Color: tiles, grout, paint & lamps

Antique majolica floor tiles from Sicily

Antique majolica floor tiles from Sicily

I received a very exciting shipment from Sicily last week, the antique majolica floor tiles I ordered! I have always wanted an excuse to use a patchwork design of this type of old tile and here is my chance – I needed to fill the space in the floor from where the wall was knocked out and the metal beams were set into the floor. Typically, a grey pietra serena stone slab fills the threshold. I found a great deal from a seller online near Palermo, and the 20x20cm dimension works perfectly.

Deciding on the tile placement

Deciding on the tile placement

Setting and grouting the tiles

Gaetano setting and grouting the tiles

I also had to choose my grout colors from these little stick samples for the kitchen (white) and bathroom (grey) tiles.

Grout samples

Grout samples

It has been a colorful week, because the painter also began his work and we discussed the color choices. I showed paint swatches but the real mixing is done by eye and adding drops of concentrated colors. This is why it is almost impossible to match a paint color ever again — there is no recipe to write down and everything is hand mixed. So we did paint samples on the wall and drying them reveals a much lighter color.

The painter mixing and drying

Stefano, the Imbianchino, mixing and drying

Some paint trials for living room (yellow) and bedroom (grey)

Some paint trials for living room (yellow) and bedroom (grey)

After agreeing on the tonalities, the painting began. But shortly thereafter, the painter called me and said, “the paint is not sticking, what do you want me to do?” My reply was of course, “What?? What do you mean?” Apparently, it is very common for old walls that have been painted several times to start bubbling and flaking off the paint. To remedy this, the old layers must be scraped off by hand and resurfaced. This of course takes more time and costs more money.

But, a happy surprise occurred because of this phenomenon. On the bedroom ceiling, a faint remnant of an old fresco was revealed. I decided to leave it unpainted, in its raw, unrestored state and I love the contrast between the old and the new. Instead of a boring white ceiling, the room now has character and some faint decoration.

The ceiling fresco being revealed

The ceiling fresco being revealed

The details are coming together quickly as I plan to move in only a week, but not all the work will be 100% completed. I decided to spray paint one of the old brass chandeliers I found at a thrift store that only cost me 12 euro. This one became white and will hang in the white kitchen. I covered the crystal pendants with tissue paper because it was easier than unhooking them all. The structure is old, but the finish is new.

Spray painting and old chandelier lamp

Spray painting and old chandelier lamp

Save

Save

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Color: tiles, grout, paint & lamps

  1. This is so exciting,I knew you would be doing what you’re doing glad to hear about your exciting, humorous, process. I like the color on the far left and the far right. How long is winter there? I live in an area that is gray a lot so I choose warm tones except for one room. Look forward to your postings.

  2. I really enjoy this post! The tiles are beautiful. And the unexpected ceiling painting. Can’t wait to see it finished!!! ( after
    22 years, mine is not!).

    • Thanks, Pat! I don’t expect my place to ever be “done” in the sense that your home keeps evolving. I will be posting many photos of the “finished” design hopefully before 22 years!

  3. I absolutely love everything, especially the contrast between old and new in the ceiling and the way you changed up the chandelier! The tiles are gorgeous (I also wanted to use tiles like this from Spain that I found once but never have had an opportunity).

    • Thanks, Jenna. After all these years of renting, I can finally do something I want to do! I didn’t go to Interior Architecture school for nothing! I like have a little touch of Sicily in the tile selection since my ancestors came from there.

  4. Darling, i love all the ceiling paints of italy, lucky you!!!!! please take a picture of the whole ceiling for us to see how it comes! i’ll probably come to visit you guys this september!!!! want to see your new sweet home either! xoxo

  5. Pingback: New Kitchen Design | At Home in Florence: A Renovation Project

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s