygiene), one should have a WC mounted as low as feasible.

January 25, 2011

Sink Thinking

After a month of holiday in tropical Thailand, Angelo is back on site. For the newcomers to this blog, Angelo is my father-in-law, which he is since 11 years now. We are lucky that he has time to supervise the renovation and not only supervise but also works hard on it. I hope he had a pleasant holiday ;-)

He just arrived and already found emails from me asking this and that. So for the tiny bathroom (190 x 140 cm), we still think sinks. To help with my decision, Angelo had the idea to position the already delivered sink from the basement here between the compact toilet (360 x 474 mm, not mounted yet) and the shower (80 x 80 cm). (Sorry for not having it in inches).

The above picture shows the Starck 3 sink that is 600 x 450 mm. It seem that the window sill (not in the picture, see previous post) has the same length. It would look good, when window and sink are in line, that the sink is not that much shorter then the tiny window above. However, this sink is too big!

And the toilet seems to me a bit too close to the wall, a few cm to the right would be more comfortable. In total 10-15 cm would be enough. The blue stuff coming out of the wall on the right side of the toilet provides hot and cold water for the hose (with spray head).

So I looked into my files and made a final drawing of the three last sinks that are still in the race. But not much longer. I feel that the Happy D (460 x 345) is too small. And the medium Starck 3 (550 x 370) has as well not much larger inner bowl (only 470 x 215 inner measurements, to wash your hands in). So I opt for the larger version that is 550 mm long and 430 mm deep. Which would be just a bit smaller than the sink in the picture above. About 2,5 cm on each side which is probably the frame. 

Any other suggestions, ideas?
How important is the sink in a bathroom? I would say the equipment most often in use. That's why it should not be too small even when the space suggests a tinier one.

January 20, 2011

The tiny overhanging bath or former outhouse needs the perfect sink

Can anyone tell me how they called these overhanging shithouses people used to have in the medieval times in European cities ? (and elsewhere ?) I do not even know the Italian expression for these tiny outhouse loos.

Anyway, we have one! And it is going to be our son's bathroom.
In my previous post I gave a sneak peek into the ongoing renovation. It is another green bathroom. We have ordered all appliances, except the sink. Advise is welcome!

But look and read from the start:

front facade of the house with the overhanging former outhouse on the right

a closer look at a BEFORE photo (we came a long way!)

above drawing by the architect shows the former privy on the right

the layout says the WC is 1,90 m x 1,40 m

above and below is the BEFORE bath,
there were a WC (left corner), a bidet and a sink

we took out everything (please note the "big" window)

with the help of an AFTER pic (note the former big and now shrinked window!)
I made some tiles planning

And finally, see and enjoy what Angelo made out of my amateurish drawings :

January 13, 2011

Bathroom: Can't take my eyes of subway tiles

A beautiful mix of three different shapes of white tiles, separated by a thin border of black tiles and finished with a pastell mint wall paint - I am impressed by this composition ! 

Not sure via which blog I found the above picture, but the photo below is from another blog and it shows the the same bathroom! So, I proudly present both pics together in one blog :

I just can't take my eyes of subway tiles

Subway tiles (on walls) are often combines with hexagon tiles on the floor. Here above with tiny, mosaic type hexa tiles.

But you can do it easier and cheaper, but not less interesting with square tiles :

Just another bathroom of ours ...

Rectangular subway tiles on the walls and square tiles, diagonally layed on the floor

Since we had not made any further specifications than "green" wall colour, our son (7 y.) actual favorite colour, Angelo used the leftover paint from downstairs and added a border of his choice. I think it looks super good, especially when you see the "matching" green leaves through the bathroom window and ....

.... a bit of sea view

More about this bathroom later with before & after pics.

All the best for 2011 and La Dolce Vita di Pizzo

Happy New Year to all of you, dear readers, subscribed friends, returning visitors, inspiring commenter and of course dear supporting sponsors. Without you this blog would be less fun for me.

In case you wonder what is happening around Pizzo, the palazzo, Angelo or myself :

Angelo is visiting my family in Bangkok (we moved to Thailand last August) where we all  - together with my parents and CC's parents - spent Christmas and New Year. This is my 5th week with visitors, so I am a bit busy and far from the computer. However we talk about the house project (sometimes) and how to proceed. But not much pressure for any decisions. Bathrooms are all clear. Just some flooring, lighting, kitchen ... is next. As soon as Angelo leaves Thailand, he will be back on site to push the renovation to the next level. We finally want to live inside the house this summer and not only visit the construction site!

And what's new in Pizzo? For the New Year I received an email from Anna, one of my readers who contacted me about two years ago with some questions about Pizzo. And to my surprise she sent me a link to her new website called LA DOLCE VITA DI PIZZO, a guide to Pizzo with information for visitors and her own guided walking tours! Find out what it is all about here.

What made me like her right away was (not only the photo of her now and in 1979 in Pizzo) but also her declaration of love for Pizzo:

"...Pizzo worked its charm and magic on us, and we wanted to stay. We rented a little apartment for the winter very cheaply, as it was only used in summer. It was just off the Piazza, and so damp that all our clothes and shoes grew mould! But it was ours, it was home and we could stay.

I ended up staying for 4 years, and there is something incredibly special about Pizzo that just makes my heart sing - Tropea is very nice, but it doesn't have the same effect on me at all.   ..."

Anna plans to live part of the year in the UK where she works as a teacher and come to Pizzo in summer to work as a tour guide. She offers four different walking tours through Pizzo that can be booked via her Dolce Vita website. This sounds like a new quality added to Pizzo's tourism ! Good luck & Happy New Year !

See you this summer in Pizzo !
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