December 18, 2012

Renovation Reloaded

I am not talking about a new project. We are renovating in our house again. We are renovating the renovation. Or are we re-renovating? Maybe, I should say repairing.

Before we left Italy this summer, I walked through the house and noted all the tiny and not so tiny things that needed small repair or even big make-over.

Angelo, Tonino and Mimo, our workforce, went back to work. Starting from adding rings to several door hinge-joints (to avoid abrading on the floor) to restoring entire walls. The latter is documented with photos below:  

preparing renovation in a renovated house...

craftsmen everyone likes (broom!)

the colour and plaster strangely peeled off in this corner

wall newly plastered and drying (hopefully!)

same corner, one floor down, similar issues

This is an outside wall, facing South-West. The same wall causes humidity problems on all three floors of the house. In the bathroom of the guest residence (to be), one floor above in the living room, and one more floor above in our master bathroom (no photo). We have already insulated the wall from the outside. 

Could there be a leakage from the roof top terrace? :-/ 

Actually, there are two possible explanations for the humidity in the wall:
  1. Rain water penetrates the whole wall from top to bottom in that corner of the house. We will have to look into re-doing part of the roof terrace.
  2. And that is Angelo's theory, that the centuries old, one meter thick wall has absorbed water over the years before the renovation and had not yet dried out completely. - I hope so. Otherwise we will repeat this same repair work again. But then after the roof top examination.

Beside that humidity problem, we also had a material problem:

interior natural stone wall is too natural - sand keeps falling

but hopefully the new material can fix the problem

same with our "just" renovated outside wall,
the rain washes the plaster/sand-mix off - and sand keeps falling on the garden terrace

Not sure, what Angelo, my father-in-law - who is from Piedmont and in fact is based in the Veneto, but prefers spending his time in Calabria - would do here in the South, without my new To-Do-list...

It sounds like a joke, but every joke has a bit of truth - and this one is almost all truth. Angelo always needs a crafting project. Therefore, we are blessed that he coordinated right away all the tasks.

Meanwhile, our cappo is back in the Veneto. And everyone prepares for the holidays. For now I have no more updates and news from Pizzo and will be back on the blog in January. I hope to see you  !


December 14, 2012

Upholstery: Sofa and Armchair ! Before & After !

I wrote about the inherited tiger sofa, the 7 different dining chairs and the funny baroque armchair before. All in need for upholstery. Then, I confused my readers and myself while searching for the right fabric - but knew how to measure and calculate the right amount of fabric.

But it is all good now.

First, I had to travel to Italy this summer. I packed all the chosen fabric from Thailand into my suitcase. Before arriving in Calabria we stopped in Venice for a wedding. Then, I repacked the suitcase. The fabric continued the journey by car, while I travelled by air. Reunited in Pizzo, I entered the house - the sofa was gone! But that is another story that I prefer to skip.

It is all good now.

The craftsman who was introduced to us had a look at the furniture and the fabric. We explained what we want, he made a proposal, and we agreed. Since it was summer, the craftsmen would need longer than 10 days for the work. We were awaiting guests and did not want to miss dining chairs. Therefore, we decided to have them, the sofa, and the armchair picked up after the holiday peak Feragosto (August 15). When everyone and everything goes back to normal.

One day after summer, we were long gone back to Asia, our order was ready and delivered - or picked up -  from the tiny upholstery workshop in the heart of Pizzo. My father-in-law made some snap shots and mailed the result to us.

From what I see, the sofa looks good.
The armchair looks wrong.
The dining chairs look okay.

What do you think?

AFTER: calm grey fabric enhances carved sofa frame

BEFORE: the "tiger sofa" and it's story

For the sofa, there was a big surprise: I never saw the back! I did not know we would need fabric for the back too! I am very glad, I bought some spare fabric.

always have some spare fabric for surprises

From what I heard, my mother-in-law did not like at all the new upholstery for the armchair. She "discussed" with the craftsman - got a chair for free - and asked me to buy more fabric, in order to redo the seating cushion.

AFTER: the armchair - something looks wrong

BEFORE: it looked promising

BEFORE: the real before with gold lacquer
(previous pic is a 2nd chair that needed more work) 

Apparently, I was not clear enough about the fabric direction for the armchair, as well as for the dining chairs. One chair had even a similar fabric and the fine stripes ran from front to back - and not from left to right. But who knows why the craftsman changed direction.

Now, our 7 dining chairs of three styles have something in common: a dark finish and a bluish upholstery.

AFTER: dining chair

BEFORE: backrest broken, fabric riven 

BEFORE: unstable and rotten fabric

BEFORE: unstable and broken backrest
(fabric runs in the right direction!)

AFTER: all new! (sorry for blur photo)

Lessons learned:
  • Always buy more fabric than you need! Miscalculation or mishap may happen.
  • Explain your idea clearly! Direction of fabric, border, nails, finish tone or colour for wood - don't leave room for unexpected creativity.
  • Be sure about the finishing before choosing the fabric (silver seems not the right choice for our armchair)

Maybe, I should think about a DIY upholstery project next time? I researched some books about upholstery and think, this might be a good introduction:

A final remark and last photo:
AFTER: new upholstery with good vibes

Does anyone see the spots in the above photo? Not the spots on the wall. The two circles, below the light switch. I would have said, Angelo's camera has spots on the lens again. My friend says, these orbs are a sign for good energy in the room. Wow, my new upholstery has a great energy boost then! 

Photos: Angelo and Palazzo Pizzo
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