Now I can look around and get a feel for the apartment with it empty. This is when any hidden spots can become visible that may have been behind furniture. So far, so good, no major surprises. The windows will need to eventually be replaced for better energy savings, but they are nice and tall. The walls are clean but will require some fresh paint. Finally I get to choose my own colors (read: no more red kitchens, please)!
The electrical system was checked out yesterday. The impianto elettrico isn’t in too bad of shape and has been updated within the last 10 or so years, but new outlets need to be added for my ever growing electronic lifestyle. At least the whole system does not need to be redone — the new wires can be added with minimal wall excavations.
The ceramic tile floor throughout the house is fairly new and in good shape. It is not what I would have selected, but is rather neutral. The updated gasline from the meter reader near the front door can be re-routed to avoid busting up any floor tiles. Maybe I will change them out in the future. I prefer wooden floors in the living and sleeping spaces.
The kitchen is without an actual kitchen. It is common in Italy to move with your own kitchen. I have even seen rentals where the renter is supposed to bring or buy a kitchen! This does not make much sense to an American as the kitchen can sell the home. But in this case, I didn’t like the previous kitchen anyway, so I am happy to choose my own. Soon there will be an opening in the wall between the kitchen and living room to open up the spaces.
The bathroom needs an update. Baby blue is just not my color! I plan to put the shower where the toilet is currently located. Now, there is a tiny shower near the door before the sink. The ceiling needs to be raised. Above it now is a sopalco morto, or a storage crawl space that no one really wants to access. The bathroom is long and narrow, but the extended space seen on the right was actually added several years ago, infringing on the kitchen.
Before, the bathroom was literally a long hall only 93 cm wide — not enough room for a toilet, sink, shower, and bidet, not to mention storage. My initial choice is not to add a bidet. As an American, I have to explain that we don’t use them and I can live without it. But to keep value to the home for possible future resale, I should at least add the hook-up plumbing. Another option is the wall mounted spray gun. Italians think we who do not use bidets have dirty butts, so I have to be prepared for comments! They are convenient for washing your feet. Even though it is a trend here in new homes to remove bathtubs, I would love to have one, but <sigh> there is not enough room.
The back yard needs help, but that will have to be later this spring. There is plenty of room for outdoor dining and landscaping. The stone wall is in fairly good shape. Several trees make the space private, even if surrounded by neighboring palazzi. I have a very tall alloro (bay) tree. The shape of the lot is angular. I can work with that.
The back façade needs a little work. To the right is a sink/laundry/storage shack. It is currently without a roof. It previously had a nice little tile roof complete with gutter, but since that is a “permanent” type of roof, this space would have been counted in my catastale tax reference as extra living space and the roof was previously added without a permit, so it had to go. I can add a less structural roof without a problem. The water heater is located outside, which I prefer. A striped awning is on the list.
Below the living room is a nice sized storage area with an old armadio for those seasonal clothes. This extra room is essential, especially since most Italian homes do not have closets — everything is usually stored in furniture wardrobes. Occasionally there is a built-in or a small extra closet room, but not in this home. Luckily, this space seems very dry, even in this current rainy weather. Notice the dozen or so hooks hanging from the low ceiling. I suppose I can hang prosciutto from them!
To see the floor plan, go to the previous post: Opening New Doors