Wednesday, 16 April 2014


We got a parcel yesterday!

We ordered these taps online, sight unseen. Perhaps a little risky, but it has worked out! I was very picky in this matter and we had a limited budget, so we had to dig a lot in order to find what we wanted at a price we could afford.

I wanted raw, unprotected brass, since I've grown very, very tired of chrome, and I don't think it ages gracefully. In general, efforts to ward off aging altogether rarely do. Plus I crave the warmth of brass, and I love materials that appear to live and change like we do. 

We found an Italian brand that had great styles and an incredible finish choice, Nicolazzi, and the prices were more than fair, especially for brass finish (same price as chrome, on the price range marked blue below). I find it a little outrageous how many brands charge more (a whole lot more) for a brass finish, when if you think about it all taps are brass, and the chroming is an additional step in the process.

We ordered the taps through Italian online retailer, and so far are very happy with the service.

I had only this chart as a guide to choose the finish:

Nicolazzi finishes.

I doubted between raw brass and shiny brass, and by just looking at the chart raw brass looked most like what I wanted (a satin brass), and shiny looked like it'd be... well, too shiny. It turned out that I'd have less finishing work to do if I had taken the shiny, since the raw is a little too textured:

My desired finish vs the original raw brass.

On the left, the washbasin tap that I've already refinished (1200 grit emery paper followed by soft brass brush with fine pumice powder) against a tap that's still untouched. Since it has just been resurfaced, the one on the left looks colder, but it will soon darken and warm up.

So yes, I was sanding away yesterday evening while we watched a series on TV ;P

How cool is that?
Still with original finish.
Model 1401 OG.

Bathtub hardware.

Bathtub hardware.

Washbasin tap.
Here is was at emery paper stage.
Model 1408 OG.

Washbasin tap.
Emery paper stage.

Refinished washbasin tap
and hand shower wall mount.

Refinished washbasin tap.

The raw brass finish does look a little fake in the tight spots,
where a shinier finish is still visible.

Bonus picture:

The camera bag is too small for you, Loki.

Monday, 14 April 2014


I have not updated in... a month!!
To be honest, I have been distracted with the garden. I don't mean I have been only working in the garden, but when it comes to blogging, it appears that's what I've been doing.

Of course a lot has been done in the house as well.

Let's see what I wrote about last...


Indeed, still going at it. Still a lot left. Less than half, yes! it is a lot of square metres and 3 layers.

Aïda sanding

Boxes upon boxes


This is what we've been working at the most. Trenches (?) for the cables, plug boxes, installing switches etc. LIGHTS ARE WORKING! sorry. Yes, this is a big milestone :) The main lights for the bedroom, bathroom, "library", "parlor" and entryway are working. All the cabling for the staircase is installed, so are most of the lights, but the switch is not working yet (the timer we needed is backordered at the moment).


"Library". I'll try to restore this medallion from its atrocious paint "job".

Entryway. Still doubting between a medium and a
dark grey for the ceiling.

That's a mane of internet cables.

Switch guts.

Holes to add wiring where there's none.

New staircase lights.

Much finishing to do.

Due to the inclined ceiling, at the top of the
 staircase we are putting the lights on the wall.


We've been receiving several deliveries, stuff for the bathroom: shower tray (enamelled steel plate, but of course) with fittings, shower glass (stripy!), washbasin, bathtub with fittings & the thermostate for the shower. We should very soon receive all the taps, I can't wait to see them.

Bathtub fittings. Drool.

Washbasin on its approximate placement.

I couldn't find brass fittings that I was sure were going to fit,
so I ordered a porcelain click-clack closure made by the
same manufacturer that made the washbasin.

It is actually chrome, but you cannot see it when installed.
We found a box of these marble stripes for a steal.
Here come a few dreadful phone pics:

The stripy shower glass.

That's all you (and I) are gonna see of the bathtub for now.

Apart from this claw. Talon.

We've also decided (that was hard) on the floor tiles and ordered them, this may take up to a month. We have matched them to an edging of antique tiles we bought and will place in the centre of the bathroom as a feature. The colour scheme is white, pale grey & sage green with brass hardware and medium oak furniture. This is all I have for now, a phone pic taken at the shop:

Top and bottom tiles we already have.

Since we finally chose tiles for the floor, we have to reinforce and straighten the beams, which will be a lot of work. Tiles will be a lot of work too, but we want it to be well done and functional, so we discarded the idea of wood in the bathroom floor.

The bathroom is still a bit of a battlefield:

Pipes and more pipes.