Not New Niceties #3: Hemingway's House

I know I promised to do a makeover of my 'office' a couple of months ago but, other than rearranging my shelves and doing a tiny bit of de-cluttering it is actually messier now than it ever was! It became the storage space for all of the Christmas gifts first, and then it became a dumping ground for most of the contents of the living room. The reason for that is, after years of negotiation, Devo and I finally agreed on a colour for the living room walls. Green. The only colour we ever both agree on. A couple of weeks before Christmas we did a major overhaul of the sitting room so that we could enjoy being in it over the festive season without all of the niggling jobs that had to be done niggling at us.

It was quite a large job which Devo did all by himself. He raised the radiator so that he could sort out some dodgy plumbing work. Then he fitted a radiator cover. He mended the skirting boards that needed mending and then painted them. He painted the ceiling and walls and then varnished the floorboards. He's quite the handy man, I can tell you. My role was to keep the children away from the fumes as much as possible. It involved a lot of camping out in my mother's house.

We love the room now. It's completely de-cluttered and feels really restful to be in. 

Here's a little look at what was the ugliest corner in the room, because it's now my favourite corner in the room:


There is still some work to do, including painting the doors, putting in our very cool mid-century modern sideboard (a hand-me down from my mother in law) and hanging some more things on the walls. I had been used to the alcoves on either side of chimney breast being shelved out and crammed with books and random crap objets d'art. Those have all been removed and the books are waiting to be re-homed in a less dust-collecting environment.

This mirror is the only thing currently hanging on the walls.

The paint looks grey here, but I assure you it's green in real life.

I do love the mirror, but it looks a bit lonely to me. The room is lacking character. It's also a bit too echoey. We have some paintings and prints that are ready to be hung - subject to further negotiation (there's one very large Elizabeth Cope that I love but Devo doesn't) - and several more needing frames. 

My favourite way for art to be hung is in the Salon Style and we're hoping to achieve a few 'clusters' of wall hangings around the room. I'm lucky that Devo also has several years experience working as an art handler/technician in most of the biggest galleries in Dublin, so I know I can trust him to do a great job on this too. (Yes, he's a keeper)

So far I've mentioned nothing but new things. (With the exception of the sideboard - which may well feature in NNN #4) but, I'm getting to the Not New Nicety now, I swear.

This is it:


It's a little wooden model of the front of Ernest Hemingway's house that cost me €2.00 in a local charity shop. I think it will look perfect in our new room, as part of a salon hang. There's an inscription on the back that explains that the house was built in the 1870's in Key West, Florida and given to Hemingway and his wife in 1931. Apparently, it was here that he wrote some of his best known books. Considering that my *top* New Years resolution is to try and write a book, I'm hoping that this is a good talisman to have in my home.

Lile has named the cats featured on the plaque as Lile-cat and Sábha-cat, but this is what it says on the back about them:

Today the house is occupied by the Hemingway Museum, and many cats and kittens (many of which are descendants from the nearly fifty cats that lived with the Hemingway family)


Fifty cats? That sounds like Lile's dream-home.

A good omen indeed.

17 comments

  1. Looks lovely Sadhbh, I love the colour of the new sitting room. My, you have a very handy man indeed.... especially impressed that he can sort plumbing as well as sanding floors and hanging artwork!

    I can't believe you picked up Hemingway's little house for just €2.... a good omen indeed!

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    1. Thanks Naomi! He's extraordinarily handy. I think he *had* to be because this house was in such a bad state when we bought it. He's learned a lot living here!

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  2. I have one of those husbands too you are right they are keepers ;). I love the new look of your room it does indeed look like somewhere to chill out and relax.

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  3. I am so jealous of your handy man! I love the picture and the idea for the saloon gallery. I have been attempting to do such a gallery with photos in different style frames but I had no idea until today that there was a name for such a style. :D Love the green. Happy new sitting room!

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  4. Ooops I clearly meant the salon gallery. We are not in the wild west!

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    1. Haha! I imagine a saloon hanging would involve more rope ;)

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  5. Looks great, love that color against the white skirting. What's the name of it please? Need to repainty living room

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    1. Thanks CB! IT's called Mystery Green by Fleetwood and it's in the Easy Care range. Dulux do almost the exact same shade too and it's called Pistachio.

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  6. Great thanks Sadhbh will take note & get some testers, so hard to pick a colour

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  7. Snap! I have one of these fellas too.Given what we are in the process of buying he'll be very busy over the next few years!
    Any chance you'd think of waxing the doors? They could look fab. xx

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    1. Lucky you too! I'm sure he'll have his work cut out for him in the new place ;) I do love the doors unpainted but they've been like that for years. They are the originals, which we got stripped when we moved in, but they are in terrible shape really and painting them to hide the damage will be cheaper than replacing them!

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  8. Looks great, love the colour! I have a similar green in my kitchen, it is such a restful colour, instils calm into an otherwise chaotic room..........I should probably paint every room that colour ;-)

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    1. Thanks N! Our bedroom is in a similar shade. I might have a bit of an obsession ;)

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  9. Oh Sadhbh! First off, that wall colour. It's such a beautiful classic antique green. It works so fabulously with your club chair, flooring and IKEA side table (serious nice choice - if we had more room in our apartment, I'd so get my hands on one). I actually quite like the look of the unfinished doors, but that's just me.

    That charity shop find - serious score!!! I am wildly jealous as that's quite piece and would look great as a feature on a gallery wall. Especially for a crazy cat lady like me. Please spill the beans as to which charity shop you found it in!

    xx A

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    1. Wow! Thanks Alex! I'm chuffed to get those compliments from such an interiors expert as you! I hereby invite you to spend a day with me touring all my favourite thrift store haunts :)

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