February 28, 2011

Facade: before & after picture update

It is February, the sun is shining and the oranges are growing in neighbour's garden. Below it is our palazzo that stands together with this picturesque church at a small piazza with no name in the historic center of Pizzo.

view of Palazzo Pizzo, chiesa del Carmine and the bay with beaches of Pizzo

Now, below, this is an old picture of February 2008, when we just started the renovation and restoration. The old windows have been taken out already, the old doors are still in and we had some sample of coloured plaster painted on the facade. The roof is not tiled yet. The walls of the facade show cracks and damages. However, I love this picture. It shows a charming old house and a calm sea with sunshine. Oranges are growing in the neighbours garden and the church makes it even more peaceful. This picture is my screen saver since three years.

BEFORE: our house in February 2008

But Angelo complaint. After all the work he had supervised and done, I could update my screen saver, he said. So, I asked him to send me an update, same perspective please - and that's what I got:

AFTER: our house in February 2011

New plaster, new colour, new roof tiles, walls for window frames repaired and new windows mounted, new window sills, new entrance doors, new  zoccolatura (skirting board), new iron grids for ground floor windows, new roof rail and rain gutter,  restoration of "fake" stucco windows, re-painted balcony rails, new bell and name plate, installation of a second street lamp from the commune, dismounting of a flood lamp (for the church), rewiring for the lamps  .... - I think, this is it. For the exterior. But one old thing we reuse: the former green metal letter box plate.
You might also like these Before & After posts:
See all renovation posts BEFORE and AFTER.

Photo source:  photo nr. 2 was taken from a window of an apartment in a neighbouring house that was under renovation three years ago. But since this apartment now belongs to a foreigner who was not in Pizzo, Angelo had to climb on top of the roof to get a similar perspective. Mille Grazie ! 

February 23, 2011

I thought this is funny: Palazzo Pizzo Team on skiing holiday

the interior, finance and construction team of Palazzo Pizzo (from left)

We took a week off and met in Switzerland for a skiing holiday with family and friends. In this picture above you see from left: me, myself, my husband CC and his father Angelo, our major help at Palazzo Pizzo.

I thought it is a very funny picture, not only because we were all wearing helmets, like construction workers, but also you can tell who is in love with GREEN bathrooms, who's idea was the RED bathroom and who painted the entrance hall in APRICOT. Can you ?!

And if you ever happen to go to Klosters, don't miss the Berghaus Alpenroesli, it is such a beautiful and romantic spot for lunch or dinner:

two pictures above via Alpenroesli

However, now we are all back at work. Angelo drove down to Pizzo and I am awaiting updates soon. I will keep you posted, a presto.

February 22, 2011

flooring progress at primo piano and other plans

primo piano corridorio
with entrance to the red bathroom (front left), further kids room and tiny bathroom (far end)

sunshine from the piazza comes in via a small balcony

barrier-free flooring thanks to perfect pavement

the stair rail painted white with refurbished wooden hand grip
stairs are leading down to main entrance (with apricot coloured walls)

Before Angelo left Pizzo to meet us for a skiing holiday in the Swiss Alps he sent me these pics that I just found after our return. He is driving down to Pizzo these days to continue the flooring and painting.

We, husband, son and I, have scheduled our next visit to the South of Italy for April in order to decide on kitchens and other items. Maybe we even have to include a trip to Sicily for the nearest and newest Ikea outlet, opening March 9 in Catania. It's a 3 hours drive "only". (So far the next Ikea is located in Bari, a 4 1/2 hours drive). However, we probably could find everything we need in the region between Vibo Valentia, Filadelfia, Maida and Lamezia. But still, Ikea is known for fair quality and good prices and if they deliver to our door step, we consider buying mattresses, kitchen parts and other items there.

February 06, 2011

Kids Room Ready To Move In

Timber flooring finished in our son's room:

I like this photo best:
parquet meets marble with shadow of the balcony's balustrade (please note the exact same level!)

Here we recognize in which room we are:
the one with the sunny side up ceiling

panels are laid half length offset, every second row is same 

I don't know the right term in English for that pattern, in German we call it "englischer Verband" (English formation), when the panels are offset by half length. This formation looks organized and calm. But it could also be laid irregularly what is call "Schiffsboden-Verband" in German (ship floor formation) like the parquet on a boat deck. This would underline the natural touch. However, since we do a "long distance renovation", we forgot to discuss about that detail.

The above picture shows the entrance to the tiny bathroom and a bit of the restored old original window shades (in our house they are mounted on the inside). The wood seems more reddish here than above due to another light situation. - What a difference the flooring makes! Now we can unpack the furniture !

photo source: all by Angelo sent in this weekend

February 04, 2011

A Friday Post

I finally managed (by myself!) to download all the photos I have been shooting with my mobile phone in the last months. So today, like some other blogs do, I just wanted to share some photos on Friday - and they have nothing to do with the house project, but with creativity.

You might know that we have moved to exotic Bangkok (and doing the long distance renovation online). So, sometimes my fruit plate looks like that:

juicy yellow mangos, old yellow lemons and yellow-orange papayas

I took the picture as I thought that one day, I want to paint this still life !
And today my fruit plate looked like this:

yellow mangos, sweet & sour green mangos, yellow-orange papaya and lemons

And I am proud to announce that I just started an oil painting class and have been throwing myself right into portraying (first time!). Here is the proof:

Happy weekend to all of you !
And Happy Chinese New Year of the Rabbit (it started yesterday!)

February 03, 2011

Moroccan Lamp for bathroom

I just came across this Moroccan chandelier and thought THIS IS THE ONE for my hot red bathroom.

Only problem:
the two light sources we have might not be suitable:
- one is on the wall above the mirror
- one is at the ceiling, not that high, and door opens that way

Otherwise it would be perfect... we could smoke water pipes in the bathroom and stay all day staring at the beautiful shadows on the walls!

Source: lamp by this shop via Lisa's natural modern interiors blogpost about Turkish and Moroccan lamps

February 02, 2011

every floor with different flooring - and where flooring is needed

Flooring, another subject to talk about. We have some areas finished, not sure how many % of the house (Angelo?, I guess less than 50%). To get an overview, I invite you to follow me through the house from the attic to the basement, since this is the chronological order of the renovation. Everything that needs decision is in red:

attic living and kitchen area: white large oak wood panels 

the new stairways of the attic (new layout!): travertine steps

Primo Piano:
Remember the layout inquiry? We have decided to lay the large wooden panels (natural oak) in the above way (changing directions in the corridor between the two bedrooms)

natural oak panels for the corridor and two bedrooms in the second floor

restored and polished old original tiles in our master bedroom

restored old original tiles in the soggiorno

the stairways going down towards the piano terra (ground or first floor)
we use same material as before: travertine

Piano Terra:

small entrance, floor is prepared, but tiles are not chosen yet

creative idea for the flooring of the entrance by Angelo:
using up some old original tiles, leftovers from the now master bath and son's room

DRAFT: it is supposed to look a bit like a "carpet"

Unfortunately we only have a few of the first geometric pattern and would fill the behind area with the floral pattern. We might need a border of terra cotta tiles or wooden panels framing this "carpet".

small entrance from above -  new pattern by Angelo forming big white and red crosses
same old tiles used in different room differently

Sorry for the bad picture (above), it's the only I have from the former room where these tiles were used before. Here they are tiled in a different pattern. However, we were told that it is not the right way, it should tiled like in the previous picture in the entrance, a pattern that shows large crosses. Not sure who is right or if there are any rules at all. I prefer the above flooring, although I only see that it is a more calm and small pattern. - Any suggestion, experience from my readers ??

For a better understanding of the piano terra see the floor plan below. We have the small entrance in the middle and an "entrance room" on the left that leads to the living area.

old floor plan of ground floor (kitchen is bigger and bath has been moved)

I think to decide on the flooring, we need to think about our "routing" through the house.

We will not only pass this entrance when coming or leaving home through the main door. We will need to pass this entrance when coming down from the upper sleeping area to the living and dining area and kitchen on the ground floor - and back again. So, my thinking was, that the flooring of the entrance should "connect" the different areas. It is not a common entrance that leads to different apartments. It is a small entrance that belongs to an entire unit. That's why I am hesitating about Angelo's  idea of using the old tiles here. How about using terra cotta tiles on these few square meters and the same in the next room, that is our so called "entrance room", the room that leads to the living room ? In other words: Should above purple area gets same flooring? If yes, what to do with the old beautiful left over tiles? - Or two separate flooring?

The living and dining area will get a wooden floor. We just love the warmer touch of wood. The floor screed (Estrich) is ready:

view from living room over dining area to kitchen at the end

The next open point is: do we continue the parquet into the kitchen? If not, where do we stop? Or is a border of tiles around the working area enough?

Corridor between kitchen and bathroom: we have different possibilities: wood like in dining area, tiles like in the entrance (or tiles like maybe in the kitchen).


stairways towards the guest apartment

This is an almost five year old picture, the stairs look still the same, but the walls are already done. The stairs might get the same travertine steps like all the other stairs. Not sure, if Angelo already ordered material here.

in the basement walls are done, but not the floors

the guest appartment with garden access and sea view - it will look so much better soon!

For the guest apartment in the semiinterrato, souterrain or basement, we plan a wooden parquet of large natural oak panels (from the same source like our neighbour?). Although we have to fight humidity, we thought that there are enough stones already on the wall that tiles are not an option. Also, terra cotta tiles would have the same problem with the humidity from below. Anyway, Angelo has a special construction in mind, a ventilation system, that he can better explain than me. When we come to this floor, I will post drawings and photos with more details. 

In this post I skipped the five bathroom floors, they are all tiled differently, but I wrote about this before. In case you would like to see more, follow the labels: bathroom, flooring, tiles and Before & After.

Please send me your suggestion, solution, experience, inspiration via comment below or via email to writing.suzie AT yahoo.com THANK YOU !

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