Restoring a Damp House in Sicily, Part 15

February 20, 2011

This was my bedroom, before. Crusty, water-stained walls and semi-ruined tiles from the early 1900s.

Bedroom Before

I plastered, painted, and had the floor professionally scrubbed and polished. The tiles look better but are still very distressed. But that’s OK. After all, I moved to Sicily to embrace antiquity, didn’t I? They’re refreshingly cool in August, ice-rink cold in December. Someday I hope to afford an antique Sicilian lace curtain.

Sicilian Floor Tiles from the Early 1900s, copyright Jann Huizenga

Bedroom After

Bedroom in House in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Bedroom After

Nice old blocks of sandstone were discovered on one wall, so I left it raw.

Bedroom After

I added a new knob to the squeaky old door. For €20 you can get a glass one made in Venice!

Murano door knob, copyright Jann Huizenga

Bedroom After

My gaudy plastic chandelier lights up my life.

Chandelier from Coin (sort of an Italian Target)

Dogs bark in the distant canyons at night. Mornings I wake up to sunshine, gonging bells, and fluttering doves.

The room is still a work in progress. I’d love to hear if you have a design idea. And please don’t say “pull down that horrid chandelier.”


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29 comments to Restoring a Damp House in Sicily, Part 15

  • Love the simplicity of your room and the splashes of color that brighten it up!

  • My favorite part of the room is the floor tiling!

  • may


    that chandelier is incredible! you have such fantastic taste/style.
    love it all!

  • Bea

    Absolutely fabulous, following the blog for months now and tommorrow we will hopefully be part of the Sicilian culture. Your blog is motivating, inspiring and giving a last kick to make final decisions! Hope to see you in the near future in Ragusa or Siracusa or anywhere else on the island.

  • rather an unusually well matched extraordinary mishmash !

  • emalene

    Oh! such wonderful memories. Ragusa Ibla holds a very special place in my heart.

  • The chandelier is quite the asset to this room! However, my favorite part is the little niche in the wall! How cool is that! I would definitely add a rug, something made of natural fiber as to not add to the allergens! I love the door handle as well!

  • Margo Chavez

    Hi Jann. Even before you made any comment about the chandelier, I had immediately fallen in love with it. I want one! I got my “chandelier” at Lowe’s, almost as cool as yours. I love the calming simplicity of your room. Maybe some sheepskins from the Farmer’s Market in Santa Fe to keep your feet warm when you step out of bed in the winter?

  • Oh, it sounds like you’re waking up in paradise! I love the detail of the niche in the wall. And there’s a nightstand in a delicious looking colour (lime green? pistachio?) peeking out from beside the bed that I’d like to get a better look at. Your chandelier is uttely charming! I might like a cozy, soft armchair to curl up in placed in the corner beside the doors, and your idea of having some linens to soften the over-all feeling of the room is right on, I’d say.

  • catherine Billups

    I love the chandelier. I have tried without success to find someone who can clean my old tile floors in Noto. Can you share your source with me as they may know someone in Noto. Thanks.

  • susan ploplys

    This may be second comment submitted – but first doesn’t show up so here goes again. I’m impressed with the simplicity and the elegance. I love the Green. It makes me want to throw most all of my Stuff away. I think Sicily suits you.
    Hugs and Kisses. Sue

    • Jann

      I love how you capitalize Stuff. Yes, Stuff looms. I forgot to say that my bed is the kind that pulls up to reveal a whole “closet.” That’s where the Stuff is. I sleep on top of it!

  • Carole DeSimone

    I love it just the way it is…..bellissima camera da letto!

  • susan ploplys

    Oh so beautiful. I love the green. Elegance!

  • sandee wheeler

    Love it!! Was the niche there, or did you add it?

  • I love the bare wall look, masonry is underrated so often…

  • Love the chandelier! It goes with the doorknob…before I read its provenance, I’d already placed it as faux Murano, so what’s not to like? It’s also great that you just polished the tiles and let the sandstone elements show in a wall. Do you add something seasonal,to warm the room a bit in winter…something woolly?

    • Jann

      Ciao Anita! I NEED something real woolly, like a couple of faux Polar bear rugs or something. I’ve thrown down Turkish rugs for winter, but they don’t feel warm enough…

  • It’s a splendid contrast of old and new. The Coin chandelier caused a moment of reflection on this for me. Just the opposite of you, I’ve brought in very old (probably not “officially” antique) chandeliers from Venice into my home for one way to achieve this same contrast in my new home in the north — no ancient tiles lining these floors, but many sparkly jewels hanging from the ceilings.

    • Jann

      Dana, like you, I’m a believer in mixing-and-matching epochs. Sicilians who haven’t been in the house sometimes ask me what style my interior decor is. Luigi Filipo? Moderno? I don’t know how to explain it’s one big crazy mishmash.

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