Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Small Victory

After I finished working my ass off on my Piso remodeling project, the Comunidad decided that they had to do their own remodeling. So, most of the work we did in the kitchen and the bathroom, had to get ripped out to fix rotten wood beams and columns.

This was a blessing actually because I was able to redesign the bathroom completely and "real" Spanish contractors were going to do the work - not me and my buddies that I brought in from L.A.

I had a crack designer friend of mine do a design to organize the bathroom (elevation shown) and I flew to Madrid to tell them what I wanted. There really was no way to organize this bathroom without doing something a little unconventional for L.A. standards (and completely "out-there" for Madrid standards) we had to put the sink right in front of the window. This blew our foreman, Ricardo's mind. He could not get over this. He told me several times that, "Esto no se hace"! This is just not done!.

After expressing his disdain and disgust for the crazy American design, he said he would do whatever I wanted, that it was not his problem if it was nuts!

One thing is certain in Madrid. I saw a lot of bathrooms while looking for pisos and they all look basically the same. A lot of flowery tile, a bidet with a mop stuck in it, and the ubiquitous "Roca" fixtures. Ok, to be fair, these were bathrooms probably never remodeled. Spanish design is hot now. Beautiful modern is in and they do it well. But it will take time for the rank and file Madrilenos to appreciate it. They like to do it their way - and that means the same old way.

My finished product does not look like the drawing exactly, but after it was completed, I asked Ricardo, the foreman, what he thought. His response? "Me ha gustado un poco".

Now that is something!


Kate said...

I came across your blog from the Notes in Spain website. Just wanted to say that I saw your photos from your apartment renovations, and it looks really great! You did an excellent job with the renovations.

Carl said...

Thanks Kate!

Your comment is my very first!
Now I have a new blog to check out - yours. The piso is not finished. and I still have to post a "before" and "after" plan view.