The Great Unpack….and how it turned out….


As promised and requested by my small (but growing) band of readers…  here are some pictures from our Kingston home after we finished unpacking.  For those unfamiliar with US government supplied housing, it comes furnished and we get very little say on style or colour choices, and some of it is quite horrendous!  We make do and try to make the best of it.  Its also challenging how you have to make the same personal stuff work in a different house which may be significantly larger or smaller than before.  Again, we try to make it work.

Here’s a little tour:

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The living room. How ever did we get served yet more lime green sofas and those dreadful striped chairs…just like Kathmandu (again?)  I tried to make the best of them with a colorful orange and green wall tree design.

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The dining room, however, was more challenging.  Too much government-issued cherry Drexel to hide!  I give up in here.  Maybe once the table is laid and there’s some colour with a better choice of tablecloth?

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One really nice feature of this house is the large screen porch.  The space was promising but challenging as they gave us hardly any furniture.  After a little begging, borrowing and the purchasing of a sofa, we managed to break it up into two living spaces with a wall of plants:

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…and an outside dining area.  This is still a work in progress.  More plants and furniture still needed, I know.

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…but the nice reading/seating area is mostly there…

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Note the iron security bars.  The whole city is wrapped in them…

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….as is our house.  And, yes, some days I feel like I’m in a cage.

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Upstairs the house has three large bedrooms, each with its own bathroom…

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…and the master bedroom has a massive closet which I have all to myself.  I had to hang up tshirts to fill it up!

Its a pretty nice space made infinitely better by the screen porch with the view out to palm trees and greenery. Many townhomes here–including ours–are traditionally built to be dark and cool. Although ours lacks light too, the screen porch is cheery and the view is nice. Most of all I like the access to fresh air and the porch sofa is a favourite place to curl up with a book.

17 thoughts on “The Great Unpack….and how it turned out….

  1. It’s so nice to envision you in your adode ~ a huge improvement from the pile of boxes we first saw! Thanks for the tour and may you have many weeks of happy adventure in Jamaica.

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  2. The porch is definitely the winner! Maybe they deliberately gave you Kathmandu colors to ease your way to a new place … right! We are potentially looking at a move where we might need to rent furniture; I’m sure those choices will be similarly behind the times! Home is the people in it, not the stuff, and your positive attitude will make lime green and stripes look like a million bucks!

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    • Very funny. I can only imagine a government world where they coordinated that stuff! And whoever picks the damn stuff in the first place…unbelievable! There was also a couple of very old, sagging, stripped blue and white sofas with a giant floral design. They were so hideous, I felt tears coming on…fortunately my husband stepped in and got rid of them. Good luck with your move and I have to head over to your site to learn about Columbia. Hope you had a great time!

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  3. The tree in the LR is awesome! Makes the whole thing look purposeful and well designed. And the porch is awesome! The DR is a bit stiff, maybe some plants? And area rug under the table? You sure do get to live in exotic places. 🙂

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    • Plants are my “go to” way to warm things up, but I can’t do it in this house as it is so dark I would kill them in minutes. We had an area rug under our table in Manila and I swore I’d never do it again because of all the catching of the chairs and the food mess. Sigh. Maybe I should do some peel off wall paper or something?
      Thanks for commenting. Yes, we do get around!

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      • I have a big, thin rug under my dining table, much bigger than the table so moving the chairs isn’t a problem yet it wasn’t expensive. It’s mostly cream with green leaves and graphic flowers in red and blue, and it cheers the whole room up. But I can see that it could be awkward having a smaller one. You’ve done a great job!

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  4. Oh this looks so much warmer than Kathmandu 😀
    Although, the iron bars are a bit scary. I guess each place comes with it’s own set of fears (earthquake, robbery…)

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  5. I think your house looks great (loved the tree deco on the living room wall). Nice bars everywhere, you must feel like ex-cons (any broken shards of glass on the yard walls?) better to be safe! Looking forward to seeing it in person- xoSuzie

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  6. Nice place! Looks like it has a lot of space. Is it safe where you live? I like the outdoor dinning / seating area . It
    looks very cozy. At least the iron bars had a design on it ,so it feels like a screen. I’m glad you are all settle in.

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  7. Lovely house! The furniture is not bad.To each his own. I don’t think the apple green sofa is that bad. It all comes together with the nice tree painted on the wall. The verandah is absolutely to die for. It looks like a cool inviting place to have dinner/breakfast outdoors or to curl up and read a book on the sofa.

    The burglar bars are just a fact of life in Jamaica — most of us Jamaicans have known no other look. Even the very luxurious homes in the hills of St. Andrew – Cherry Gardens, Jacks Hill, Norbrook, Beverly Hills, Chancery Hall, etc., etc. have burglar bars. The trick is to be creative with them so they are a design feature of the house, if you’re fortunate enough to build/design your home from scratch.

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