Radiator Joy

Today was moving day (well, the first day of several). Shifting furniture into a friends’ garage which, thankfully is just down our road. Food, clothes, bedding and everything else is off to another friends house where we will be staying until we can find somewhere small to rent. The balcony has now had the design finalised and permission is awaited.

Whilst looking through my pile of interior magazines (serious research, honest) we found a fantastic radiator. The ones we are scheduled to have are the usual bog standard in white and so we thought we would try and contact the company and see if they had an agent near here. The company called ‘Tubes‘ is based in Treviso, Veneto, very near where my mother was born and where much of my family still is. Expecting their agent to say the nearest stockist was in Perugia, we were thrilled to find their stockist is in Tavernelle, where we were yesterday visiting the carpenter. (This very unprepossessing little town, running parallel to a dual carriageway is proving to be quite a find.)

So off we trot to the suppliers, who interestingly are called Calzone, which many of you may recognise as the name of a folded pizza. Here we found a display of these amazing radiators and the styles and colours available are a design triumph. The catalogue alone is so very stylish. Some of the more avant-garde pieces are breathtakingly expensive but not everything, which is a refreshing change. Designer lighting, by contrast, from companies such as Arteluce, Foscarini or Artemide are really pricey. We came across a wall light that had motor so that when you switch it on, it emerges out of the wall in either a torch shape or a simple illuminated rectangle, this then retracts when switched off, leaving what looks like a flat, plastered wall. Perfect we thought for our very narrow hallway let’s find out who makes them and how much they are. Castaldi are the manufacturers and each light fitting with all its gizmos came in at £4,000. Think I will be popping into B&Q when I get back.

After an obligatory coffee and cake at the newly discovered cakeshop in Tavernelle we set off for home. And so tomorrow we need to choose radiators and colours. Calzone also sells bathrooms and tiles. Wished we had found them earlier but then there would have been even more choice to worry about. They did have a very nice floor tile though……maybe we could change the bathroom ones……(can you hear Jamie’s sobs?)

This afternoon Alessandro, the owner of I Maestri del Cotto, the company that is making, laying and polishing our terracotta floor tiles, came around to the house to measure and estimate for also doing the stairs. He loves the house and is desperate to help put some character back in and had a bit of a rant about Italians who don’t appreciate what they have with ancient properties. I said that everyone, in every country the world over, puts their stamp on their houses and sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s a disaster. I’m keeping the flocked leopard-print wallpaper a closely guarded secret.He has suggested using the terracotta tiles in the areas of most traffic and having wood in the bedrooms. Originally we were only having wood floors on the top floor but now the stairs are terracotta, it might be a nice contrast and also warmer under foot.

Time for supper and an ambitious attempt at a vegetable curry, thanks to Waitrose and their Masaman sauce (and no, they do not deliver)!

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