We were so crazy about cement tiles that we almost imported a container from Asia, until I realised the quality is not what we want. Since cement tiles are so en vogue, also Bisazza has some well-known designers creating beautiful cement tile series. But we could not see any samples, only the online catalogue, and they not only seemed pricy but also a bit too opaque. I almost had given up on antique style cement tiles when someone was telling me in Pizzo that they are renovating an old palazzo and the new owner wanted to get rid of the cement tiles. People have different tastes, right? When I wanted to see them, we learnt that workers had just taken them out the fast way. They were all destroyed and already disposed. Then I announced to my FB friends in Pizzo that I am looking for old tiles and the message got shared. A few days later, I was offered to visit a dark and dusty storage room. The tiles looked interesting, not glamorous, but ok. We did not know how many of the same pattern were in that dark earth hole, and how many were still usable. Look at the photo below! This is now what lays in front of our new entrance at the end of the staircase. It is a bit shiny after washing it with water, but doesn't it look nice? The same pattern in a different size and colour (not as nice as this one) was later offered through a different source, for a different price... I think we got really lucky!
We even have one more square meter available that we will lay on the floor of a little bathroom. It is not what we had in mind, but I am so glad to have found something antique, something that gives the new apartment a bit of a special touch. When you come to Southern Italy on holiday you don't want to see what you could get at home or at Ikea, right? With these cement tiles we have recycled something original and local. I am sure our visitors will like a unique flooring. I do!
So far these cement tiles cover just 2-3 sqm ... out of hundreds.... there is so much more to decide ...
Apart from tiles, we like the experience we have with wooden parquet from Berti. So we decided to repeat the oak wood parquet from the residence for the flooring of the living areas and bedrooms.
However, for the kitchens and entrances we prefer tiles instead of wood. And because we could not get cement tiles, but wanted a Mediterranean touch nevertheless, I said let's get Vietri tiles that are beautiful colourful ceramic tiles from a town called Vietri, near Salerno.
And I still love the floor tiles of our master bathroom: Greca Blu by De Maio. It was an easy decision to use them also for two bathrooms of our new project. Each apartment will get a bathroom with these gorgeous floor tiles:
There will be two kitchens with entrances plus one extra side entrance for the dependance. I decided to chose for each area the best matching tile. So three decisions had to be made. Some of my friends got a bit of whatsapp messages with photos during the holidays (no crowd sourcing on the blog this time) and then, two days before my departure, I went with my mother-in-law to the showroom to finalise my choices. In the very last moment we changed the color of one kitchen from red to white in order to match a beautiful modern interpretation of a classic Vietri pattern! Since the kitchen builders were also gone to the beach (August!) it was no problem to change the colour for the kitchen. We had red in mind as we wanted it to resemble the kitchen of the residence. But now, I am looking forward to something fresh and exciting like this:
For the larger kitchen in the dependance (that would be white too) I have chosen 'Valeria' by De Maio (photo below). The star pattern is matching the cement tile 'star' in the entrance (first photo above), the light blue will match the balcony tiles and the Smeg fridge that will be light blue again like the one in the residence.
The most beautiful tile probably is the next one! I am very much looking forward to see that laid in the "side" entrance of the dependance, which is a corridor of 14 m2. The blue will match the Bisazza mosaic in the small bathroom, the blue of the relief of the church opposite in the piazza, the sky and the sea. It will look fabulous!
From the piazza, the facade looks already as we could move in tomorrow. Deja-vu! We had this with our first project too. When my neighbour brought me flowers to welcome us in the alley, because it looked from the outside like we had moved in, it took us another two years or so to finish the inside! This time, I hope we will be faster! Although we are already one year behind schedule due to - I would call it 'the usual Calabrian obstacles' - we plan to have two apartments ready for rent in May 2016.
The roof is done, windows and doors are installed. What is still missing are the balustrades for the balconies that we ordered to be crafted according to my design (which is repeating the pattern of the oldest railing of our first project).
Maybe I should have ordered some standard wrought iron pattern. Then you know what you get. Let's see. Can't wait to see the facade completed.