Monday, 20 February 2017

Our townhouse in Arpino - the renovation

Today is exactly 1 year ago since we first visited Arpino and found our little Italian townhouse. It was love at first sight, not only with the townhouse itself but also with the beautiful village and the people living there. It was like we had landed right into a Disney fairy tale when we arrived to this magical town with its ancient walls, medieval towers and picturesque views. It was just perfect!
Our amazing townhouse that we call Casa Colle (The house on the hill)
Arpino - a truly magical place

Apart from being perfect, genuine and beautiful, Arpino was filled with houses and palaces that were for sale so our real estate agent Alison took us to lots of different properties that were within our budget. But it was not really necessary, we had already decided on what house we wanted from seeing the photos online, long before we came.  So the decision process was very short! After a couple of days in the village we started to negotiate with the seller who was also the talented builder and soon-to-be-good-friend, Claudio!

Our builder Claudio and real estate agent Alison

Claudio and his team started the renovation right away!
Claudio had bought the house a couple of years earlier and had started to do the basic renovations with the structure of the house. He had also removed most of the inner walls as well as the stairs that were taking too much space. After that he had halted the process, waiting for the buyer to make the decisions on what materials and design that he should use and work with.

Casa Colle during its renovation
After the negotiations were done we went back for Easter to sign all the contracts and after that the renovations took off. We started to look at the drawings and decided to take away the lift in favour of larger bathrooms. In the bathrooms we took away the bidets to have a bathtub and a washing machine that we thought were more useful. We also changed the layout on the ground floor, moving the kitchen from the windows to the inner parts in favour of having views from the dinner table.

Can you believe that these stairs on the first floor...
...used to look like this?

We changed the direction of the stairs in the whole house!
On the second floor we decided to keep the old build-in cupboard and we put up a wall to divide the bedroom from the hallway outside. We put in a chestnut wooden roof and a italian tile floor in a brown/red colour.

The second floor - before the renovation

The second floor - after the renovation. We kept the build-in wardrobe!
On the third floor we moved the wall inwards the living room to make a larger terrace where we wanted to sit and watch the breath-taking sunsets! We lifted the roof to the beams and made a chestnut wooden roof.

The before and after for the 3rd floor.

The before and after for the top floor bathroom. We decided to skip the bidets!

This is how the terrace looked before!

And this is now! Much wider, so we have room for lots of tables and chairs!

We then decided on the materials and colours for the floors, ceilings and walls as well as the doors, stairs and railings. It was so much fun! Then we chose where the outlets would be and where the lights and lamps would go.

We had such a great day when we went to buy all the lamps in the local lamp shop!


The old fireplace in the house left a hole in the wall

We decided to put an owl in it!
The whole renovation went extremely smoothly – and on time! We were so impressed with how professional it all was and also what good taste Clauido has! It was a true pleasure working with him. And after six months of renovations we finally got to move into the house in end of October! We celebrated with living in it for a month, only eating pasta and drinking Italian wines!


In front of our townhouse there is a poem called "A Dream" in Italian.

The plan is to use the house as our second (third?) home, spending as much time as we can there!

See you soon again Italy!

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