Day 3 choosing bathrooms and kitchens

We knew it will be a 'working holiday'. And today, we spent a few hours in a shop to determine sinks and toilets for 2 1/2 bathrooms and 1 guest toilet. The good thing is, we already have experience and like what we chose last time. So we stick with Duravit and its Stack 3 and Vero line.

More difficult are the tiles for the floors and walls. We still like what we chose last time, but thought not to spend too much money on expensive Sicis mosaic tiles ... and find a cheaper solution instead. Also terra cotta tiles are not the best solution for bathroom flooring since they absorb water. (In our guest residence we used old restored terra cotta tiles.) For the balconies we already ordered the same blue tiles as at our main house. However, we knew we will spend more time on the subject the following days.

The two kitchens we would order from the same local company (Alindar), in white and red, same as last time. Even with the same wall tiles (remember my crazy tile mix?). The only challenge we are facing this time, is to build a kitchen around and above the stairways' arch (see photo). I can't picture it yet and we are still waiting for the company's proposal.

In the evening we had a casual and relaxed dinner with friends at the local fish restaurant 'La Lampara'. I ordered TONNO CON CIPOLLA (fresh tuna fish with red onion from Tropea, cottura media - medium cooked) - and it was awesome! I totally can recommend that restaurant in Pizzo. The owner speaks english, reservation is recommended, unfortunately only tables indside, but nice decor.

Before and After: How a tiny 2,6 m2 overhanging Toilet became a pretty Kids Bathroom


A bit over a year ago, I was planning the tiny overhanging bathroom that measures 1,4 m x 1,9 m (2,66 m2). Originally it was just an "outhouse" with a toilet, a bidet and a sink. But we wanted to install a shower - in order to have an "en suite bathroom" for our son's room.

And I have to say, I am really happy with the outcome!

tiny kids bathroom 2,6 m2

I had told Angelo (our "capo" and my father-in-law) that his grandson would like to have a "green" bathroom. And, that I like "subway" tiles. I designed the tiling for the floor and the walls. Angelo over exceeded our expectations by adding a stucco ceiling (that was not there originally)!

Since the sink is right below the window - where you have a nice view in the neighbours garden and over the sea - we needed to have the mirror installed beside the window.

Our young son does not use a mirror so far... So, I do not know whether this beauty mirror is too small or not. But it looks nice! It has the right size for this bathroom.

shower area 80 x 80 cm

If you wonder why we have a rain shower installed in such a small bathroom, then because we probably made a mistake when ordering the shower equipment back in China, where we were living at some point - a couple of years before this bath renovation.

But we were lucky, it just matches the height.

  small compact toilet
For the sink, I researched online the different sizes available for different models. At the end I choose a Duravit Strack 3 model, they have a lot of options. It is important for a small area to choose the largest possible sink - as it is a hassle to wash hands in a sink that is too small.

I even asked Angelo to sit down on the toilet (that was already delivered) and measure the space between his knees and the wall to make sure, there is still enough space between toilet and sink.

The two short blue tubes that stick out of the wall next to the toilet are the pre-installation for a water spray. In Italy it is common to use bidets in private bathrooms. But with the installation of the shower we really had no more space for a bidet. So we opted for the space saving water spray - yet to come.

The floor tiles are layed diagonally in order to optically strech the room.

"spider" shower curtain holder and "fish" hooks
In a shop in Vibo Valentia, we found these green "fish" hooks. There were only two left and I bought them. Angelo fixed them behind the bathroom door. In another shop I found the "spider" that is a space saving Italian solution for hanging the shower curtain.


And here is the old bathroom, BEFORE renovation, as we found it when we bought the house:

BEFORE toilet with bidet
The toilet itself was also very tiny before and squeezed into the left corner. The bidet was eliminated for our new bathroom layout. The sink was moved below the window to give space on the right corner for a small shower.

BEFORE renovation
The only thing that was bigger in this bathroom before the renovation and became smaller after the renovation, is the window! Strangely, the window frame is so massive that the new window is much tinier. Well, these are things you encounter when renovating, whether you are on site or thousand of miles away.

"outhouse" or overhanging bathroom
Our palazzo is over 200 years old, and at that time an outhouse toilet was common in European cities. You can still sea the remains on the side of many palazzi in Italy. But of course the toilets nowadays are linked to the public canalisation.

A new old lamp

old wrought iron gas lamp

My Italian family likes to stroll antique markets and browse antique shops. Variety and prices are more attractive in Italy than in Germany. The latest find of my mother-in-law in Northern Italy is this old wrought iron chandelier that used to have a gas supply in the center of the lamp.

modified by adding new lamp shades and electrical wire

My father in law modified the gas lamp into an electric lamp by adding adding electric cables. Also the three small lamp shades of red glas are newly added. If I want, he said, I can have it for my bed room. Of course, I want! It would go along well with the red in the floor tiles.

original cement tiles with red swastika, an over 3,000 year old symbol for good luck


I am looking forward to see a picture of the chandelier hanging from the ceiling in our bed room. The pictures above were taken in my parents-in-law home in Calabria and in our house in Pizzo.

A Bathroom Vision in Blue

A dream of a bathroom! How colours can change the atmosphere! Actually it is not just painted blue walls, it is spatulato, a Venetian technique for making painted walls shine like marble.

a vision in blue

blue and pearl grey wall colour harmonizes two different pattern of Vietri tiles on wall and floor

the lighter blue of the ceiling matches one hue of the wall tiles

the wall paint reduces the strong contrast (see before here and here)

stucco borders frame the painted areas

view from above (while painting the ceiling)

beautiful perspective of a blue bathroom dream

A "specialist worker" waxing the surface of spatolato finish in order to obtain a surface similar to polished marble.

Bath room with spectacular sea view

I wish I could be there! I have not seen it in reality yet. I only have these photos for now and have to wait for summer. 

What a dream in blue!

Grazie Angelo!! You are becoming the new Michelangelo with this project! Thank you for choosing the right blue and for spending so much time on the spatulato technique.

Small Vietri tiles for small Kitchen

San Pietro 10 cm x 10 cm Vietri tiles by Francesco de Maio

This will be our small kitchen in the seminterrato. It is the one for the guests, in case they want to cook for themselves.... or when we rent out this entire floor as our guest residence.

There will be red kitchen. Something allegro. Red is a happy colour for a stone vaulted cellar. So next step is choosing tiles. We were looking at some bold Vietri tiles with red flower ornaments, there were some with quiet modern designs from the latest collection. But these tiles (20x20cm) were too big for this small area and also their red tone might not match the red tone of the kitchen, we thought.

Somehow tired after having choosen seven different pattern of tiles for the main kitchen, we were easlily caught, when our "personal" sales consultant of our frequently visited sanitary shop, presented us "San Pietro". A tiny geometrical pattern of something red and green on a 10x10 cm tile. Totally different from all these big designs we just ordered. Kind of boring, but also cute and tricky, a bit 70ies?

seminterrato kitchen walls are now tiled

The installation of these tiles were done in a couple of hours. There was only one email exchange necessary between Angelo and me to check wheather I am ok with an extra column of "San Pietro" on each side since we had enough excess tiles. - Oh, yes, and one extra trip to the sanitary shop was necessary too - to buy more of the white tiles, since I miscalculated the correct amount (for two kitchens).

Now, waiting for kitchen delivery...