RENOVATION

Rustic Italian Kitchen – an update

rustic italian kitchen

‘The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten’

Cesare Pavese

The heart of most homes is the kitchen, our rustic Italian kitchen is starting to take shape after a bit of TLC and lots of work from Sam. Over the last few days he pulled out the old sink and tiles, mixed up multiple batches of white cement and coated the walls, then re cemented the slabs of rock on the floor.

It’s been wonderful having the entire population of the borgata come for visits to see what we are doing and give advice. Most frequently the comments are ‘rip out the fireplace and pull up the stone floor’ arrrghhh!

Meanwhile I have been busy painting the first floor bedroom, bathroom ceiling, re varnishing the timber and best of all painting the main bedroom on the top floor. My favorite room is this bedroom, high ceiling with wooden beams and so much promise. A small balcony and a beautiful view, perfect. Sam being the chef in the family is besotted by the fireplace in our rustic Italian kitchen and already researching cooking methods to use.

We leave early in the morning to work at the house and come home late so computer time is a rarity. I hope you’ll forgive us as we need to move into the house within the next two weeks. Lots to do as always, but I will show you the bedroom and introduce the neighbors who are priceless asap.

bobbio pellice kitchen out

painting bobbio dbl

bobbio pellice kitchen slop

bobbio pellice kitchen floor

Idea’s and Inspiration for our Rustic Italian Kitchen

We both agree we want to keep the house as close to original as possible and Sam plans to put in the rack for the cooking pot to hang over the fire. Our neighbors are already donating some ancient relics and love that we want to keep the rustic heritage alive. The only problem we now find is that the floor slopes and is wildly uneven so a table and chairs will be tricky.

We are gathering ideas and looking for the best way to overcome this. Any thoughts are most welcome, have you ever had a very crooked floor?

Fire place cooking arm

pinterest kitchen

pinterest tables

thanks to everyone for sticking with us through this transition, we are expecting friends in June and again in September so ‘molto lavore’ for us as usual x

and the gang x

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37 replies
  1. Hester Nieves
    Hester Nieves says:

    We had stained concrete floors installed in our home (very nice but they do need regular repolishing). Since it is poured on top of your existing floor, it should be easy for them to even out your floor when installing it (assuming that your flooring substrate will accept it to begin with).If you want to go with some other floor, why could the installer not even out your floor prior to installing it? I can’t imagine you are the only people who have ever had uneven floors in your home. There has to be a common solution to this problem.Either way, I agree that it sounds like you need a pro to give you advice.
    Hester Nieves recently posted..No last blog posts to return.My Profile

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      thanks for that Hester sorry your comment ended up in the spam section of the blog. We love the stone floor and now don’t even notice the uneven tilt. We have now taken the rock through into the lounge area and should be able to get this roughly level. Great suggestions and thanks so much again ciao lisa x

      Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Hey Catherine, I need hot water bottles in summer, I’m hopeless and really feel the cold. Of course my husband is the complete opposite. This Summer is going to be glorious and we hope to have some friends from Australia over for a visit. I’ll be watching to see how your swimming pool plans develop lol x

      Reply
      • Catherine
        Catherine says:

        Lisa I came to this true rustic house from West Africa with four small kids and it took me a while to acclimatise. My secret remains the same: UGG BOOTS! I always hated them in Australia when I was a kid but put two pairs of socks under a pair of uggs and you are set. I (still) dress like a Sherpa in winter, with a beanie and cut-off gloves. Often I forget to check the gas and we run out – usually before a public holiday – and the temperature drops like mad. Once I warmed up by waxing all my old plantation furniture! Xx
        Catherine recently posted..Swimming Pools, Tall Grass and Cherry BlossomsMy Profile

        Reply
  2. Teresa Bentley
    Teresa Bentley says:

    Perhaps a thick natural fiber rug like jute? Could work ” longer” legs into it and easily pad “shorter” legs? They look great, fit your lifestyle and are inexpensive

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Teresa I love this idea especially the inexpensive part. The house is filled with stories and history that I want to enhance. Sam is in love with his new kitchen (he does the cooking) and I can’t wait to spend our first night in the main bedroom….waking to open the shutters to the valley view. Thanks for your thoughts ciao lisa x

      Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Hi Jan, we will have to adjust the legs and our table will certainly be unique. Sam painted the border and also coated a section of the floor with a clear coating so it looks great. x

      Reply
  3. Thomas Kenneally
    Thomas Kenneally says:

    it Might Be A Little Late Now But You Asked If Anyone Has Dealt With Uneven Floors.I Was Wondering If You Guys Had Thought Of Pulling The Floor Up And Re-Laying It?I KnowThe Work It would Take But I Think It Might Be worth It.

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      unfortunately Thomas the rest of the house matches to the crooked floor, it is hand built and we really aren’t that concerned with the table I was just thinking out loud. I think it will add a little to the charm of the place along with the open fireplace and large cooking pots. The house has such incredible history which we are learning each day as the locals come for a look x

      Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Marla we are enraptured with the stories and the history of the borgata. I think the entire village has been in to have a look at what we are doing and we are hearing lots of stories of the elderly owner (including some risque ones lol x). Can’t wait to catch up again and see what you have been doing at Bella Baita! xxx

      Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Trisha I can’t begin to tell you how our lives have changed in such a short time. Sam is in his element, I find everyday bringing new adventures and amazing stories from the locals. The children are hardly seen apart from lunch time as we have 7 kids in total at the borgata, it is a joy to see them out and having adventures and starting to pick up the language. Luca especially is blossoming and Carina loves all the animals (even though she knows they are to be eaten). Sending love and think of you often, hope to meet one day in the future!! xxx lisa

      Reply
  4. Diana
    Diana says:

    I think it is hilarious that the locals are urging you to rip out the fireplace and floors. They are probably sick of seeing such things and take it for granted, whereas to our eyes it is amazingly beautiful.

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      We had a chuckle as well Diana, we haven’t been into any of the houses (apart from one) so I have no idea what they look like inside. The old lady here bought us up a rack to use in the fire for the pots to sit on and told us about the previous owners and the history of the Borgata. Love to you and Chloe xx

      Reply
  5. jann
    jann says:

    What a TREASURE of a kitchen, Lisa. (Hubby, too.) Are they serious about “rip out the fireplace?” Be sure to tell them it’s the dream of half of America to have such a kitchen. (I meet the same thing in Sicily all the time–everything OLD is bad!) Are you doing all the work yourselves?????? Buon lavoro!

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Yes they seem totally serious Jann, they love our large area down stairs for the animals and we had seven children in today. We showed them some basics on the computer (no internet) and it was like they had witnessed a miracle. It’s such a joy to see the amazement on these faces at something we just take for granted. We are finding (and being given all kinds of ancient relics for the house. I think it will take another generation to appreciate the old ways of doing things. We want to record as much as we can x
      We are doing the work ourselves and the main expense will be replacing the doors and windows. I’ve almost finished painting the main bedroom and can’t wait to sleep the first night xxxx

      Reply
  6. katherine and jean pierre
    katherine and jean pierre says:

    Do u have any good deals with hire car companies or shall I get a peugeot 308 wagon in france to travel around and we will come to see you first I think in june! Does the tour de france go near your place? take care…JP

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      I think the tour de france stays in France? Great to talk with you this morning and it will be wonderful to see you all again. Can’t believe the kids are so old and they will have so many memories to take back with them. Love to everyone lisa x

      Reply
  7. Lisa Wood
    Lisa Wood says:

    That is so going to look stunning when finished!! Not sure what you could do with the crooked floor – maybe one leg on the table at one end longer than the other?
    Or can you raise the floor to make it even?
    All the best with your renovations, and moving in.

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Lisa you’d love this place, and they are totally self sufficient in most areas. It’s like stepping into something like Sovereign Hill only this is the modern world. I also love the way the children here are out playing most of the day and have no clue about computers lol x Sending love x

      Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Funny I never feel brave although lots of people have described us this way. Each day brings something wonderful, today it was the look of total amazement on the faces of the local children when we showed them the basics of the computer. Carina and the little girl next door christened our kitchen floor by dancing full out to “Pink”…by the fire glow, it was a mini disco. The lady next door upon seeing the area under the house for the animals suggested we get a calf, raise it and then they will butcher it and we’ll go halves. I am in awe of these people who live such tough lives yet are happy to share the knowledge it’s taken them a lifetime to learn. xx

      Reply
  8. Jill
    Jill says:

    The floor in your Kitchen is just beautiful. You are all working so hard and you can already see it taking shape. I’m especially looking forward to the kitchen- I love kitchens (pity I am a hopeless cook).
    PS – Hope Sam is feeling better
    Jill

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      thanks for that Jill, I am a hopeless cook as well but Sam is very excited about cooking over the open flame. The kids have been looking for marshmallows without any luck. Sam is much improved and enjoying the simple life here xx ciao lisa

      Reply
  9. Krista
    Krista says:

    I love seeing and reading about the progress you are making!!! 🙂 It’s all so exciting. I love that Sam is looking into fireplace cooking. We cook over a fire several times a year for our medieval events, so we have fun doing the same thing he’s doing. Food tastes SO amazing cooked over a smoky fire. 🙂
    Krista recently posted..A Glowing Sunrise and Maple Cinnamon CoffeeMy Profile

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Krista I am in happy land everyday, we are discovering so many new things and the locals are amazing! The kids are jumping into rural life with passion and come home dirty and tired out rather than sitting on the computer all day. Sam is in his element and he cleaned out the huge vaulted pens for the animals on the ground floor only to discover the floor is made of rock and they put in a trench for the cows toilet, we also found out that the stalls we thought were for animals in the cellar are actually to rest huge wine barrels on. We met a lady who was born in our house and she told us many stories of growing up in the borgata. I’m putting them in my next post, Can’t wait to one day cook up a wicked medieval feast with you in Italy xxx

      Reply
  10. Kaye Bonato
    Kaye Bonato says:

    I have lived with some very uneven floors and the best thing to do is stack the legs best you can to level the top. Since you probably won’t have to move the tables and cupboards you could probably use wooden blocks and attach them to the legs……..mark on the floor with chalk or whatever where the legs sit so if it gets moved you know exactly where it will level out. Hope that helps! Good luck with everything, I love what you are doing.

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Oh thanks Kaye, we now live in a very crooked house and it’s so filled with character that I doubt I could ever go back to straight walls. We are having a fantastic time settling in and hearing all about the traditions from the neighbors x

      Reply
  11. Ruth Jansen
    Ruth Jansen says:

    Wow- Looking amazing! Love the fireplace and the floor! Can’t believe people tell you to rip it up!! And that fireplace is going to send warmth up through all the other rooms in the house no doubt! 🙂 (benefits of cooking indoors in winter.. and BBQ’ing outdoors in summer. he he)

    Yes for a very uneven floor you need a very solid piece of furniture (the table) with the four legs being cut and levelled once you put it into the position (where it will need to remain). For seating – something the size of large round tree logs offers a good option because there is alot of space to keep balanced on. Alternatively have bench seats which have the same treatment as the table- meaning it will be a fixed position bench.

    Reply
    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Hey Ruth, I can’t wait for our first meal in this kitchen, it is now the heart of the house. Sam is on the look out for wood burning stoves to put in the other rooms and I know we will need them come winter as they get at least a meter of snow. Luckily the road right outside our door is the original road through the borgata and is cleared by the council. It’s a cars width and has tractors, goats and even cows going up and down through the day. Life is right ‘in your face’ here and it’s amazing xx

      Reply

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