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Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Our House Renovations – Guest Suite


This is the second in a series of planned posts on our house renovations, the first one was Our House Renovations - Kitchen which I posted back in July in conjunction with the start of The Dishwasher Saga which incidentally is still on going. We are now waiting for the engineers to have a response to their enquiries to Wega.

We completed on the purchase of this property back in February 2009 but as those of you who have been reading my Newsletters and Blog that long we have had a lot of work to do. You can read all about it in Archive Blogs of News From Italy but as I wrote then when we first moved we had no internal staircase, no kitchen, ancient flooring, bathrooms to move, electric wiring and plumbing to be replaced. With a few limitations a blank canvas to work with once all the necessary permissions were in place and this controlled the pace that we were able to work at. The geometra that we worked with was an excellent guide where all the protocol was concerned but it was considered somewhat unusual that my husband and a friend were tackling this renovation themselves.

The guest suite consists of what was already a bedroom and a bathroom on the first floor of the house when we moved here and as you will see from the photographs we have not done a great deal to the bedroom. It did take a long time to redecorate though as all the old paint had to be stripped off as it was very old fashioned distemper which took hours to scrape and wash off. The floor tiles we decided not to change in this room as they are a design that seems to back in fashion, certainly when we were doing our research we saw almost identical designs as the latest for 2010!

Original floor tiles once again in fashion!

Paint stripping under way

The Finished Bedroom. I took these latest photographs this morning and made them into a collage, as you see we still have the major task of painting the outside of the house so I think these renovation posts will still be appearing well into next year. Plenty of before and after photographs to show you yet!


Moving on to the bathroom next door it was extremely dated so we decide that we would ripe the whole lot out wall tiles, floor tiles, all the sanitary units and start again with a bare canvas. This was the colour scheme we started with.

Original bathroom tiles.

Usable but dated, the other corner had a dire shower unit.

We stripped the room bare and started again.

This is the fabulous result we have ended up with, well we think it is fabulous anyway! So proud of David and Nick.


I have only included a selection of the renovation photos from this part of the project in this post, the full album entitled Guest Suite Renovations can be viewed at My Flickr Account if you are interested in seeing more of the work as it progressed.


  1. Its amazing Linda .. lots of work done. :-)

    We have lived in this house for 5 years and only done two bedrooms .. drives me potty, living with old bathrooms :-(

  2. How exciting Linda! I am so glad to see that you are keeping the original terrazzo flooring. It is beautiful! And the renovated bathroom looks great too!

  3. The bedroom turned out lovely! you certainly are working hard at this...evrything is beautiful!

  4. It is hard work renovating, but when you have results like this it is well worth the effort. Diane

  5. Beautiful! Actually I think that the washbasin and cabinet is the same one I ordered for our bathroom in Italy. But they haven't installed it yet so I may be wrong. Hope not!

  6. Fantastic job :) We'll be doing some work over the next couple of months, I'm not looking forwards to having a house full of paint smells!

  7. Dear Lindy, how exciting to have a blank canvas in front of you and be able to work as you wish.
    The bedroom has a very good size,great door, and the bathroom is showing a 100% improvement! Good job!
    The floor tiles are great for two reasons: first they are made of natural materials(recycled granite) and second they are already installed and will help you save money and time to use in other corners of the house.
    I can't wait to see more of your projects!
    Take care.

  8. Wow, it's stunning, and I love your bathroom tiles, you did a great job guys!

  9. The work you've accomplished is incredible. Just the idea of ripping things out...pour me a drink!

  10. Wow!! Wonderful job!!! Enjoy your week!!

  11. Anne - Thanks, it is different for us as your husband is away travelling a lot of the time. Doing up the house is a project for my husband particularly as he likes to have things to do.
    Alissa - Thankyou, I picked the bathroom tiles from one of the colours in the bedroom floor and am very pleased with the result.
    Linda - Welcome here and thankyou for your comment much appreciated, hope you will call by again.
    Diane - Agreed, but the end result is worth all the effort.
    Scintilla - The all in one vanity unit is very popular in Italy isn't it and I think it is a great option as it provides much needed storage.
    Rachel - Thanks, I find the dust that is created more annoying, have fun with your painting.
    Simony - Thankyou so much for your kind words, we are happy we were able to keep the tiles in this room for all the reasons you mention.
    Alessandra - The terracotta colour has worked well, I was concerned it might have been too dark but the white sanitary ware has balanced the colour well and it is a lovely light room now.
    Rowena -Oh the ripping things out is easy and fun, the hard work is putting everything back together again!
    The Sweet Life - Thankyou, working outside this week if weather allows us to do so.

  12. Wow! Lovely - what a super job you've made of it. And do I see a roof terrace/patio outside both windows of the bedroom? Wonderful. Just keep calm and serene about the dishwasher!!!

  13. Salut Lindy. Oh la la, I did say I was going to catch up on Mondays, didn't I? Ooops, a bit too late...

    Anyway, what a great job you've done with your house, it looks lovely, light and like a LOT of work. Something to really be proud of.

    Loved the Mini post, too. I just couldn't bring myself to buy a new Mini - it simply doesn't seem right and it doesn't have the same cool factor as the original :-) The pictures are great.

    Hope you have a good week, Love from London, Carole x
    PS: Thanks for putting me on your sidebar :-)

  14. Wow, lovely! Great job and so much work done. Besides the joy of seeing it beautifully improved, it must feel great to have accomplished so much.

    Bravi Linda e David!!!

  15. It looks lovely. Fresh paint in the bedroom made such a difference and that bathroom doesn't look like the same room at all. I love the tile you selected for it. Very nice!

  16. I visited your flicker album and let me tell you everything is Fabulous!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  17. Wow! It looks like the guests have a fabulous space, private terrace, fantastic! And a really wonderful job on the bathroom – it is hard to believe it's the same place. I congratulate you. I know how much courage it takes to get these things done! – g

  18. LOVE your bathroom...we have lots of renovating to do too, and so far only a bathroom done. Pian piano ;)

  19. Its amazing .. lots of work done. The bedroom turned out lovely! :-)

  20. Maggie - I hope you will get to use the terrace yourself sometime.
    Mademoiselle P - Thankyou Carole,as for the Mini I agree although like most change it is growing on me, I felt the same about the Fiat 500.
    Travelingsue - We are certainly pleased with the results.
    Eleonora- Thankyou kindly, we actually enjoy this type of project, well most of the time anyway.
    Coffeeveggie -Welcome and thankyou for commenting, hope you will be calling by again.
    Sue(Someone's Mum) - I am very pleased with the tiles, it took me awhile to find exactly what I wanted :)
    Rocio - Thanks, I am delighted we are now Flickr friends as well :)
    Georgianna - Yes, thankyou and when there are no guests we get to use it, the terrace is a lovely place to relax and I use the bedroom as my home gym!
    Michelle - Thanks :) The advantage of age is that we do not have other work to occupy us. Our lifestyle is our work renovating the house and managing the garden. You will get there with your renovations do you plan to do it your selves?

  21. Guest House Islamabad - Um not sure if I should be deleting you as spam as you are just advertising via visiting, but thankyou for your commment :)

  22. Great work, your guests are going to be so comfy you'll never get rid of them. I really like the way the room opens onto that lovely terrace and the bathroom is pure luxury. Well done.

  23. Jenny - Thanks, the terrace was one of the reasons we decided to use this end of the house for guests.

  24. I love the before and after pictures. Your bathroom is AMAZING!!!!!!

  25. Leanne - Thank, just think what your bathrooms will look like one day, although I do understand you have a long way to go still with your renovations. It will be worth it all in the end.

  26. Your house looks great! I love the bathroom.

  27. Linda--
    I'm so impressed with your renovations. My husband is also a committed do-it-yourself type but has been in despair over our geometra telling us that only registered workers can do any work on our house. Maybe we just need to find a way to work around the law a bit. It would be great if we could just get the shell built and then do much of the interior ourselves. You're an inspiration!
    Mary Beth

  28. Misha - Thankyou, I must admit to being very happy with the new look bathroom.

    MaryBeth - Thankyou for the compliment. as for your project the big difference is you are doing a new build and there is no way round it, you will need certification by professionals. Just think what fun it will be doing the rest of the work yourselves though once all the services have been installed. Our geometra was very supportive and obtained all planning permissions for us. Ours is an old house that was listed as two properties and we had to re-register as one. It was considered rather odd though that we were doing the work ourselves! I think DIY is a fairly new concept in Italy.

  29. What a lovely space . . . any guest would be thrilled to be in such a lovely room!!!


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