Windows with a View

A home pleases me when it has a view! It is important that a house or apartment looks appealing from outside. First impression is important. So is the entrance. But I realized, what I like most, is the view from inside out of a home. It doesn't have to be Manhattan's skyline, or the Tour Eiffel. It could be the neighbour's lush green gardens and some old tree. And of course, sea view is one of the best views!

When inside, the window is our connection to the outside world.

Henri Matisse, the impressionist, painted lots of interiors. Very often there is a window with a view in his paintings. Recently, I came across Pierre Bonnard, a post-impressionist painter. When I researched his paintings (thanks to google images) I realized he must have known Matisse. He painted similar windows with a view! And indeed they were friends, they were even part of the same group (Les Nabis) and inspired each other.

Artists have always been inspired by windows with a view:

Pierre Bonnard 1919

Henri Matisse 1918

Henri Matisse 1919

Raoul Dufy 1928

Pablo Picasso 1957


Pierre Bonnard 1921

David Hockney 1970
"Window, Grand Hotel, Vittel", lithograph

David Hockney 2010

And last but not least:

Palazzo Pizzo with new shades, summer 2012

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 :

Shower tray, shower faucets and tiles are installed. Walls are painted. But what about the rest?

You may have noticed that the before bathroom had no shower, but a bidet. Now, we have decided that a shower is more important than a bidet. But we have another solution for "butt hygiene". We opted for one of the smallest WC, the Starck 3 compact model (360 cm x 474 cm), and will have a hose on the side of the toilet (like you often can find in Asia). This is simple, clean and space saving!

After all this, we still have not decided on a sink !
I have some tiny space saving sinks in mind and Angelo wants the largest sink possible.
Okay, I used to have a tiny Happy D sink (see pic below, no. 1) in my guest toilet in Germany where you almost only could have washed one hand after the other.

But the above Happy D (no 2) could do. It is 345 cm deep and 460 cm long - and it has soft round corners - ideal for a tiny kid's bathroom. But of course I can't decide just like this, quickly. There are other options by Duravit (and other manufactures for sure, that I have not checked), especially I thought of using the sink from the same series as the WC since we are in such a small room, it might be best to stick to the same design:

This sink comes in many sizes, but ours could be 450 cm wide x 320 cm deep (2 cm less wide and 2,5 cm less deep than the Happy D) or 550 cm wide x 370 deep, a compact version.

My sister has in her kid's bath room the above Starck 3 sink with metal console (480 cm x465 cm). Now, she lives far away from me and I cannot check if I would like it for our son. Not sure, the almost square sink and the metal console seems a funny match. But maybe a funny match is ideal for a funny bathroom?

I would rather prefer the little pricier sink Vero. This metal console allows to hang towels on both sides. The smallest size however is 500 cm x 470 cm.

once more the site : which sink matches best ???

Since we use no longer the service of an architect or interior designer, just Angelo and me are thinking of sinks. Actually, it is only me. Angelo would buy a big sink. So, it was me who asked for detailed measurements and Angelo came up with a rough excel sheet. He added the shower tray, which is 80 cm x 80 cm. And a WC (not delivered yet), that I corrected to the given size. Then I added different sizes of different sinks. It all seems quiet tide to me. Since Angelo hates tiny dwarf or smurf sinks, we agreed on the following: we wait until the toilet is delivered and he is mounting it. Then he would do some test sitting on the toilet and check possible sink shapes. From this test he would send pictures to me which would help me to make a good decision.

If anyone of you has a recommendation, has a similar bathroom situation and knows a solution, knows the perfect sink, please email me at "writing (dot) suzie (at) yahoo (dot) com" or leave a comment below.
Mille Grazie !

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.

Shrinked window

Usually, when renovating or remodeling and it comes to windows you would tend to enlarge a window, if possible. In our case, the window of the smalest toilet (the one that hangs on the outside), was large enough - before the renovation.

But look what happened with the new window (before, during and after) :

It shrinked !
Somehow it is less than half of the before size.
However it has a very bold frame.

Italian way of how to use Bamboo shades on balconies

I do love that balcony with that shade ! I posted it before when I was musing about how to handle the sun with inside window shutters and difficult curtain situation. In Italy do like the Italians do. So I looked around and found all these bamboo shades on balconies. You have shade and air at the same time. You can look out but no one can look in. It is a pretty and very affordable solution.

shade palazzo alcala
Even the inhabitants of the nicest palazzi in town use this solution. The lower floor (above pic) with the white shutters show exactly my situation.

shade 5
You can roll the shades up and down easily - like interior blinds.

And even the more shabby houses are having them ...

shade 4
And the charming houses ...

In this palazzo one inhabitant is using a bamboo shade and his above neighbour is using a fabric shade. I definately prefer the bamboo shade.

For those who want to see another fabric alternative. Not bad either.

As you can guess, I am a fan of bamboo shades. How could I not, after having lived 8 years in Asia ?!

All above pictures were taken in Pizzo (VV).