Saturday, 31 May 2008

DAY 3....

This morning at 8 am Stefano (workman) arrived!! Kids and I were up but still in pjs and Salvatore was still in bed! At 8:30 he was already banging and drilling. I'm sure our neighbours want to kill us!!

Anyway, today has been pretty much like yesterday, just getting rid of all the tiles and digging out the pipes. In the meantime I finally got around to giving the top part of the cupboard a final coat of paint. The surrounding wall just needs painting which will get done when the kitchen is painted as these two rooms are adjoining.

Also painted these shelves for the hall cupboard. Mmmm, what else can I paint...?

Friday, 30 May 2008

DAY 2 CONT....

Just another pic of the bathroom. This is how I found it when I came home this evening. Great workmen also swept the floors in the entrance, hall and living room! Okay, it wasn't spotless but it was lovely not coming home to find mess all over the place!

I meant to say earlier, we used the new shower this morning! It was wonderful! Although it will take a little getting used to showering with transparent glass doors! Used to showering in that horrible brown cubicle with opaque plastic doors, it felt like I was showering in public! :D

Alessandro (workman) called this evening to say that there's problems with bath taps! They were meant to be here by now but they are still somewhere in northern Italy and won't be delivered for 2 weeks!! I don't know if things like this happen all over the world but they sure do happen here. Now I'm starting to worry about all the other things that are due to arrive next week (plus Monday is a public holiday!). I think tomorrow I'll be calling around checking! And calling a courier to see about getting the taps delivered directly from the factory (more money but worth it if it will speed things up)!!

DAY 2....

Workmen have gone to lunch. I never thought I'd be so happy to see a pile of rubble!! What a lovely sight!!

Thursday, 29 May 2008

DAY 1....

Was really more like "DAY 1/2" as Alessandro and Stefano (the workmen) came at about 2pm and left around 5pm. They put all their tools and some material in our garage (well, our rented garage which is in the building next door). Then we had a talk about how I want the bathroom and kitchen and I showed him on the internet the things that I've ordered. It seems that it's all possible, except he screwed up his face when he saw my lovely tiles!! I have ordered straight edge (non bevelled) tiles which I was hoping to have laid with out or with hardly any gap. According to him this isn't possible. I have to have a 2mm gap. I'm not convinced and will look into this later this evening. In the bathroom I actually don't mind the gap, but was hoping to have an almost steam line/seamless effect with the kitchen tiles. We'll see....

Then I had to go out and see Matteo do an end of year thing at school (one of the many that I have to attend in the next few days) and when I got back I had this to see -

Finally we have a shower door!! Yeah!! We can't use it until tomorrow morning as the silicone has to dry! Here's another (very similar) pic of the new doors!

Tomorrow morning the demolition begins! Not looking forward to all the dust and not having my washing machine, but am looking forward to getting rid of the old bathroom. Alex and Matteo (and I) have graffitied all over the tiles with those permanent pens! Alex got carried away yesterday and even wrote his name on the window frame. Luckily I got to it before it dried and managed to get it off. The windows are staying!!!

Looking forward to using the new shower tomorrow morning! ;)

Tuesday, 27 May 2008


This morning I went to Sandro at Valentini showrooms and chose the tiles!!!

I don't know whether I feel relieved that I have finally chosen them or panic stricken thinking that I've chosen the wrong ones!! So, after all this here are the tiles that we're having... Comfort Living from Marca Corona .

Floor tiles - 45x45cm Olive. Wall tiles - 60x30cm Ivory. They are much nicer in the "flesh" (I hope). Here are the two colours shown separately

As for the kitchen he couldn't get me similar white tiles for such a low price so tomorrow I'm going back to IperCeramica and ordering them there.

I also ordered a new radiator for the bathroom.

Monday, 26 May 2008


First I went to IperCeramica where the tiles are quite cheap but there's not that much choice. I came away with 3 samples for the kitchen and one for the bathroom.

This white tile (without the roses!) costs €16.95 a metre IVA included but it isn't matt like i was originally looking for.

Here's my sample of it propped up in my kitchen next to a smaller matt tile.

Then I went to IdeaCeramica where there was a huuuge selection to choose from. But much more expensive! A similar tile to the one above, Esprit from Viva costs €40.50 plus IVA (20%).

So I'll most likely go for the cheaper one for the kitchen and splurge a bit on the bathroom! IdeaCeramica have this collection, Work from Sant'Agostino, big 60x30 tiles cost €37.00 + IVA. Another collection that I liked is Natural Trend, depending on the size of the tiles prizes go from €36 to €45 + IVA. Couldn't find them on the site but took a quick pic in the shop.

Last but not least from the "cheaper" shop there was this one for €17.95 including IVA. Not a great pic but you can see it has lines on it and is a bit darker in the "flesh". Have to talk to hubby and see how we're going with the budget!!

Here it is again in to see it in a different light.

So I'm a little bit closer to deciding. Any suggestions and opinions are more than welcome!!!


I'm off to Iperceramica to (hopefully) buy some tiles!

Fingers crossed please!

Sunday, 25 May 2008


Just had a call from Alessandro (workman).

He just called to let me know they can start this week!!! Aaaahh!! Panic!! I thought he was calling to postpone once again. So instead of coming on Tuesday 3rd June (giving me the long weekend to empty the bathroom and organise everything) they are coming on Thursday 29th May! That's only 4 sleeps away!! Oh yes and there's that other small problem - I STILL HAVEN'T GOT MY TILES!!!


Remember my built-in cupboards? Well I got the doors up last week and they were a tight squeeze!! I was worried that when painted there was going to be no way that they would close!

Miracle!! They close AND open!!
Lesson learnt by me - next time allow a few more millimetres!!

Still missing the door for this little hole in the wall. You can see how crooked and uneven it was before. I only "fixed" the edges where the door will go. The electrical company have been meaning to come for months now to change the meter. Apart from storing the meter this little hole in the wall also holds our keys. Well, it will once I put the door up, which will have lots of hooks on the inside.


This is what we are so lucky to have at the moment.

This is what I put in the small bathroom, nice and simple (and cheap), Sagan from Ikea.

And I'd like somthing like this for the new bathroom. This is Duo from Blomus but I think I need to find something a little bit less expensive!!

Saturday, 24 May 2008


Now that my digital camera is back in action, I took some more photos of the current bathroom!

Whilst taking them I realised that my hair is practically the same colour as the horrendous tiles !!??? What this says about my hair, I'm not quite sure!!! Not a good photo - it's blurry and I had to crop it as I had one eye closed!!! Camouflage or not I will be so glad to see the tiles go!

And here's a mix of all the new yummy things! What a difference!! Still no final tile decisions have been made! Must decide asap!!

Thursday, 22 May 2008


Yeah! The postman delivered my new battery charger for my digital camera yesterday. Which means 2 things, 1- I can finally take some photos after nearly two months and 2- I'll find the missing charger in a matter of days!

I've been painting the cupboard doors and the shelves as promised and yesterday I went looking for a light to put over the bathroom cabinet but didn't find anything that I liked. Under the cabinet I'll put some waterproof led lights. I found these on ebay ! The 40cm one with 15 led lights is perfect for my cabinet which is 45cms wide!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008


Not much going on....

1 This morning I sanded the doors on the built-in cupboards ready for painting, got out the paint tin, only to find it almost empty! Paint shop tomorrow!

2 Alessandro (the workman) called and confirmed that he and Stefano are definitely coming on the 3rd of June to start work. He's already changed the date twice in the past!

3 I still haven't decided which tiles to get!!

4 Kitchen lighting needs looking into. We are having 3 lights under the overhead cupboards. The ceiling will be dropped about 20cms (currently 3.05 m) to cover up some beams and will allow us to put in some downlights or whatever!

5 I need to go and look at some integrated fridges as the one that Raimondo (from the kitchen shop) suggested was way tooooo expensive. I think it'll be cheaper if we get it elsewhere.

6 Waiting anxiously for Sandro (from bathroom shop) to call and tell me that my orders have arrived.

Monday, 19 May 2008


The built-in cupboard now has doors!! (still need painting tho...)


I had to change my taps again so have just got back from the showroom. I think Sandro is beginning to think I like him! I'm always there!!

The taps for the sink and bidet are okay (from Zazzeri) and the bath tap panel thingy is okay too (from Fantini), it's the shower tap that I had to change. Seems that Fantini only do the square / rectangular panel one with the thermostatic tap. The normal tap is on a circular panel! Which to me seems rather stupid! So I now have ordered the shower tap from Zazzeri too, which after all this fussing around, I like the best!
Whilst I was there at the show room I also ordered some other boring stuff - various fixtures for attaching the sink, loo etc to the wall.

BTW this is the sink that we're having. Space Contract from Globo. Not sure of the dimensions of the one in the pic as they come in 80, 100, 120 and 140cms. Ours is the 100cm one. Originally I wanted a sink with drawers or a cupboard underneath. In the end I went for this sospended one and will maybe get a small unit on wheels to go under it if i need more storage.

You can also get 2 towel rails to attach at either side or a glass shelf. Thought the towels rails might be nice until i heard the price!! Each one cost €135, that's €270 just to hang your towels up!! The shelf was about €450, that's more than the sink!!!! This below is the 140cm version with the mega expensive shelf!

Saturday, 17 May 2008


I'm quite undecided when it comes to the tiles.

KITCHEN. I love all white kitchens. Seeing as the composite worktop is a mix of white and pale grey I'm thinking of having plain long white tiles with grey grout. But then again there are so many lovely coloured tiles out there to choose from.... I saw a gorgeous kitchen in the showroom, all white with huge shiney black tiles. Somehow I think my kitchen is too small to get away with black tiles!

BATHROOM. Once again an infinite choice of tiles out there... And once again I love all white bathrooms, they're so fresh and clean! Having just done our small bathroom with ivory wall and floor tiles I realise that I'd be a slave to an all white bathroom! So I'm thinking stone(?) coloured wall tiles and, wait for it... brown floor tiles! No, I'm not keeping the poop coloured tiles!! Anyway I still have to decide on the exact colours but I'd like a contrast.

We'll be having the side of the bath tiled as I really don't like bath panels (sorry to anyone who has them). Question is, do I tile the side of the bath the same colour as the walls or as the floor?
The colours in the pics below are random, just to give you an idea of what I mean. I think the floor colour on the bath side makes the floor seem bigger. I must go and get some samples and have a play with them!
I can't remember where I saved this pic from, but I love the colours! This brown has absolutely nothing to do with the brown in my current bathroom. Lovely bath, loo and sink too!


Here's a few pics of lil sis's nearly finished kitchen. I hope mine will look as good even though mine's no way near as big!!

BTW have you finished painting the walls and ceilings???

Friday, 16 May 2008


I probably could have called this blog "Unfinshed business".

Seems to be a habit of mine.... a bad one! Maybe admitting to this publicly I'll be shamed into finishing all the unfinished jobs...

1. The cabinet lighting in the new bathroom. All I have to do is buy them! The wires are already there waiting for me... Cabinet was put up after xmas!

2. The end of hall cupboard. It's missing a piece of wood on the top. I have to paint 5 of the sheves still. And I have to change the screws that hold the handles on, they're too long and the handles wobble! I made these over a year ago!

3. Built in cupboards in entrance/dining room and new door frame. I ripped out the old ones in November! I put the new frame and shelves up in December! It's all painted and in use but... it's missing the doors! Okay, I am working on this currently. I picked the mdf that I had cut to size on Wednesday! These are photos from December. It's not that unfinished!!

Shame on me! Promise to myself - will finish all 3 by next weekend!! Must find the charger for the digital camera.... and take some photos!


For our smaller bathroom I made the bathroom cupboard as I couldn't find anything the right size!! Happy with the result (except for the broken mirror - that still makes me mad!!) I've decided to make another one for the "worst bathroom in Rome". This one will be bigger (and better).

Here's some pics of the making of the cabinet and the final result (well, not quite final as it's still missing the lights!)

I was inspired to make it after seeing these other DIY cupboards - Thanks Mr G and TL for the ideas and advice!!

Thursday, 15 May 2008


Had a call from Raimondo (from kitchen shop) this afternoon. I can't have the range hood that I ordered. I'd chosen the one that is almost hidden and can be pulled out when needed, so all you'd see was a 4cm wide strip on the bottom of the cupboard. I'm having very tall (92cms) overhead cupboards and they don't seem to make the 88 cm door needed to go over the hood! So choices are, go with one that has the little flap that you open which would be cheaper (and uglier) or add on €305 for a completely hidden one.

Update - Raimondo called back and he'll give me the super range hood for "only" €150 more instead of €305. Yet once again the overall cost is growing!!

Anyway, here's the general layout of the kitchen.

And here it is showing where the windows and walls are. The top two shelves won't be as high as they are in the picture. LST is the dish washer (lavastoviglie).


Thanks D for helping me this morning!! I had a little dilemma with the Fantini taps that I'd chosen. I'd originally thought that the sink and bidet taps could have the lever on the them too (like the shower /bath wall mounted ones) but it wasn't possible. So I thought about having the sink taps wall mounted too. But the sink that I like has a pre punched tap hole! Aaaah!

So this morning I went first to Sandro at the bathroom shop and ordered the sink and different taps from Zazzeri for the sink and bidet. They are very similar to the Fantini ones but they DO have a nice big lever on them!! Then from another showroom I ordered the Fantini taps (the ones I'd fallen in love with) for the bath and the shower. Then I went to the kitchen showroom and chose the final touches - the sink, tap, the shelves, under cupboard lighting, the handles etc... All that's left now is to go and order the bathroom and kitchen tiles. Oh, and pay for it all!!!

So, here's the DaDa Mono sink tap from Zazzeri which I think goes well with the Nostromo ones from Fantini .

As for the kitchen I chose the Neptune sink. I loved the Laser one but it was almost three times as much!!! And I chose the Active tap also from Franke which has a groovy pull out shower thingy!